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Genital Herpes (1 or 2) transmission rates to Oral region

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I am gshv1 positive, and my partner cannot get a conclusive test as they've never had an outbreak (tests are$200 and we're quite young so... for a test that is what they called a nebula test (ie broad and not very conclusive) we can't really afford that as it may not even be a peace of mind in reality).

My big query is if there is any research or evidence of people getting it orally from genital contact.

I can safely assume that this DOES happen, especially for cases of ghsv1 as it prefers the mouth but... I can't find the evidence which I was looking for.


Basically I was asked if he can give oral and what are the risks?



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Well, first, there ARE conclusive tests - the Western Blot is about $250 and it's the Gold Standard of Herpes testing ... most tests look for 1 or 2 proteins, WB looks for 14. Westover Heights does phone consults for $5/minute ... so that would maybe put you back $300 total but you wold have an answer.


And not sure what the hell your Dr means by "nebula test" as the regular tests are NOT "broad" and for most they ARE conclusive.... if you are going to a regular GP I strongly suggest you get to an OBGYN or some place like Planned Parenthood as they will know a LOT more about Herpes testing than your GP/FP/NP....


As for stats... no - to my knowledge there are no stats but this may help you to get some reality around it:


80%of people have HSV1 orally or genitally


HSV1 genitally sheds about 1/3 as much as HSV1 orally - so it spreads a lot more from mouth to genitals than the other way around.


The experts are now saying that they are not sure if HSV1 spreads when on the genitals... and while they are meaning to another's genitals, the fact is that with the lower shedding rates the risk will just plain be lower.


I'd look into the WB if you can afford it (and maybe you can talk to them about either payments, or see if they will take Care Credit (look it up) so you can spread the payments out ... because if he has it, well, you have no worries about having oral sex, so it's really worth knowing :)



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Well I DID go to planned parenthood, she said it was about 20% chance it could come up as a false negative and that we wouldn't find out if it was type 1 or 2... I got tested on site for type one, as well as tests to see if i had 2 as well in the UK, but now i'm in Canada and it's quite complicated here!

I remember someone on the forums - one of the moderators maybe? Also from Canada who knew a bit more.

Ugh it's all rather confusing and such!

I don't think either of us are capable of $300 to find that out. If he makes the decision not to get tested then I'm underlying the fact that I am taking around the same risk as he is statistically (i mean pretty damn close).

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@strongsmartimportant I'm not sure where in Canada you are but if by chance it's Calgary, let me know and I can give you the exact dr to see!!! If not, the best chance you have of getting a test is to go to an STI clinic and book an appt with a DR (typically they are infectious disease docs). The nurses do MOST of the testing and they will refuse to give you an HSV test (I called numerous places and went to a few clinics and none of them would test unless they were swabbing a sore). The DR I saw after getting my swab was amazing... he prescribed suppressive therapy and was extremely informative and supportive. He even asked for the link to this site when I told him that it was a great resource. When I started dating my H- man, I wanted to know if he had H for the same reason as most.... if he already had it, I wouldn't have to worry so much :). The DR understood this and told me about friends and colleagues who have had the same challenges when they got herpes. He told me to bring my boyfriend in and he would test him for me! It took a lot of inquiries and some pushing as well as finding a DR with some real life intelligence. In Canada, the nurses are trained to follow the protocols (as are many DR's) and unfortunately, here they do not and generally will NOT test for hsv. I understand why... in a way because most people have it and there is nothing they can do to cure it so if you have no symptoms, they are not motivated to worry about it. That said.... its an emotional motivation as much as a physical to want to KNOW. Good luck, let us know if you find success!

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Canada does a combined 1 and 2 blood test under free health care. This is am ELISA test. If you are hsv1 positive there is a 10% rate of a false negative. Generally if you are negative once under Elisa you will always be negative. It is more accurate for hsv2


The immunoblot test can be purchased. Last year t cost me $140. It is an igg test. You ask your doctor and you pay $140 at the lab and they ship it to Quebec to process. You get your results in a few weeks. It does not give you am igg score just positive or negative. Again, more reliable for hav2 than 1.


If you are concerned about hsv1, the best bet is to contact westover heights and do a western blot. You will likely have to travel to the states to do it. No doctor (and I have seen plenty) know anything about this in Canada and nor did they care.


