[Question #7725] herpes transmission

23 days ago
Hello, 

I would like to know if HSV-1 is transmitted via vaginal secretions. 

I have an active cold sore, my partner who does not have herpes gave me oral sex  and I am worried that i passed on the virus via my vaginal secretions.  we did not exchange saliva and he did not come in contact with the actual sore. 



Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 days ago
No.  That's not how this works.  If you only have oral infection, he would not get HSV 1 by giving you oral sex.  The virus is shed only in the area innervated by the trigeminal ganglia, which is a group of nerves that supplies the face. 

Terri
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22 days ago
Thank you Terri, 

Can you please clarify how HSV-1 is transmitted.  

The data I've came across is somewhat contradicting and mostly centered around HSV-2 and HSV-1 on the mouth, I would like to point out that I only get sores inside of my nostril. 

I have read that it is very unlikely to contract the virus by sharing food or eating utensils, which is confusing because kissing spreads the virus?  

Why does the virus in the saliva die in other surfaces but manages to stay "alive" in my mouth?  feel free to explain the science behind it..

Also, after the virus in the saliva interacts with the air, how long until the virus dies ? 



Thanks again!
 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 days ago
People who have oral HSV 1 often get outbreaks in the nose, rather than on the lip.
I would say it is EXTREMELY unlikely that someone would acquire HSV 1 by sharing utensils, if not impossible
Once the virus leaves the body, on a glass, for example, it is cold and it doesn't have the human cells it needs to survive.  While some virus may stay viable for a very short period of time, it is not likely adequate for transmission.  Various studies have been done on this and found varying times of survival, but how much of that virus is enough to be transmissible and how much can simply be recovered are two very different questions.  We know for adults, you need about 10 to the third copies to infect someone, so it's not just a little virus or just any quantity.

Terri
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22 days ago
Thank you !

Terri,  does the virus in the saliva die in other parts of the body or does this only apply to objects ? for instance, if i was to lubricate myself with saliva and my partner comes in contact with it, what are the chances of HSV being spread this way. I may or may not have unintentionally done this in the past.

 Does it come down to the amount of saliva with the virus present?

and lastly,  how much saliva usually contains 10^3 of the HSV-1 virus ?



Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
19 days ago
the chances of HSV being transmitted in the way that you describe is incredibly low.
We don't know at any given moment how much virus is in saliva, it varies greatly from day to day and is in no way consistent over time. 

Terri
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