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I have questions that have been eating at me

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So I recently found out by my doctor that I have HSV-1, cold sores. I've been in a monogamous relationship for about 6 years, neither of us were unfaithful. However, I didn't know too much about cold sores except that you can get it through sex, or sharing. My boyfriend was never as knowledgeable about this stuff as me, and he's shared food and utensils and stuff with people on many occasions. I think that's where he got it, and then he unknowingly gave it to me.


I've never had a breakout before, and neither has he.


We both have been looking up more about this since we found out, and I've never gotten clear answers.


I've been very paranoid about passing further HSV-1 along to him. I haven't kissed him since I found out, nor have I had sex. I'm worried that any cut on my lip or chapped lips is a cold sore, so I have become a bit OCD about washing my hands whenever I touch my lips, because I don't want to then touch him or myself and give him or me sores anywhere else, and likewise, I've been avoiding him ever since, and I know it's causing stress to both of us.


I heard if you both got HSV-1 from each other, you can't pass it along anymore (the same HSV-1 of the mouth?) So my question is, If you haven't broken out or shown any signs of HSV-1 outbreak, how likely is it that you can pass it?


Like, I know it's by saliva (from what I've read), but if I don't have any open cuts on me, and I have no outbreak, how likely is it that I can pass on my HSV to another part of my body?


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Hi! Oh wow, love your name!!!!! ! Between 50 and 80% of adults carry hsv1 orally, although some don’t know it. Most people have it. Just a little kiss from a friend or family member could do it! It’s possible you’ve had it for years and years, but never knew. The one thing I am stumped about though is- why did your doctor tell you that you have hsv1? Since you’ve had no outbreaks? Usually a blood test is only done when a patient is having symptoms. That’s the one part here that isn’t making sense to me. Anyway, you could have easily gotten it from a friend, and not your boyfriend, especially since he hasn’t had a cold sore either, so there is no reason to assume he has it. There is no evidence your boyfriend has it. And just because you have it, that does not mean he’s gotten it. Oral hsv1 can shed when you have no sore. Roughly 15% of the time, it’s shedding, and you can transmit the virus, sore or no sore. You do need to be careful when it comes to oral sex, as I’m sure you know. And never ever use saliva as lube.I wouldn’t worry too much about spreading it to other body parts, but for me personally, I’d be careful with things like towels and soap, just in case. But really I’d want to know more about your doctor and why/how he came to the conclusion that you have oral hsv in the first place!

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Thank you for the response. (And thank you!)


My doctor tested me as I specifically came to him to ask him to test me for all STD/STI's. I got my results back and I tested positive for HSV-1. All I know is, my BF looked back at his own records and saw he apparently tested positive for HSV-1 months ago, but his own doctor never told him, so it appears like he had it beforehand. Me, I'm not sure when I contracted it, but I know I've never had an outbreak (neither of us have), and as far as my medical history went, I cannot recall now if I've tested for it before.


All I know is, both me and my BF do have it. But if we both have the same HSV-1 oral herpes, even if it sheds without outbreak, is it okay to kiss? So far I've only risked a small peck with him because I'm scared anything more will lead to further harm...

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Ok, so you and your boyfriend are now part of the 50-80% of the population with oral hsv1. Can you imagine if 50-80% of the population suddenly stopped kissing? That would be a bit much! No, no harm can come from the two of you kissing. However, now both of you need to be aware that you have the potential to pass this to each other and future partners through oral sex. Better to know than not know. Since you both already have it orally, that may give you both *some* protection from contracting it genitally, but I wouldn’t couldn’t on it to protect you 100%. You know the risks (roughly 15%) so you can risk it, use dental damns and flavored condoms for oral sex, or you can refrain from oral sex. And for possible future partners, in my opinion disclosure before kissing is not necessary, because most people do already carry this virus, but I’d definitely disclose before any oral takes place, because they have the right to decide if that’s a risk they are willing to take. So go kiss that gorgeous guy of yours! It will be absolutely fine

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HSV1 is so common I feel like the odd one out for not having it. And I don't refrain from kissing people I know have it, either.


Yes, be careful giving oral because it can be passed to the genitals. Otherwise, just go about living your normal life because not much has changed.

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