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Questions about transmiting HSV 1 from genitals to mouth during oral sex


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I've been searching around but I can't find the question I am looking for.

 

I've read that 50-80% percent of sexually active people have HSV 1 orally, and a large percentage of those people are not aware that they even have it. This can cause HSV 1 to be transmitted to the genitals during oral sex. I have 2 questions.

 

1) During oral sex, can HSV 1 that are on the genitals be passed to the mouth of someone who does not have any type of herpes. 2) How likely is it that someone who is unaware and has HSV 1 orally can pass the virus to the genitals when no cold sores are present

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1) Yes, absolutely! It's the same risk anyone takes when kissing someone who gets cold sores (which 80% of Americans have).

 

2) If you look on our handy-dandy handouts here — http://eepurl.com/b4IPP — you'll see that 9-18% of the time, HSV-1 oral is asymptomatically shedding. That means the virus is transmissible without there being an outbreak. So that doesn't mean there is a 9-18% CHANCE of passing herpes orally to the genitals. And 50% of all new genital herpes cases are HSV-1 because people are unaware that cold sores can *magically* become genital herpes via oral sex. ;) My assumption with this is that most of those cases come from ignorance, from someone going down on someone else while having an active cold sore (which is a huuuuge no no!). So mathematically speaking, it's hard to give you a straight answer to your specific question. The important thing is to be careful, be transparent with intimate partners, but don't be paranoid. Paranoia kills all the fun parts of what intimacy brings us, and we don't want that, now do we? :)

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@johndoe

 

Hello and Welcome!

 

1) During oral sex, can HSV 1 that are on the genitals be passed to the mouth of someone who does not have any type of herpes.

 

Yes - it is possible... the "good" news is that the virus sheds less on the genitals than in the mouth area. And as you said, most people that you meet already have it orally.

 

2) How likely is it that someone who is unaware and has HSV 1 orally can pass the virus to the genitals when no cold sores are present

 

Well, 50% of all new cases of genital herpes is HSV1 from oral sex.... now I don't know the ratio of people having oral sex vs genital so I can't give you exact numbers but you can get the idea that it's a real possibility. That's why it's good to know both your status and your partners ... unfortunately most don't know their status and don't know they don't know it :(

 

@Adrial has a blog on this which may help you too

 

http://herpeslife.com/genital-hsv-1-herpes-and-oral-sex/

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Thanks for the answers! As far as I know, I do not have any herpes (never had an outbreak), and the new sexual partner I am going to have sex with also is unaware of having any herpes, and was tested for stds 5 months ago. My only fear is that either one of us has HSV 1 and is unaware, and can transmit the virus when we perform oral. I'm guessing that as long as there is no cold sores visible, it is a low risk.

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Uh - well... no. Most transmissions are from people who are asymptomatic.

 

If you are concerned, just go get a blood test for Herpes and you will know your status ... then you know if you need to take more care ...

 

If one of you is HSV1+, then that person needs to take extra care if they feel any irritation or minor cuts/sores and you don't perform on the other person if they have any irritation ... washing right after won't hurt either ....

 

BTW, odds are if your partner was tested for STD's they didn't test for Herpes ... you usually have to ASK for the test :/

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