Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

191 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Does having HSV-I gives immunity against HSV-II?

Answered by
Dr. Roopa Hiremath

Infectious Diseases Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 877 Questions

Posted on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: I am a female and have genital HSV-1. Do I have any immunity against contracting genital HSV-2?
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 31 minutes later
Brief Answer:
HSV1 immunity provides some protection for HSV2

Detailed Answer:

I want to elaborate on some properties of herpes viruses for you to understand better.

The outstanding property of herpes viruses is their ability to establish lifelong persistent infections in their hosts and to undergo periodic reactivation.

The reactivated infection may be less severe from the disease caused by the primary infection.

Herpes simplex viruses type 1 and type 2 share a significant number of common antigens and they establish latent infections in nerve cells and recurrences are common in such infections.

Because of the antigenic cross-reactivity between HSV-1 and HSV-2, an initial HSV-2 infection in a person already immune to HSV-1 tends to be less severe.

Mind you it is not complete protection.

I hope I have cleared your doubts.

Please let me know if I can assist you further.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Roopa Hiremath 8 hours later
Dear Dr. Hiremath,

Thank you for your answer. As I understand this, if I were to acquire HSV-2, my initial outbreak would be less severe because I have HSV-1 antibodies. My question is would my HSV-1 antibodies give me any protection from getting HSV-2 in the first place? And would the fact that I have HSV-1 in the genital area as opposed to oral HSV-1 make any difference in acquiring HSV-2? Thank you for your answer.
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
HSV1 antibodies will not protect from getting HSV2

Detailed Answer:

Welcome back.

HSV1 antibodies will not protect you 100% from getting HSV2 infection but they will make your initial outbreak less severe.

There is no difference in acquiring genital HSV2 even if you had genital HSV1.

HSV2 is sexually transmitted, so use necessary precautions with a partner whose sexual history is not known.

Experimental vaccines of various types are being developed and such vaccines might be helpful for the prevention of primary infections of HSV2.

These vaccines prevent genital herpes infections in women who are seronegative for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 but not effective in women who are seropositive for HSV-1 or in men.

I hope I have answered your query satisfactorily.

Please let me know if I can assist you further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Ashwin Bhandari

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,  
Medical Topics ,  

Recent questions on  Hsv2 infection

doctor1 MD

I have a question about a HSV ( IGG ) test I received. I have done some research online and I understand the false positives. My HSV 1 is 1.01 which falls right at the false positive range and is probably a negative test result. My HSV2 is 1.57...

doctor1 MD

I received a lab result 9 weeks past possible exposure to HSV. HSV 1 IGG Type Specific AB less than .90 HSV 2 IGG Type Specific AB less than .90 HSV1/2 AB (IGM), IFA W/RFL to Titer HSV 1 IGM Screen Negative HSV 2 IGM Scree Positive (with a Flag A)...

doctor1 MD

I gave a handjob 5 weeks ago, and some semen got on my lips. I was not touched. There was no oral sex . At 30 days I got all the tests. I have had hsv1 since I was a kid. But the IGG number came back at 39.90 About 2 years ago it was at 6...

doctor1 MD

hi i have questions about hsv2 and valacyclovir i had a couple outbreaks many years ago when my immune system was not so great because of street drug use. I have not taken valcyclovir since then and i had quit drugs shortly after that situation. i have not done drugs for many years and i have not had any hint of an outbreak for 5-6 years since i stopped taking the valcyclovir. I am assuming that my immune system is doing a good job at suppressing it. i realize that there may be shedding that i would not notice. My question is i am now taking valcyclovir daily for the relationship i am in, what do you think are the chances of unnoticeable shedding with the drug in my system consistently? how much should i take to get the greatest effect of reduction in shedding and how often do you think i would shed in the best case. remember that i do not ever have symptoms with no drugs to help.

doctor1 MD

yes i was diagnosed with herpes hsv2 in january of this year. a few weeks ago i went to the clinic for my annual pap and a physical. the clinic called back a few days later saying i will have to schedule to go in for more blood work because my blood work revealed i have a very low blood platlette count but that i am not anemic. what could this mean? also would this have anything to do with the headaches , loss of concentration and fatigue i have been feeling for the last few months.

doctor1 MD

I have recently been diagnosed with HSV2.. A few days after learning my diagnosis, I noticed a small sore on my scalp .. Not thinking I scratched it, and I thought it was just a patch of dandruff , which I sometimes get. After a few more days it grew to the size of a nickel.. And had a thick yellow crust on it, which I accidentally scraped off with my hair brush. Could this be herpes on my scalp?