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Oral HSV-1 and relationships

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Hi all, after contracting oral HSV-1 about 3 months ago for the first time, i had a terrible first outbreak and since then ive had 4 more outbreaks :( I have managed to somewhat mitigate the later sores with the use of Famvir and all the different tropical creams i can find (mixed together...) I get small blisters and a red patch that lasts for 7-10 days then 1-7 days later another starts to come up. Even though the sores are terribly embarrassing in normal day to day life and cause me much stress, which in turn assists the virus (the double edge sword of cold sores) I am most worried about my future romantic life. It seems that basically now, in my early twenties ive had my last kiss, let alone any sex ever again. Since I know the disease can be passed without a visible outbreak (the way i contracted it) i dont see how i could ever have a relationship without telling someone they are at risk, and how i could have this conversation without at least a first kiss! I realize there are other alternatives such as dating sites, but these all seem to be rigged at genital herpes sufferers, and while i understand the disease isn't as bad as the social stigma suggests i would rather not get genital herpes as well! Ive heard the supposed facts about 80-90% of the population being infected, but personally i think thats total crap, i have seen one other cold sore in my life! maybe by the end of your life, or the quote i keep reading is 'have been exposed to' or 'have antibodies' does this mean they have the virus and there body can fight it off leaving it dormant, effectively meaning even though they have the virus they just never get outbreaks and therefore a relationship with an infected person would put them at no risk of outbreaks? I have also read that the primary infection doesnt always cause an outbreak but a secondary infection (i.e. me) could cause one? I dont want to be with a girl when i dont have an outbreak, be shedding and find out in a couple of weeks she has it... I also fear that i might give it to my friends or family during normal sharing or drinks tasting foods etc, i also dont want to have to constantly remind people i have the virus. Rightly or wrongly, this is always on my mind and i dont know how to overcome it, people say there is no stigma with cold sores, i totally disagree. It may not be as bad a genital herpes but with levels of education increasing and the STI scare campaigns we are given at school, everybody, at least everybody i know, knows that cold sores are herpes, that you have it for life and that it can be spread to the genitals. I cant imagine anyone who hasnt had a cold sore, i consider this to be the vast majority of people i have potential of dating, would be willing to risk getting one before things got serious. I am a very affectionate person who loves to kiss and right now dont know what to do, I dont mean this to be a sob story or to complain as i know there are a lot of people out there way worse off than me, i just wanted to tell my story and hear some responses to my questions. thanks in advance!

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Well, the truth is that stat is totally correct: 80% of Americans aged 14-49 have oral HSV-1 living in their bodies. That means you're in the overwhelming majority. There was a great discussion around this on these forums a while back ... since the majority of people have oral cold sores, then where does the responsibility lie? With the 80% who have it or the 20% who don't want to get it? It's the hiding that makes it seem that nobody else has oral herpes. And outbreaks only happen every once in a while. And hey, read up on the basics of the virus, bro. Most of your fears are solved by reading up on how the virus actually is passed. You can't pass it except by skin-to-skin contact with the infected area on your lip. 9-18% of the time in between outbreaks is when the virus will be shedding on the lips. Here's a blog article on that:


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