[Question #6665] Lady with genital herpes & man with oral

12 months ago
I have genital herpes (which I got long ago from someone performing oral sex on me). A man I am interested in has HSV-1 (oral infection). So my question is if we become intimate, is there any possibility he can contract genital herpes from me (ie:via intercourse) or can I contract herpes orally  from him (ie:via kissing) ? I don’t know if my genital herpes is HSV-1 but assume it might be based on how I got it- not sure if that is important to know. Also I have a small child who I kiss often on the mouth so it’s important to me to know if I can contract herpes orally from this new partner (since I already have the virus albeit genitally) so I don’t risk passing it to my daughter. Thanks
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
Great question.  In 35 years of practice, I have only seen one case of someone who had a reported history of cold sores acquiring HSV 1 genitally years later.  So is it possible?  Yes.  It is likely?  Absolutely not!  I do think it would be worth confirmimg that you actually do have only HSV 1 genital infection.  Were you also having intercourse at the time you had your first outbreak?  Do you have many outbreaks now?
I would say that if it were me in your situation, I wouldn't be concerned about this at all. 

Terri
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12 months ago
Ok, thank you. And what about the likelihood of me contracting the oral infection? (Or is the answer to this dependent upon if my genital infection is HSV-1, vs HSV-2)
12 months ago
Sorry just realized I did not answer your questions... I was having intercourse at the time I had my first outbreak but I know for sure I received it from someone who had an oral outbreak which I hadn’t realized at the time. But the person was kind enough to point it out to me after the damage had been done and the virus transmitted.
I don’t have many outbreaks... hardly at all. When I do they seem to come when my hormones fluctuate around the time ovulate.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
well, we can guess that you have HSV 1 genitally. If you do, it is still possible to acquire HSV 2, though HSV 2 oral infection is quite rare indeed.

Terri
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12 months ago
So to be clear... his risk of acquiring HSV1 genitally from intercourse with me is possible but absolutely not likely.  I am still not clear if I am able to contract HSV-1 orally from him through kissing (assuming I have HSV-1 genitally) but I think you are saying this is also possible (?).... 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
Exactly. 
And I am saying that once you have HSV 1 in one location (genital) it would be extremely unlikely for you to acquire this in a new location on your body.

Terri
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