[Question #6983] Kissing with HSV-1 and on valacyclovir

9 months ago
I have HSV-1. I don't get cold sores, but I do get lesions periodically on the roof of my mouth behind my top molars. I can feel it in my nose a day before they are about to pop up. I am also on suppression medication. I'm just looking for an honest opinion on kissing in this situation. Does making out with someone just once, with no active lesions, no symptoms, while on medication pose a huge treat or not? I'm trying to get back into dating and I want to know if it's really worth my dignity to have to stop and tell someone I have this condition before every first kiss.  Most certainly I will not be doing it with active lesions present. I want an honest and educated opinion. Thank you.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
8 months ago
Kissing in this situation, while on suppressive medication, is highly unlikely. I think it would be helpful for you to get the mouth sores swab tested for herpes this would allow you to know specific times when you are shutting virus when kissing should probably be avoided. If you are kissing someone who also is positive for HSV one, transmission is not at risk. Experts do not agree upon when or even if disclosure of an HSV one infection should be made. My personal opinion is that if you know you have oral herpes, this condition should be disclosed prior to giving oral sex come at a minimum. You stated in your post that you have HSV one infection. How is it that you know that? Was it an IgG test for antibodies?  Just so you know, many other people are struggling with the same questions that you have about HSV one and status disclosure. It's not an easy question.

Terri
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8 months ago
I have had both the antibody test and have had the lesions swabbed, and both came back HSV-1 positive. It is indeed not an easy question, and definitely different for each person. I think I’m trying to get a better idea of how more people feel about it so I can form my own solid opinion on it.  I’m half and half on the issue of kissing with HSV 1. It’s very common, but at the same time some people don’t have it and want to stay that way. It’s tricky.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
8 months ago
It is indeed, but I think it's great you are thinking about it carefully and weighing your options thoughtfully.  Before you started suppression, how many outbreaks did you have in a typical year?

Terri
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8 months ago
For the past 2 years I’d get a flare up every one to two months. So pretty frequent. I started the suppression meds a month ago because of that . So the medication is a new thing for me.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
8 months ago
Without suppression, a person who gets about 6 cold sores per year would shed virus on about 25% of days swabbed (so, for example) 25 out of 100 days sampled.  That's pretty often, but suppression is going to cut that a lot - probably around 70%.  I wish I had better data for you on the transmission of HSV 1 but unfortunately, we don't have that.

Terri
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8 months ago
No this is great information. Thank you so much!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
8 months ago
You are welcome

Terri
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