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I got HSV-1 genital herpes - how likely that it was passed genital to genital?

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I just found out that I have hsv-1 genital herpes. I started getting symptoms two days after my partner and I had intercourse. Because of that, my doctor believed I got it from him. However, he and I have never had oral sex. What is the likelihood that he passed onto me hsv-1 genital to genital? I thought this was very unlikely.

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Hey DB17!


It's all a numbers game. 3-5% of the time, genital HSV-1 sheds virus. That is way lower than genital HSV-2, yes (15-30%), but there is always a chance. There is also the chance that you have had genital HSV-1 for a longer time and it was just in remission. It took 5 years for me to have my first herpes outbreak! It's unfortunately very hard to get definitive proof of where you got herpes and when. You can use deductive reasoning for most of it, but there's nothing definitive to trace it back to the original partner.

This content 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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Thanks for the response. I've only had oral sex once and that was almost nine years ago and the guy had no visible cold sores at the time. I guess I may have had it since then. My partner tested negative via blood test after my positive culture. I will feel horrible if I gave this to him since I had started experiencing symptoms of an outbreak the last time we had intercourse.


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