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What causes HSV1 and how can its transmission be prevented?

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Practicing since : 2000
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Hello, I just did a full lab test for STD and it came back negative in everything except oral hsv 1. I have read so much material online and I am still lost on what to do. Is it XXXXXXX disease? How do I protect my partner from getting it from me? Is it possible for hsv 1 to turn into hsv 2? Or oral hsv 1 becomes genital hsv 1? I truly need guidance and help with this since I am so concern and worried. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Posted Tue, 4 Mar 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Saul Weinreb 40 minutes later
Brief Answer: Topical acyclovir Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for using HCM, I would love to help you. Oral HSV 1 is extremely common, and is the most common cause of cold sores in the mouth. In the US, close to 80% of the population has been exposed to HSV 1. The good news is that it is not XXXXXXX though it can cause painful sites occasionally. It varies, as some people may have outbreaks often, while others could go for years without an outbreak. If you have been together with your partner for a long time, then it is most provable that you both have it, and there may not be a reason to try to prevent transmission. The best thing would be to have your partner tested with a blood test for HSV 1 antibodies. If he tests positive, then you both have it and do not need to worry about transmission anymore, if he tests negative, then you can use condoms when having oral sex, and take pills for heroes such as valtrex to help reduce the risk of transmission, and avoid sex when the outbreak is active. HSV 1 cannot become HSV 2, however even HSV 1 can be transmitted to the genitalia. If you have an outbreak, you can use topical acyclovir, or pills to help get this of the sores. if they are frequent, some people take the pills every day to prevent outbreaks. You should talk to your doctor about these options to decide what is right for you. I hope this was helpful, please let me know if you have any more questions.
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Follow-up: What causes HSV1 and how can its transmission be prevented? 32 minutes later
Thank you so much Doctor for the information. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. I am actually He and my partner is She and my name is XXXXXXX I have more questions if you don't mind. What causes hsv 1? Is there a way to know how I got it or when? Would I be able to hug people or kiss relative in general when there is no break out, or I am prohibited from that all time? For me and my GF, would we be able to do oral sex, or that could transmit the hsv 1 to genitals? Thank you again for your help and for helping me deal with this. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Saul Weinreb 26 minutes later
Brief Answer: No problem, I will explain Detailed Answer: Sorry I got the "he" and "she" wrong. HSV 1 is a type of herpes virus. Unfortunately, it would be impossible to find out where you got it from, and it is even possible that you got it as a child from kissing a relative, or other contact with body fluids. Unless you had a known negative test for HSV 1 in the past, and now you tested positive, then at least you will know that you got it sometime in between the two tests. However, most likely you will never know where it came from. As far as oral sex goes, if you know for sure that your girlfriend does not have HSV 1, then you can transmit it to her genitals through oral sex. However, it is quite possible that she has already been exposed, especially if you have been together for some time and have been having unprotected oral sex. In fact, it is even possible that you got it from her in the first place. Remember that many people don't have any symptoms and don't even know that they have it. So I would suggest that she get blood antibody testing. If she is positive, then you both already have it and you have nothing to worry about. If she is negative, you can discuss what you will do to prevent transmission. You can take the risk of transmission and continue your sex lives as normal, or you can try to prevent transmission with the interventions that I described before. I hope this helps, please feel free to let me know if you have any more questions.
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Follow-up: What causes HSV1 and how can its transmission be prevented? 1 hour later
Thank you so much Doctor! No worries at all about he or she. I greatly appreciate the info. I spoke with her and she will get tested this week. In the case she tests positive and we perform oral sex, would the hsv 1 transferred to genitals? Is it possible it will turn into hsv 2? Any restriction in having unprotected sex or having kids? Regards other people and relative, do I need to worry about transmitting it to them by hugging all the time? Or only when I have breakout? Thank you so much for your help Doctor!! XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Saul Weinreb 8 hours later
Brief Answer: Thanks, glad to help Detailed Answer: HSV1 cannot become HSV2. however, it can be transferred to genitals by oral sex. you do not need to worry at all about transferring it to relatives and friends by casual hugging and kissing. it can only be exchanged through bodily fluids. I wouldn't worry about that at all. it is most likely to be transferred during a breakout, but sometimes can be transferred even when you don't have a breakout. so please don't think you have to stop acting normal with your friends and family. you can do normal hand shaking, hugging and even kissing and you don't need to tell people about it. just with exchange of fluids like in sex. hope this helps!
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Follow-up: What causes HSV1 and how can its transmission be prevented? 39 hours later
Thank you so much doctor for your help and useful information. One last question. Regards hsv 1 medicine such as valtrex or others, does it have to be by prescription or there is alternative on the shelf that I can pick up? How do people take it? Daily? Or when there is a break out only? Again thank you for all the help you provided and I look forward to hear from you.
Answered by Dr. Saul Weinreb 26 minutes later
Brief Answer: You're welcome, it's my pleasure Detailed Answer: Unfortunately, all the medications for HSV are by prescription. For outbreaks around your mouth, there is a topical cream, but for herpes anywhere else, it is taken as a pill. How often you take it depends on which medicine you are taking and it depends on whether you are taking it to treat an active outbreak, or to prevent an outbreak or to prevent transmission. you will need to talk to your doctor to decide when and how much and which medicine is right for you. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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