[Question #870] Oral Herpe to Genital Transmission

51 months ago
Hello,

I received unprotected oral sex from a girl I met and I was wondering what are my chances of catching HSV 1 genital if she had the virus. She did not have any cold sores present but I am aware she could've still shed the virus in her saliva. Also I don't believe she has ever had a cold sore but I am not entirely positive. At this point I am assuming I would have to wait to be tested. What is the risk she gave it to me and when should I be tested for a good confirmation I either have it or don't? Thanks
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
51 months ago
We don't have any statistics on oral to genital transmission of HSV 1, Robert.  We only have data on HSV 2 transmission genital to genital.  However, A single encounter with a woman who didn't have a cold sore at the time of oral sex is certainly low risk.  Have you ever had a test for HSV 1?  If you are going to test later, which I don't really think is necessary, but if you do, and you test positive, you won't know when in your lifetime you acquired HSV 1 infection.  Have you ever in your lifetime had a cold sore on your lip?

Terri
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51 months ago
Hi Terri,

Honestly I can't remember if I have or have not. But I have tested for herpes 1 and 2 within the last year and have been negative. At this point, you recommend not testing at all? If I were to test when should I do it?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
51 months ago
If you were to test, I would test at 12 weeks post exposure. 
The IgG test for HSV 1 picks up 70% of infections - not terrific but if positive, reliable.

Terri


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51 months ago
Okay but you still would not recommend I test based on the situation? I asked the girl and she said she has never had a cold sore but I am going to see if she wants to get tested that way I don't have to wait 12 weeks. I'm semi worried because the tip and inside of my penis was a little irritated due to some slight masturbation before the encounter so I feel like bacteria or viruses had an easy way in if that makes sense. I know it's low risk and I've read that it's less then 1 in 10,000 according to Dr Hook but still. Thanks
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
51 months ago
You may wish to test now and see if you already have HSV 1 and if you do, you don't need to wait 12 weeks.  Most adults do have this.  I am not concerned about the encounter.  without knowing your previous HSV 1 status, I can't say what kind of risk you have, if any, but it definitely is very low.  Having her tested would also be helpful if she will do it.

Terri
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