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I have genital hsv1. I have read other posts on here about  the stigma around ghsv1. People typically don’t freak out about oral hsv1, but as soon as it’s in the genitals, people freak. I’ve considered telling potential partners I have oral hsv1 thinking they will panic less. Is that an unethical thing to do ? I’m still unclear on the risks of spreading ghsv1 from genital to genital contact. Please help. Thank you. 

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Hello @Starshine42and welcome!

How were you diagnosed with genital HSV 1? By blood test or by swab? For how long have you been infected? How often do you have outbreaks? 

I agree with you that stigma attached to genital herpes is totally unfair but you have ethical obligation to inform your potential partners that you have genital herpes. Good news for you: lot of people have HSV 1 orally and once infection is established it's almost immpossible for them to get genital HSV 1. There are lot of ways how to disclose to potential partners, you can find topics about disclosure on this forum and see what works for you. 

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Thanks for the reply.  I was diagnosed by swab and blood test almost five years ago. I have only had one outbreak thst I am aware of. Any time I get any sort of redness or irritation down below I freak out that it’s an outbreak but each time I’ve been to doctor, they assure me it’s not. My blood shows it’s ab old infection. That’s partly why it’s so frustrating ….I have literally had one outbreak ever!  Being infected was def one of the worst things, if not the worst, that’s ever happened to me. I am so hesitant to date for fear of rejection. Who is going to want me ??? Also, off topic, what does everyone think about valtrex for ghsv1? I don’t take it but maybe it would put potential partners more at ease if I did. Doesn’t suppressive therapy with valtrex significantly lower the transmission risk ? And again …I was under the impression that ghsv1 is harder to spread with genital intercourse…is this correct ?  Thank you. 

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Lot of people who have genital HSV 1 infection have only one outbreak or seldom outbreaks because HSV 1 doesn't prefer genital area. Of course you can take antivirals and lot of people use antivirals while in relationship in order to reduce chances to infect their partner. 

As I said before once someone has established HSV location in one location it is almost impossible to be infected on other location so if your partner has history of cold sores it would be exremely unlikely to infect him genitally. Caution is needed if your partner is immunocompromised.

I can assure you that you can have totally normal sexual life and that lot of people will accept your diagnosis and will be interested in realationship with you especially if you educate them about transmission rates etc. 

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