I have no idea what ur dr is talking about nebula test. That is absolutely insane. Dr are not very educated here about h and I can tell you doctors really discourage blood tests.


IMO your best bet is to do the immunoblot. I believe Gamma Dynacare does provide the test.



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Sti clinics do not provide blood tests and most say that on their websites. It's insanity.


Go to a walk in and sometimes you get a compassionate dr


Good luck. You just have to be aggressive. And even sometimes it doesn't help.


Btw I am oral and genital hsv1 positive (not yet confirmed by swabs) but I har never transferred it to anyone I know of. I have had plenty of oral sex in the last year and half. I you don't have an ob I would say oral sex is pretty safe. Ghsv1 sheds very little outside of ob.

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It WAS Dr and she was reasonably informed, but from what I understood there weren't many options available.

I live in Ontario at the moment so I'm not sure if you'd be up for asking your Dr if he knows anyone in the Ontario region (I live near Toronto) that would be useful?

Long shot but, as you know, worth an ask! @fitgirl

I believe she may have meant the Immunoblot for the one that doesn't let you know if it's 1 or 2.


So drive to USA and pay for that stuff for piece of mind? Man I work just above minimum wage in retail and can't afford to do all this stuff, neither can he as he JUST recovered from being laid off at his last job (working again yay).


I mean it's not as easy for many as, hell what if it doesn't even work out for reasons outside of hsv?

I'm taking the road and attitude of... hey I'M at risk too, because he could have hsv2, hpv, and many others that are difficult and not tested for.


But original question at hand, what of the statistics for genital to oral transmission rates? If anyone has a link with information (not that incredibly long video, i'm currently working 2 jobs to make ends meet as it is and one is a 2 hour round trip from home, I can't really sift through an hour long video) it'd be greatly appreciated.

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IMO ur dr isn't well informed.


Immunoblot is type specific and igg test but u have to pay $140.


ELISA you don't pay for and is not type specific. Is a worthless test IMO


No transmission rates exist from genital to oral as the medical community's opinion is ghsv1 sheds very little. 80 percent of population has it orally. He can get it from kissig a girl. Honestly if I were him I wouldn't worry too much about it.


You can pm me if you want. I can try to help further if u like.



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@strongsmartimportant there IS a blood test "available" if they are prepared to give it. It will tell you if you have 1 or 2, it just won't tell you where you have it. All that said, @whitedaisies is right (as are you!) the reality there is "some risk" but really..... isn't there always? He is way more likely to get oral hsv1 from 80% of the population than he is getting it from you! I wouldn't worry about getting him tested, just be conscientious of you OB's and you can take suppressive meds to protect him further. The risk would be extremely low with condom use and suppressive meds. Sometimes our desire to know, clouds our thought process, as long as he understands the very small risk and you do everything you can to keep him safe, there is really no need for the test especially if you can't afford it :)

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Thanks guys!

I have yet to post my success of disclosure story but will put it up soon as i remember you helped me a lot with that @fitgirl :D

Actually it was mainly everyone who replied to this who helped!

Such rad ladies!!!

I might actually show him this chat tbh. I think i'm more fussed than he is about it all... but then i got something being extremely 'sex smart'. It can happen to anyone!


I feel like this forum has really helped me grow to understand everything!

If only Opportunity week wasn't at the busiest time of year for work ahaha. Next time!


Thanks guys! When I get a GP (just moved to Ontario) I'll see if I could maybe get a referral!

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@strongsmartimportant your success in this relationship is YOUR accomplishment and goes to show that if you believe in your own value, others will see it too. I am very happy to hear your man is one of the good ones, with positive energy and confidence we attract people who are the same. herpes is just herpes. It is one small component of your life and does not define you any more than your haircut or style of clothing. minor details really...... love and authentic connection will over come all the small stuff. He will love you if you have herpes just as much as he will love you if you have a bad hair day :)


for those that look for so much more than a superficial relationship, herpes is merely a minor inconvenience. I look forward to hearing about the disclosure!

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  • 6 years later...

@fitgirl Hey! I'll be moving back to Canada from the UK and living in Calgary this winter. I think that I may have recently contacted HSV and I'm looking for a good doctor in the city that is understanding and compassionate around this issue. Please send me some info. Much appreciated! 🙏

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