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Question on passing it to my partner


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I appreciate everyone’s time in reading this and responding.  I’ve done a good amount of research but still am unsure about a few things.

Ok so I got my first outbreak on 6/28/21.  About 30 lesions on my penis shaft.

 Went and got blood test the next day.  IgG levels for herpes simplex 1 was 1.55.  IgG for simplex 2 was negative.  I then went to the doctor the next day and got a “sureswab” done on the active lesions.  The doctor also prescribed me valtrex, 2g a day for 10 days.  The lesions started healing soon after starting the meds.

The swab test came back positive for herpes simplex 1 and negative for 2.

I always assumed I had herpes simplex 1 in my mouth but now I realize it was probably just canker sores because the sores were always inside the mouth and never on my lips or outside of my mouth.

.  My girlfriend had a blood test done and had a IgG level of greater than 5.00 for simplex 1 (it didn’t specify, just greater than 5).  She has had small outbreaks around her mouth a few times since we’ve been together (1 year).  

Now come the questions:

1.  Since my GF has high antibody/igG levels and has had simplex 1 for a long time, does that mean I won’t pass on my genital herpes simplex 1 to her genital area?  Do I need to worry about spreading it to my GF?

2.  What are the downsides to taking daily valtrex?  Should I take daily or just take it during an active outbreak?

3.  When I don’t have an active outbreak, how much do I need to worry about spreading herpes to other parts of my body?

4.  I have not been horny at all since my outbreak.  Is this a side effect of valtrex or just possibly a psychological effect of having a herpes outbreak?

5.  Am I correct in thinking they simplex 1 usually had less frequent and less severe outbreaks?

6.  How long until I don’t have to worry about kissing my girlfriend and getting the virus in my mouth too?


Thanks for all the help!

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Hello!

First, I am so sorry to hear about the outbreak.

I also have HSV1 on my genitals (GHSV1) and I also had about thirty sores during my first outbreak, and it was evil. haha, kidding. But basically, it felt horribly painful.

Okay, so this honestly sounds a lot like how I contracted GHSV1! My partner at the time did not know they had herpes, and it seemed that I had gotten it from receiving oral sex, which could possibly be how you contracted it, as you mentioned your partner has oral HSV1.

Sometimes it is just the luck of the draw; the virus starts shedding in someone's mouth (even without cold sores present) and we just happen to get it (such a bummer!)

However, no hope is lost! I am happy to hear you and your partner are still together! Hooray! Now, I can answer your questions:

1.  Since my GF has high antibody/igG levels and has had simplex 1 for a long time, does that mean I won’t pass on my genital herpes simplex 1 to her genital area?  Do I need to worry about spreading it to my GF?

Okay, great question! So, basically, you cannot give someone HSV1 again if they already have it, because their body has built up an anti-body response to the virus. I did some research and found this answer for you, from the Herpes Virus Association of the United Kingdom!

"If you have caught it on your face from your partner’s genitals, then they will not catch it on their face if they do oral sex on you. If you have caught it on your face from your partner’s facial cold sores, then they will not catch it on their genitals if you do oral sex on them."

The WHO (World Health Organization) says... "Individuals who already have HSV-1 oral herpes infection are unlikely to be subsequently infected with HSV-1 in the genital area."

HOWEVER THE SITE & MANY OTHER SITES SAY... it is ALWAYS possible to pass on herpes to another part of the body, even if you/someone else already has it. While the chances are extremely unlikely, transmission to other body parts is always possible, especially during an active outbreak. 

https://herpes.org.uk/frequently-asked-questions/passing-transmitting-herpes/

2.  What are the downsides to taking daily valtrex?  Should I take daily or just take it during an active outbreak?

Another awesome question! The mild side effects of Valtrex could be bothersome if you show any side effects (nausea, headache, stomach issues, and many more, including severe side effects that could potentially occur (see them on the website below).

The Pros and Cons of Valtrex can be seen here! https://www.goodrx.com/valacyclovir/what-is

Also, there is a medicine called Acyclovir which is another HSV antiviral. Ask your doctor about them, and if either/both are compatible with other medicines you may already be taking or preexisting health conditions. 

3.  When I don’t have an active outbreak, how much do I need to worry about spreading herpes to other parts of my body?

So, this is happy news: you really don't need to worry! Your body has built up an immune response, so you can just breathe and know the likelihood of transmitting your HSV1 it to other parts of your body is very very very low. Of course, wash your hands after you touch sores, or your genitals, especially during an outbreak or if you are experiencing prodrome symptoms (tingling, itchiness, etc).

4.  I have not been horny at all since my outbreak.  Is this a side effect of valtrex or just possibly a psychological effect of having a herpes outbreak?

If anything, I would say it is mostly psychological, and your body just went through a painful experience that your subconscious could be associating with sexual intimacy, which could be causing the decrease in desire to engage in sexual activity with your partner. Don't worry! It'll all be okay. If anything, knowing you both are still together despite the HSV can bring you closer together and INCREASE intimacy! This herpes opportunity website and blog actually talk a lot about that! Check it out! 

However, if you are concerned, talk to your doctor about it. It could be a potential side effect! It's always good to notice changes and talk to them with your doctor, or even calling a doctor's office and asking the Nurse Practitioner on-call your questions can be super helpful.  

5.  Am I correct in thinking they simplex 1 usually had less frequent and less severe outbreaks?

Typically, HSV1 has less frequent and severe outbreaks. I have had GHSV1 since 2019, and I have only had about two other outbreaks since the original first outbreak. However, different factors influence outbreaks (stress, foods, etc) so it can fluctuate depending on the individual. However, generally speaking, yes, HSV1 tends to have less frequent outbreaks, and when they do occur they are less severe.

6.  How long until I don’t have to worry about kissing my girlfriend and getting the virus in my mouth too?

This question relates to a few of the other questions you asked! Generally, you wouldn't get HSV-1 in your mouth, too (since you already have it elsewhere and your body built up the immunity).

However!...

If your girlfriend has an open sore/outbreak in her mouth, it would be a good idea to abstain from kissing, since it might be painful for her. She could engage in oral sex because technically you already have HSV-1 on your genitals, but again, it wouldn't be the best (or most comfortable) idea. You can still preform oral sex on her while she has an outbreak of course, and you can still have sex and be intimate in many other ways besides kissing. Overall, because you already have HSV-1, it is very unlikely that you would contract HSV-1 orally if she kissed you. Is it possible? Yes, of course it is, especially if she has a sore or prodrome symptoms.

I hope that all of this is helpful!!! Also, I am not a doctor or nurse so please consult your doctor for information. I am only a college student lol, so please consult more knowledgeable people!!!

Sending happiness and blessings to you and your girlfriend!🌄

 

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