[Question #6974] Genital HSV-1
11 months ago
I have browsed through this site but have yet to find an answer to this question: is the reason genital to genital HSV-1 transmission is so low because recurrent outbreaks and shedding is typically infrequent? Or is there another reason? What happens if one experiences frequent genital HSV-1 outbreaks: are they more likely to transmit it to their partners than "typical" genital HSV-1 cases?
As background, I was diagnosed with genital HSV-1 via a swab test about 4 years ago - I just happened to be at my doctor's for another issue when she noticed a small lesion in my vagina. I understood that since it was HSV-1 I would likely not experience many outbreaks. In retrospect I recall having lesions in my genital region (at the top of the butt crack, an area I did not associate with genital herpes at the time) at least once more than 10 years ago, so I do believe it has been well-established. I simply never noticed.
I hadn't thought much more about it until recently, when I discovered what I thought were "hemorrhoid flare-ups" were actually herpes. Granted, I have not had these swab-tested, but they do look and feel identical to what I have been tested positive for before - small lesions that blister and usually break open. I believe what I thought for years were hemorrhoids were in fact small, barely-noticeable herpes outbreaks. Since I "discovered" this the past year, I have had 5-6 small outbreaks within that year that do not last very long, usually 4-6 days.
Also, I recently tested negative for HSV-2. I believe I have more frequent recurrences of genital HSV-1 than typical which now makes me wonder how communicable this actually is in my case.
Thanks for your help!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
11 months ago