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Lifer..... some venting, advice and statistic questions....


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Life is a crazy thing and definitly throws some crazy curveballs at you..... ill apologize in advance for such a long post. I just have noone to talk about this with so I've been walking around with all this bottled up inside me driving me crazy....

So I was with the same woman since I was 16 until last year we got divorced when she was unfaithful. Both of us had hsv1 so it was never an issue. I've had cold sores a few times a year sometimes I can go maybe a year or more without one since I was probabaly 8 years old. It sucks....... being a little kid and having everyone make fun of you for having mouth herpes..... I haven't had a cold sore that other people could see in close to 8 years or so with a combo of lysine and abreva. I can feel when one is starting and knock it out before it shows. It really has made my relationship with my mom difficult because I resent her so much for being an irresponsible parent and infecting me because she thinks it's no big deal. I can remember her getting mad at me when I was 11 years old because I didnt want to drink or eat after her or give her a kiss anymore. Being single now and having to try and date it literally consumes me the fear of rejection and shame having cold sores or risking infecting someone when I went so long not having to worry about it.

I have been dating this girl for a couple months and I hope to never have to date again. She is so amazing and makes me feel like noone else ever has. I told her pretty quick I had got cold sores before when the conversation just kind of perfectly lined up and it was skipped over pretty quickly and then when we got intimate I reiterated that I had them before when she said she never had I was instantly terrified..... what if I infect her was all I could think..... she told me they are no big deal and she didnt care that if she gets it she gets it, and if 50-80% of people already have it she probably does to. I feel pretty confident that is an overstatement and she would be pissed if she got cold sores from me. Things were serious enough already that I told her I was scared about oral sex because I hope to one day have children with this girl. She said that was fine that she didnt need the oral sex there were plenty of other things we could do. So far we have abstained from oral both ways because I dont feel it's fair to not reciprocate. It does kill me inside because I really really enjoyed giving oral sex and it might have been the one part of intimacy I was actually good at. Lol. 

It sucks so bad I wish she would just have had a cold sore before so I wouldn't have to worry so much. I guess what I worry about the most is if I was to give it to her that she would have the same anger and resentment for me that I have towards my mom. Should I really worry as hard as I am since I've disclosed? It sucks I've lived the last almost 14 years of my life without worrying about cold sores with the ex and now I feel like a horrible piece of trash human being going around risking infecting and putting this burden on someone else..... anyone else ever got in a relationship with someone else and passed it to them after disclosing? Did it ruin the relationship? Should I just be alone forever... The last thing I want to do is make her feel like shes trapped with me but I also just wanna be with her...  

So most of my questions come from the statistics side of stuff. I read that 50-80% of people have cold sores. How do they come up with that number? 5 in 10 to 8 in 10 seems like a very big gap. I know I work with about 60 guys out of the 60 I've only seen 1 other person with a visible cold sore and 2 other people that I just happened to catch putting on some abreva but never have seen them with a cold sore in 10+ years working with them. So that makes 4 out of 60....... nowhere near 50 let alone 80 percent. Then I read all these asympomatic or symptoms so light they never know they have it so how do they factor those people in to that number. One of my close friends has slept with over 40 women, never uses protection and is std free, never had a cold sore or anything...... sucks so bad when they laugh at me for how few women I've been with and if I was honest with people I got mouth herpes from my mom..... I often think if it doesnt work with this girl I would only date someone else who had cold sores but it seems like noone else has them or at least noone else if honest about getting them.... 

I wanna be with this girl long term. I hope how I feel is real and we are a perfect match. I feel like I do a good job concealing my fear but I dont want the no oral or my little bouts of shame and depression I feel about the possibility of me passing this to her and ruining her life and messing up our relationship. She did get upset the third time I brought up the you know I have cold sores and its mouth herpes and theres always a chance you could ruin your life by kissing me. I guess I wouldn't feel as bad if I knew she was already an asymptomatic carrier....

I did look into dental dams but the googling I've done seemed a resounding I'd rather get herpes than have a dental dam used on me again.....  

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I think the first thing you need to do is make peace and show forgiveness to your mother. Is she right? Is she wrong in her views? What does it matter? What is to be gained in your life or hers by holding the views you do?

