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question regarding herpes transmission (genital HSV-1)

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Hey there,


New here as I found out today(!) that I have genital hsv 1. First thought was the typical freakout thoughts, but after reading alot of information online I am feeling a bit better about the situation. I am very glad to hear that I have the "best possible" kind of herpes. Considering my strong immune system and the infrequency of ghsv 1 recurrences, I am hopeful that I can manage this disease without a huge change to my daily life. I know it's going to take some getting used to, and it really does suck... but after hearing that the pain im in right now (3 on a scale of 1 to 10, pretty mild initial ob) plus the flu-like week I just concluded is probably the worst of it, I am quite optimistic. I am assuming I contracted the disease through receiving oral sex and feel pretty upset with myself. As a 20 year old college student, I am pretty sexually active. I have a question or two regarding transmission and ways to keep those who I have sexual encounters with safe.


I know that I should not engage in any sexual activity while having an outbreak, and that I should use condoms when I am "clean," I was wondering about oral sex in the future. Should I refrain from receiving it even when not having an outbreak? I can't seem to find the answer to this question anywhere online.


It seems like genital hsv1 is not very transmissive for g to g contact due to the virus' inability to function below the belt, and that would lead me to believe that using a condom when not having an outbreak is about as safe as it can get, but considering it is the oral strain, I don't want to be potentially passing the virus to anyone who I engage in oral sex with.


Really glad I found this forum, especially before I had a chance to fully freakout, as it has definitely given me optimism and confidence about the future!



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Genital HSV1 is among the fastest growing STD's in America. You're far from alone, don't sweat it, don't beat yourself up too much. Your HS health teacher probably didn't cover it; I know mine didn't and most of ours on this forum didn't.


Yeah, you probably got it from a boyfriend who went downtown. Happens.


Condoms are a must, period. Until you're in a monogamous, both been tested for everything, well, put the Trojans to work.


Your lovers can contract HSV1 orally/genitally from you if they don't have it already. Most people have it by college, or get it in college. It's just the way it is, and by the time you hit your 40's, about 80% of America has HSV1.


That said, HSV1 genital will shed far less frequently than HSV2 genital. Your transmission risk to a partner who doesn't already have it will be much less, but not nonexistent. So, ask your partners if they get cold sores. If they do, well, bon appetit. If they don't, you're going to have to have a talk with them and explain things.


Also, remember right now your infection is brand new. You probably have it orally as well. I say that because most below the belt sessions begin with a nice make out session first to get the motor running. If your partner transferred it to you genitally, you've probably got it orally, too.



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First, Welcome!


Herry covered most of the bases...as it were.... :p


The one thing I think needs emphasis is that you should have a conversation with anyone BEFORE you have sex about your status. As Herry says, if they have HSV1 already (aka Cold Sores) then you are fine BUT make sure you still use condoms unless you have SEEN their STD test results.


The reason I say this is that many people just accept a person's word about this and the other person either has lied or not known that they have not been tested for ALL STD's (most STD tests only include Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and HIV.) OR they have Herpes and think it's ok to have sex if they are not having an outbreak. Given you don't have HSV2, this is useful for you to know.


Now, as you pointed out, you are a College student and many young people get very sexually active when they get their "freedom".... so even with relatively recent tests, you may want to use condoms until you know you are 100% monogamous and you both re-test after 6 months if there is any chance that either of you have had unprotected sex in the recent past.


Also, you really need to make sure they know you have herpes. As you said, you have HSV1 (and I promise you there will be a LOT of people on campus getting HSV1 genital because somehow there is the belief that oral sex is "safe" :( ) so you can explain that the cold sores that others get is what you have down there. They need to understand that there is a SMALL chance you could have asymptomatic shedding even without an outbreak. (3-5% for HSV1 ... HSV2 genital sheds 15-30% of the time)) Adrial has created some great handouts that you can use to explain the situation to a potential partner.






Disclosure e-book:



There are supressive medications that can reduce your risk of shedding even further. (50% reduction in risk). And the F2C female condom actually covers more area than a regular condom (and supposedly doesn't reduce sensitivity for either of you). As people can attest here, you CAN pass on/obtain Herpes (and HPV for that matter) with a condom on.


In the end, although it is a bit of a buzzkill, this is a great lesson in making sure you are careful about your sexual partners.... that you take care of YOU by having "the talk" and making sure that you KNOW your partner's STD status while making sure they understand your status. It may sound crazy but I tell people that Herpes can become your Wing-man - the way a person reacts to your disclosure will tell you a LOT about them... and you may well find that you manage to keep from having sex with someone that you would REALLY regret later.


I've had H for 35 years - since I was about 17. I've been married, had kids, divorced and had 2 other relationships with H- men. It's not the end of the world.... but it IS a wake-up call for taking care of your sexual health.... ;)




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Welcome to the forum.

I want to say that using a condom is a must ! Even without having an outbreak you can still shed. HSV-1 and 2 both shed and you can pass it on without having an outbreak. Until you are with your partner for a long time like they said. && you are in a monogomous relationship.. I am pretty sure you can still have oral sex, but its more likely of a transmition than HSV-2.


Of course you want to be open with anyone you have sex with, because it is likely to pass on due to the shedding. I am a big believer in condoms (( now)). Lol.


You have HSV-1 down below, you can definitely pass it on to someone else.


(: Plus on top of that like she said Herpes can become your friend. You can cancel out the people that want to use you.


I am also 20 years old. Not in college or anything, but I am a sexually active girl.. Not right now, because I want to wait a while to make sure my boyfriend can be as safe as possible.. So I know how you feel. I have HSV-2.


Just learn to take care of yourself and learn to listen to your body, it tends to tell you a lot of things that a lot of times we just don't listen to.

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