Can hsv 1 only live in one part of your


Q: Can hsv 1 only live in one part of your body, so if I have had it on my lips and my boyfriend has had coldsores on his lips in past, he can never spread hsv1 to my genitals and I cannot spread hsv1 to his genitals? As it can only ever live in our lips?


A:   Hello,
thanks for the query to ATD for an opinion,

HSV-1, this is the type that usually causes cold sores or fever blisters around your mouth, though it can be spread to your genital area during oral sex. Recurrences are much less frequent than they are with HSV-2 infection. So unless there are active cold sores over the lips and peri-oral areas, an oral sex would still be safe but if there have been active lesions then the virus can be transferred to the genital area and can cause genital herpes infection as well, locally.

Symptoms of herpes simplex virus typically appear as a blister or as multiple blisters on or around affected areas -- usually the mouth, genitals, or rectum. The blisters break, leaving tender sores. So in any case, even if you have active HSV 1 infection in the form of oral sores, then oral sex should ideally be avoided or should be practiced under antiviral cover.

I hope i have answered your query in detail,
Wishing you safe sexual practices and good health,
Take care.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Sorry can you clarify- can hsv1 live in more than one part of your body?
Doctor: yes, Hsv 1 can affect and be harboured by the skin anywhere, but generally its affliction is seen as oral sores.Again it depends on the immunity status of the person as to how would the manifestation be.

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