How do we know the proportion of people with HSV-1? At first blush, that has a simple answer - a statistically significant and population stratified sample are given a blood test.

There are a few 'complications' though in interpreting. The issue is that once you are infected, you are infected for life. The proportion of people infected with HSV-1 therefore increases with age (of the same cohort of people). Hence the proportion infected will be near 0% at birth and ever increase for those people as they age. It looks like it gets to 90% ultimately - or does for people aged over 70 at present. So when you ask the question, what proportion of people have herpes, you are probably seeing figures for a particular cohort and you may actually want more details of the age bands in between.

For example, NHANES in the US conducts such a random survey. The last one for 2015/16 had 3,386 valid samples of which 54% were positive for HSV-1. This was for people aged 14-49. This is probably of interest for most 'dating' folk! Of course the number of people who ultimately get HSV-1 will exceed 54%.

There is the very significant issue of missed infections in these tests. The population average of missed tests could be as high as 10-20%. Further, this gets worse and worse based on the longevity of the infection, people no longer testing positive after they've had the virus for a period of time. This could go well over 30-40% for old folk.

Further of course, region plays a role. There are high incidence areas and low incidence areas.

So yes, a heap of people have the virus. I'd suggest to you in the US that the incidence for people aged 14-49 is probably about 70% and the ultimate proportion of infections running at 90%. It is trending downward slowly but surely.

Why don't you think it is this high? Based on your observation of lips sores. Have you truly looked? The most important feature is that about half adults with HSV-1 never experience outbreaks. Yup!

Your current partner might be one of those.

Next I am concerned that you are taking control of a decision that belongs to your partner. It is her choice whether to accept risk and receive oral sex from a HSV-1 partner. This is not just about you 'finding' a HSV-1 partner... it is harder for her to find a non HSV-1 partner!!! You do need to ask yourself as to why your insecurity impacts her sex life???

There is also a 'so what' in terms of if she happens to become infected genitally with HSV-1. For many woman, they have an uncomfortable first outbreak for a week or two and then nothing much further for the rest of their lives (and then cannot get it orally!).

For most women (and men), the equation is:

(a) no oral sex
(b) find a non HSV-1 partner... small pool, chances are my soul mate will have HSV-1
(c) get oral sex from the man of my dreams and there's a 50% chance of being infected in my lifetime tops where I might experience two weeks of discomfort.

Well most everyone chooses (c)! Your partner would too. 

Finally in a life together there can be many challenges. If this is how this issue is handled... how might you handle more complex and more serious issues... like having children for example.


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We all leave messages on Facebook to Bill Gates, Sun Yatsen Softbank Group, Alibaba Mayun, and other entrepreneurs, and send them emails, hoping they can help us. I know that my own personal power is limited, and I hope that each of us can take positive actions so that we can get their help within a short time.

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Man I appreciate the good response. I know I should forgive my mom but it drives me nuts every time shes like it's no big deal quit worrying about it. when I can feel a cold sore popping up I'm just asking myself why this would happen.... I was just a little kid. I'm a loyal and faithful husband or boyfriend. I always go out of my way for other people and try to be a good man but dang.... I'm stuck with this virus for no good reason..... and I kind of feel obligated to not pass it on to someone else and punish them like I'm being punished for the rest of my life. 

I just dont see how that many people have it when I rarely see anyone with a cold sore.... since I got single I actively go out of my way to look for people in public with them but rarely if ever see anyone with one. The only ones I ever see are like eh thats probabaly a pimple not a cold sore or just a cracked lip. 

When I read the stats it says whichever percentage has been exposed to the virus. Does exposed to mean contracted? Or does me kissing someone and them not contracting the virus mean they were exposed to the virus and count into the statistic or they have to contract it to count? 

I do have a problem with anxiety but I've been better lately just this one thing has been killing me inside. If shes fine with the no oral sex or even waiting till weve been together longer so she knows for a fact I'm the one for her before we started I am more than happy. Heck even if she said none ever I'd be alright with it as long as our relationship stays as good as it's been. My greatest fear is child birth with ghsv1.... I know they say its low risk but the last thing I wanna do is pass this on to my children. 

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