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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Can you catch HSV-1 again?..

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Author Topic: Can you catch HSV-1 again?..
xxKristii17
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I have HSV-1 on the mouth and have recently gotten over an outbreak about 1, 2 months ago (I only had two my whole life and caught it when I was young).

My girlfriend began to get sick last weekend (caught it from her brother) with a sore throat but I didn't care, I kissed her anyway (since we are both clean). I am wondering if the cold I have now is because of her (I had the same thing she did but a few days after) or because I am having an HSV-1 symptom? .. I'm pretty sure if I was, they would've appeared on my mouth (or genital - which I'm not even sure I have) due to my immune system being lowered, as that is usually when they appear - when you're immune system is lowered more than usual.

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Heather
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HSV-1 or @ are viruses that once you have them, you have them for life. Even when you're not having an outbreak, you still have the virus. Outbreaks are a symptom of having the virus, but even when you aren't having that symptom, you still have HSV.

Outbreaks are common if and when someone's immune system is tackling something else, like a common cold virus. You can't catch a cold from having HSV: you catch a cold by being exposed to the cold virus.

(Just a note: we ask that people try not to use the term "clean" about STIs. We prefer "negative" or "clear." "Clean" implies people who have infections that can be sexually transmitted -- like HSV-1, for instance -- are dirty. Not only is that not true, it stigmatizes people with illness, which enables a host of bad stuff, like people not being invested in cures or feeling bad about themselves. Thanks!)

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xxKristii17
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I am very sorry for using that term, Heather.

Should I worry about having HSV-1 (I am sexually active and we don't use condoms). My girlfriend has been with girls who had the same thing as me and is negative (so the blood test said) for HSV-1.

I heard that if you have HSV-1 on the mouth or in general (some people are carries and do not know in the slightest), you are less likely to get it on your genitals but that it can happen - especially when you're immune is lowered and you engage in sexual activity at that time.

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Heather
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Well, worrying about it won't do anything.

What you and any partners need to be aware of is that you can transmit it to them, even if they haven't gotten it from other partners who had it. And you can transmit it to their mouth, eyes or genitals.

To reduce the risks of transmitting it, you want to avoid any oral contact whenever you are getting or having an outbreak, and for other times, when those things aren't going on, use latex barriers with any oral-genital contact you're having with her to prevent spreading your HSV-1 to her genitals.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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xxKristii17
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We've already had oral without protection, so I think it's too late to start now. Isn't it? ..

I don't really want to use condoms (we are lesbians) and preparing would take way too long (cutting a condom).. we'll lose interest before we get started.

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Heather
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It's never too late. Just because someone hasn't caught something yet doesn't mean they won't.

Ultimately, how and if your partner wants to protect herself is up to her, and it's a pretty big deal to make sure you're not putting partners at risks they don't want to take.

Is she aware she can contract your oral herpes genitally? If not, then you'll want to make her aware so she can decide if she wants to take that risk or not, or if she'd rather reduce her risks. If she does know, has she agreed she's willing to take the risk of acquiring herpes genitally?

Just FYI, being lebsian doesn't mean not using condoms or other safer sex tools. Plenty of lesbian women use condoms, whether they're used for covering shared sex toys or for adapting for oral sex. You can not only cut condoms in advance, they're not your only option as an oral sex barrier: pre-cut dams are also available, and cling film/saran wrap can be used for a barrier, too. Plenty of women who sleep with women -- just like people who sleep with those of other genders -- figure out how to incorporate safer sex into their sex lives without it being any big whoop. Once you have barriers handy and know how to use them, it takes nanoseconds to get things going with them.

[ 06-16-2011, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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xxKristii17
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My girlfriend knows I have HSV-1 and I've told her countless times that she may get it. She told me, however, that she does not care about contracting it and that being with me is the only thing that matters.

I don't think we have pre-cut dams here in Canada, I could not find any type of dental dan anywhere (unless you have to order from a doctor or orthodontist?) .. We thought about using condoms a lot of times due to the fact that I am worried that I may give this to her but everytime that special moment comes.. It slips our minds and we just make love.

My question is, if I do have HSV-1 on my genitals (which is less likely to happen), how can I protect my partner? I know there are condoms but what about when we are rubbing our vulvas (more so vaginas) together? .. we can't hold it in place.

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-Firefly-
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I just want to jump in here for a minute. Have you ever heard of Venus Envy? It's an awesome feminist sex store and they have a location in Halifax. I'd recommend checking that place out since I'm almost 100% sure they carry dental dams. If they don't have any, I'm sure they can recommend where to get them. It's also just an awesome store all around and well-worth checking out.

As for your second question about barriers for rubbing your vulvas together, I'm not quite sure. I'll see what I can find out.

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Vero
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xxKristii17
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Thank you so much, Vero.

I will check with that Store as soon as I get my new ID (just turned 18). I may even take my girlfriend along with me for I have absolutely no idea how to get around Halifax and get confused easily due to an Attentive Disorder.

Was it irresponsible of us to not have used protection to begin with? .. at the time I forgot I had HSV-1 due to not having an outbreak for most of my teen years and childhood, and now (even though my girlfriend does not care that she contracts it), and even though we've done oral countless times (after an outbreak), I want to use dental dams or some form of protection. I feel horrible putting her through this, I honestly thought I was negative when it cane to STIs; never did I think you could catch something so innocently young without knowing it or doing anything sexual activity at all.

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I love you Steph. <3

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Heather
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Well, you can find out if you have genital herpes (of either type) through your annual STI testing. You simply make sure that you ask for a herpes test with your other tests.

But if and when people have genital herpes and want to engage in frottage or scissoring, they can either do that clothed, or you can pretty easily hand-make harnesses to use with dams, too. We have instructions for one in our book.

However, I'd first make sure you both get your annual STI tests so this doesn't have to be a question mark.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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xxKristii17
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I'll make sure that we will.

Do I have to tell the doctor that we are partners? I would feel really embarrassed since most people outside my family have no idea that I'm a Lesbian. And, if one of us does have HSV-1 genitally (which I will hold as unlikely), can we still be partners and engage in sexual activity as we have been doing for the past 6 months? [Smile]

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I love you Steph. <3

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Heather
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No one ever has to personally identify who their partners are to a healthcare provider. Some providers do ask the gender of partners, but that isn't essential information and you can always withhold it.

I'd not make any assumptions about what either of you has or doesn't until you both actually get tested.

But if one of you does have any kind of HSV genitally, it's up to you if you do or don't change your sexual habits. If one of you does, and the other doesn't want to get it, though, then you'll want to start incorporating barriers to reduce that risk.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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xxKristii17
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I already have HSV-1 though, so does it really change anything for me? .. I heard if you have HSV-1 on the mouth, you are less likely to contract it genitally but it can still happen (in rare occasions).

I think it's unlikely that either of us has it on our genitals. If my girlfriend got it, she would've had an outbreak by now since the virus is very new to her. She has been tested for Herpes before and it came back negative, when she had partners who had it and she has also kissed her mother who is prone to cold sores.

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I love you Steph. <3

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xxKristii17
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How likely is it that one of us will have HSV-1 genitally? (I already have it on my mouth).

And is it true that HSV-1 is the leading cause for genital heroes and not HSV-2? that's what I heard, that most people have HSV-1 on their genitals instead of 2.

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I love you Steph. <3

Posts: 53 | From: Halifax | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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