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Partner has oral HSV-1, I have genital HSV-1. Is it possible for me to give him genital HSV-1?

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My new sex partner and I discussed the fact that we both have hsv-1. He has it orally and I have it genitally. I recently had an outbreak-- sores healed pretty quickly and I waited until 7 days after the sores had healed to have sex with him again. I even went to the OBGYN the day before we had sex and he said he didn't see any active lesions/sores or anything. However, (and I think I'm overthinking lol) when I looked at my vagina the next day, I saw a raised reddish area that was tender. No open skin/sores, but just raised and tender skin near the opening of my vagina. That kinda made me fearful that my outbreak didn't actually end and I had just had sex during an active outbreak. Upon realizing this, I was a little worried, but my research tells me that because my partner has oral HSV-1, he's extremely unlikely to be "re-infected" in his genitals (even if my viral load was relatively high when we had sex). I just wanted to ask the community if this rings true to what you all know about herpes and/or your experience with herpes?

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I hope you are well!

Your situation is common among so many folks; they have a type of HSV and so does their partner, but in different locations. Please know that yes, you should both be safe! 🙂 It's great that you make sure you weren't having an outbreak and waited 7 days after the sores healed before being intimate, and that you even went to the OBGYN to make sure you did not have sores! That really shows you care about your partner! How lucky he is to have you! 🙂 

Because the body has built up antibodies to the HSV strain it has, it helps prevent us from reinfecting ourselves or a partner who already has the same strain. Is it hypothetically possible to contract it anyways, sure! But it would really take some effort (like, licking a bunch of open sores (but why would you do that in the first place?)), or the skin would have to have an opening (a cut for example).

If someone has not yet reached a high enough count of IgG antibodies (which usually takes about 12 weeks), it is possible they can contract it elsewhere. If someone is on an immunosupressive drug or has an autoimmune illness, they are also more at risk for contracting the same infection elsewhere on their body because their body is either not able to produce/keep the antibodies.

However, for the most part, and in your situation, things should be all well and good 🙂 

Of course, if he notices symptoms on his genital area, he should get it checked out. 

I hope this helps!


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