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Sex life when both are genital HSV 1 positive?

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Hi there, I've searched through a heap of existing threads and can't quite find the answer to my question but apologies if I just haven't been looking closely enough.

Both my partner and I are positive for genital HSV1 and I have a couple of questions regarding our future sex lives (with each other):

1 - do we need to take precautions/protection when having oral and/or intercourse? - regardless of whether either of us is having an outbreak....or should we still abstain if we're having an outbreak?

2 - if we give or receive oral sex are we at risk of transmitting it to our mouths?

3 - are there other precautions or warnings we should be aware of?

Please note we are both positive with genital HSV 1 and we both are fully aware.

Many thanks in advance. 


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If you and your partner have hsv1 then I don't believe you have to take any precautions because you already a have the virus and the antibodies in your system.  That being said, I believe that if you are having an actual outbreak, I would still steer clear because if you touch a sore on your genitals and then touch your mouth or other parts of your body, it could spread that way.  

The longer that you have had HSV1, the longer your immune system has had to create antibodies to fight against it which in the long run helps you from spreading it to other parts of your body. 

Hopefully someone else chimes in and helps out a little more on the other questions. 

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Hey there @Min64!

First of all, kudos to you for reaching out and seeking clarity on this topic. It's important to have open discussions and make informed decisions about your sexual health. So, let's dive into your questions:

1. When it comes to having oral and/or intercourse with each other, the good news is that both of you already have genital HSV1 and the antibodies in your system. This means that the risk of reinfection or transmission between the two of you is quite low. However, it's still a good idea to avoid sexual contact during an actual outbreak. As @AlliKat12 mentioned, touching a sore and then touching other parts of your body can potentially spread the virus, especially within the first year of having herpes since your body hasn't had enough time to get it under control. So, a little break during an outbreak is a wise move.

2. As for oral sex, the risk of transmitting HSV1 to your mouths is generally minimal when you already have the same strain genitally. The presence of antibodies in your system offers some protection. However, it's important to note that there is still a very slight possibility of transmission, especially if either of you has an active outbreak. But ironically, since genital HSV-1 sheds way less than oral HSV-1, your risk of spreading it orally is much less than kissing someone with a history of cold sores (basically a euphemism for oral HSV-1). More data breakdown in the free handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

3. Alongside the precautions mentioned, it's always helpful to maintain good overall health and manage stress levels. A healthy immune system can play a role in managing herpes and reducing the frequency of outbreaks. Additionally, open communication and ongoing support for each other are key. Remember, having a shared understanding of your diagnosis and supporting one another emotionally can make a significant difference in navigating this journey together.

I hope this helps shed some light on your questions! And as always, keep in mind that everyone's experience with herpes can vary, so it's essential to listen to your bodies, stay informed, and adapt based on your unique circumstances. Wishing you both the best as you continue to explore your sex lives while being mindful of your health. You've got this!

  • Thanks 1

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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  • mr_hopp changed the title to Sex life when both are genital HSV 1 positive?

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