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New to all of this and have some questions

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I tested positive for HSV-1 antibodies in 2015.  I believe I got it from a past boyfriend in 2013 who had cold sores but back then I didn't know much about anything.  Over the last 6 months, I have been having small papercut like cuts on my perineum and I was instructed by a doctor to just keep putting hydrocortisone on them so they would heal.  It didn't occur to me that they would be herpes because I've never had an outbreak, ever.  About 2 weeks ago, I started getting bigger cuts and small blisters in the same area and finally got them tested and it was positive for HSV-1.   I am now on a 15 day cycle of Valtrex and everything seems to be healing good but I still have pain as the new skin heals.  I just had a few questions.

If my cuts that I've had over the last 6 months were herpes and I didn't realize it, I'm assuming there is a chance that my boyfriend of 4 years could have HSV-1 orally now?

Should we wear condoms every single time we have intercourse now and is having oral sex still an option?

Since I have genital HSV-1, is it still spread through my saliva?

Is it weird that it took 7 years for my first outbreak to happen?

My doctors prescribed me 3 refills of Valtrex ( twice daily for 3 days).  Is it better to take them everyday or just when you think you're about to have an outbreak.

Thank you to whoever can answer my questions.  It's been a stressful two weeks.

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I hope you are well!

Thanks for sharing your story with us. 

You might be feeling so many emotions right now, but please know that everything is going to be okay ❤️ 

First, have you ever had an outbreak orally or is this the first time you've even seen an outbreak overall (including oral outbreaks)?

Delayed Outbreak:  It is possible for herpes to remain dormant inside the body for years and then appear. It is also possible you have had an outbreak before but did not notice them or mistook them for an ingrown hair or something else. Also, the cuts you explained have been explained before on this site! Some people with experience cuts as their outbreaks. This sounds like it could be a primary outbreak, as well. Your future outbreaks (should you have them) shouldn't be this severe. 

Saliva & GHSV-1:  Just because you have genital HSV-1, it does NOT automatically mean you have herpes orally and it doesn't mean it is in your saliva.

Safe Intimacy:  It is possible that you passed it to your boyfriend, as it seems you may have been virally shedding prior to your outbreak. Has he had any symptoms since? Also, does he ever get cold sores? If so, he has HSV-1 antibodies, which is good and can help possibly lower the risk of him contracting it elsewhere since he has antibodies for it.  Contracting GHSV-1 from someone with it is low in general because it is the generally less aggressive strain of HSV. To put things in perspective:  The risk of a woman (or person with a vagina) passing HSV-2 to a man (or person with a penis) is about 4%; this risk drops to 2% with the use of condoms OR suppressive medication and drops to 1% with the use of condoms AND suppressive medication. Because Type 1 has lower transmission rates in general, those numbers for GHSV-1 would be even lower! 

Your Options:  You can either use protection (internal or external condoms), suppressive medication, both, or neither; it's really up to you and your partner. Regardless, it's best to avoid intimacy when you have prodrome symptoms (symptoms you feel right before your outbreak like tingling, itching, or perhaps those tiny cuts you explained) and/or when you have open sores. It's best not to continue intimacy until being about 8 days symptom-free 🙂. I have GHSV-1 and I have only had about 3-4 outbreaks. I do not take suppressive medication because my outbreaks are so infrequent. 

Have you been to an OBGYN to have everything checked out? They may be able to support and explain better about the cuts and the process than a general medical doctor. 

I hope this helps! Stay strong and be kind to yourself. We are here for you! Reach out if you have any more questions! 🙂❤️ 

Sending blessings and prayers your way! ❤️ 



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Hello Grace,

Thank you for the response. I have never had any cold sores or symptoms genitally before that I know of.  I do get chronic Bacterial Vaginosis and reoccuring UTI's alot but thats about it.  My boyfriend does not have symptoms what so ever.  

I first went to a obgyn to get tested and she prescribed me the Valtrex for 15 days and some lidocaine with hydrocortisone in it.  Other than that I've only spoken to my primary care provider who is a nurse practitioner. 

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Thanks for the clarification! The BV and the UTIs can definitely also cause the cuts. Bacterial yeast can irritate the skin and cause cuts as well. It is possible that you had both an infection and an outbreak simultaneously, too! Sometimes stress from another illness can trigger an outbreak, or just by chance you happened to have both. Or, this could have been a really prolonged primary outbreak that started with the cuts. Did your OBGYN or Primary offer any hypotheses about that? 

I hope you are feeling better! 🙂❤️ 


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No they didn't.  They just told me to complete the 15 days of Valtrex and if I start having reoccurring outbreaks, to take the Valtrex for 3 days.   My primary did say that it was really weird that it took 7 years for my first outbreak and that the cuts could have been the start of them but my body was fighting it off for so long. 

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