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HSV 1 no symptoms/ transmission rates

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Hi so I was diagnosed with hsv 1 since my igg came back positive. Not put on medicine and never had an outbreak, not really sure how/ when I got it either. I’m just so confused on the transmission rates i’ll see percentages but it is usually for genital herpes. I’m also taking lysine vitamin c just to make sure I don’t get one. I have a boyfriend that knows I have this but i’m afraid to give him oral since we have unprotected sex. Does viral shedding occur daily, monthly, yearly? How can I make the transmission rate as low as possible? 

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Over 50% of the population has HSV-1 and most people do not have symptoms. If you have never had symptoms, I don't think you should allow this to significantly impact your life. Thinking about it too much can drive you crazy. There is a risk of transmission, but it is quite low. So much of the population has HSV-1 and does not know about it, chances are, your boyfriend has been with others who are also asymptomatic carriers (and he may even be one himself - you don't indicate if he has been tested or if he has ever had cold sores). 

My husband tested positive for HSV-1 and has never had cold sores or genital symptoms. He was tested at the beginning of our relationship because I have HSV-2, and that is the only reason he knows about his status at all.

There is a risk of viral shedding even if you don't have symptoms, but oral HSV-1 is most contagious when you have an actual cold sore or symptoms (tingling, itching, burning). 

Also, the IgG test for HSV-1 is not as sensitive as the IgG test for HSV-2. So, while a positive result is very reliable, the test misses HSV-1 infections up to 30% of the time. This means that if your boyfriend was also tested and was negative, it is not a guarantee that he does not have the virus. I don't think it is necessary, but if it is a major concern for you, he could get the Western Blot, which is the most sensitive test for HSV-1, but it is expensive and only performed at the University of Washington, so getting tested takes a little more work (you can have a blood sample shipped there). 



My username is "tiredandlonely" because I joined back when I was first diagnosed and I don't know how to change it now. I'm not tired and lonely anymore. Still tired sometimes though 🙂

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