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TMI but I need to know... I’m talking about SEX

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Hello I just found out that I have HSV 2 three months ago. Me and my boyfriend decided to make things work. We are doing our research and are practicing the most safest sex but I’m a little confused. I read that I will always breakout in the same spot as my initial OB but I also read that it’s possible to spread the virus. If I decided to touch myself during sex will I have to worry about spreading it to my fingers? Also what about oral sex? If I decided to perform oral sex after being penetrated will I spread the virus to my mouth? And lastly, can the virus be passed from an orgasm? I know I can’t “re-infect” myself, that once I got it, I got it. But I’m confused, I’m being told that the virus can spread to other parts of my body (assuming I touch a sore)  but at the same time I have read that I will always OB in the same spot. I NEVER EVER plan on intentionally touching a sore and then another part of my body but I know that the virus can spread even without an OB, this is the reasoning for my question.... thank in advance 

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Touching yourself and then touching him is fine (when you aren't having an outbreak, of course) since asymptomatic viral shedding is random and only sheds enough virus to potentially be spread via direct skin-to-skin friction. (Check out the free e-book and handouts to see the rates of viral shedding.)

And no worries about you spreading your HSV-1 to your own mouth by giving your partner oral sex. What you're asking about there is called auto-inoculation, and it's actually harder to do than you might think (except in extreme circumstances like touching the fluid of an active outbreak then immediately touching a cut on your lip, for example). Especially if you have had herpes for longer than a year (which means you have enough antibodies to defend against spreading) there won't be enough virus in the viral shedding to be transferred to him and then back to you to then re-infect you in a different location.

And lastly, it's not a given that outbreaks always stay in the same spot. For some that is true, but for others outbreaks can move around a bit. This is because of the nature of nerve pathways. Herpes takes the path of least resistance as it moves through your nerve pathways from your spine to the surface of your skin. Sometimes the virus can travel down a different "branch" as it approaches the surface of the skin and can therefore "shift" a bit from one outbreak to another. But if you have had an outbreak in the same location for a few outbreaks, it's safe to say that the nerve pathway for outbreaks is pretty well established and will stay consistent. 

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Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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  • 2 months later...

I just want to say thank you for this question and the answers. I've been in full panic for 2 days that I may have accidentally passed herpes on and because my outbreaks have only ever occurred in a very specific spot (on my anus, for (embarrassing) context) it's highly unlikely we'd have had friction in the right spot. This won't make me careless but I am a little bit reassured. 

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