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I'm 42 and divorces for over a year. I Contracted HSV I (oral) most likely from my former wife, 13 years ago. She had cold sores HSV I. I had my first outbreak about 4 months after we began dating. It was the primary outbreak type, felt like I had the flu and got horrible sores on my tongue and could barely eat, and drank only water for about a week. I have about 3 outbreaks a year on average. I've been careful to avoid kissing and other contact that might spread the infection when I'm having outbreaks. I began dating a wonderful woman a few months ago and have not had an outbreak during that time, though she recently had a primary outbreak, fever, pain the whole 9 yards and developed oral and genital sores. She had no prior symptoms. I also had my first outbreak of genital HSV. WE were both tested as to which type we are infected with, both HSV I. She is devastated, as am I. I did not knowingly pass this on, have always been careful, and didn't know how easily one can shed the virus with no symptoms. I thought it was very rare or unusual to do so. (Since she became infected we have both read everything we can get our hands on re this virus) I did tell my gf prior to sexual contact that I periodically get cold sores. I didn't use the word "Herpes" though I assumed she knew what cold sores were/are. She said she didn't realize these were one and the same. GF is 38 and has an advanced degree and I'm surprised she didn't know. She has had many more sexual partners in her lifetime than me (we had that discussion), and claims to have no prior STD's.

I feel very guilty and angry---at fate, I suppose. I know that there is not 100% certainty that I am the one who infected her, though based on what we've both read, It is most likely me. My GF says she is not angry with me, she doesn't know exactly what she feels about our relationship. I'm not sure we will stay together. We weren't sure we would be long term before her outbreak, now I believe we are even less sure. Only dating three months, long enough for sex, not long enough to be making plans for the future. UGH!

I've been as supportive and as apologetic as I can be and I don't know what to say to gf. We do talk about it almost every day, she isn't bitter towards me not to my face anyway. I've told her if she is angry to let it out, yell at me, scream, kick me in the **** if she needs to...to get her feelings out. If there is a chance that we stay together, I'd hope that this issue won't cause suppressed resentment or otherwise, which experience has taught me, can eat away at a bond and kill positive feelings.

I feel like Typhoid Mary. I'm feeling that if and when I do date someone else, it should be someone who is already infected. I don't want a repeat of this. It's really horrible.

Any support or feedback is appreciated.


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I just got hsv1 genitally from my BF who had no prior symptoms whatsoever. He never remembers having a cold sore, so it was just bad luck that we happened to do THAT on a day when he was contagious. We've been together for four years and neither of us have had a lot of partners.....just some bad luck. On the bright side HSV1 genitally isn't supposed to cause as many outbreaks as HSV2...hopefully this is true for us!! Good luck.

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I think if you took a poll of Americans that most would not realize that you can get genital herpes from oral sex. I always knew that cold sores were contagious, but honestly I never thought about people getting genital herpes from them, although even in my ignorance I probably wouldn't have wanted someone with a big crusty cold sore giving me oral pleasure. I am supposedly educated but I haven't kept up with the latest on STDs (was with my last partner for over 11 years), and last I heard, years ago, they were still telling people H is only contagious when you have an OB. Too bad I learned about the asymptomatic shedding the hard way (and I don't watch much commercial television to have been "educated" by the Valtrex commercials - heck, I have still never seen a Valtrex commercial although I finally got to see a restless leg one).

Sounds like you & your GF just had a case of really bad luck - asymptomatic shedding does happen, but really it is a fairly small percentage of the time. Sometimes life sucks. It sucks that you now have it orally *and* genitally, cause supposedly gHSV1 is harder to catch if you already have it orally. The more you read about H the more you realize that people are still learning about how it works. It really is an insidious virus. My new partner felt like a heel for giving me this; he felt like a plague, too (he didn't even know he had gHSV2 and was in a marriage for 7 years with no sign of ever passing to his wife), In our case we are quite serious, so hopefully it will work out.

Hopefully your GF will not have too many OBs from H - orally or genitally. It really is different in every person based upon their genetics, hormones, current health, diet, stress, etc. Some people on these boards swear by eating certain foods or supplements to reduce OBs, but really, some people must just have iron constitutions when it comes to H (as does my new partner).

If you date a new woman (who does not have HSV) at some point in the future, you could consider suppressive therapy to reduce the risk of passing it on, altho even with suppressive therapy nothing is a silver bullet.

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case of bad luck

I'm in love with my current gf I don't have any hsv but I still plan on oral sex on her even with her hsv2 I mean if you wash the area's and practice very good hygiene then your alot safer then if you don't. The virus dies easy enough to soap and water, they also have lysine rinses. But hsv1 on genitals isn't as bad as type 2 just like if I get hsv2 orally its not gonna be like having hsv1 orally.

Have to find out what type and where first and sometimes you can have both and they can be totally reversed you could have hsv2 on oral and hsv1 genital it can happen.

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      To give everyone confidence that it wasn’t herpes related and conclude as the doctor did that it was a dermatitis issue to refer back to the dermatologist to continue with investigations.
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