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Questions about HSV-1 from non-infected person

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Hi everyone,


I am a straight man who is not (to my knowledge) HSV positive. I have a potential partner who has disclosed to me that she has genital HSV 1, and as its not a topic I know much about I'm trying to do some research so that I can make informed sexual decisions. I've been able to get good general knowledge through my own research but there are a few things I can't seem to track down a conclusive answer for.


1) She is confirmed to have genital HSV 1 and had an outbreak. Does this mean she cannot have oral hsv1? If she never shows oral symptoms is there any way to know for sure that she does not?

2) Assuming she does not have oral hsv, is there any possible transmission risk from her giving me oral sex?

3) Can oral HSV be transmitted by kissing?


Finally, I have never had any symptoms and always practiced safe sex, but I have had quite a few partners. One thing I have learned through research is that its possible I could be infected despite never showing symptoms. I'm planning on getting tested. If I were to test positive for HSV1 through blood test would that mean I'm immune to any additional infection from her, or is there still a risk?

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Hi there!


I also have HSV1 genitally so I know a bit about this topic.


1. Unfortunately there is no way to know for sure she doesn't have oral HSV1 unless she has an outbreak. But consider this - the world health organization says two thirds of the world's population has HSV1. Two-thirds!! A large portion of those with oral HSV1 never have cold sores and thus don't know. Chances are high you've had oral sex from someone with it whether they knew they had it or not. There's a huge lack of education around HSV with so many people not knowing it's herpes and/or not knowing it can transmit in the absence of symptoms


2. If she does not have it orally there is no risk. But again, see above


3. Oral HSV can be transmitted via kissing. But again - 2/3 of the world's population carries it so chances are that you have kissed many people with it. And since a lot are asymptomatic you could carry it already and not know


If you test positive via blood test that would mean you carry the virus - impossible to know where with out symptoms. Most likely oral but again unless you have symptoms that's not 100%. If you carry it orally, while not 100% fool proof, you would have a large amount of protection from contracting it genitally.


Also, something to think about is if you give her oral sex, you are no more at risk than kissing someone with a history of cold sores. You are actually at less risk because genital HSV1 sheds much less than oral HSV1.


I'm glad you're educating yourself and getting tested! Feel free to ask if you have anymore questions!

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Welcome, @Lostnumber. @ash2018 did a fabulous job of answering your questions so I don't have more to add except that I answered your last question just the other day in this post: https://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/9369/fact-checking#latest


I also wanted to say **thank you** for seeking out information on the topic of HSV instead of making assumptions or ignoring the topic entirely. Moments like these restore my faith in humanity. :)


p.s. You didn't mention your age, but you might find this infographic interesting: http://projectaccept.org/who-gets-hsv/

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