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Dr. Tim, MD
Dr. Tim, MD, Board Cert. OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 865
Experience:  General OB/GYN, complicated obstetrics, complicated GYN
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Is HSV 1 an STD? If there has only been one outbreak in 2 years

Resolved Question:

Is HSV 1 an STD? If there has only been one outbreak in 2 years what are the chances of another outbreak? Also what are the chances of spreading this from female to male during sexual intercourse? The test showed I had never been exposed to HSV 1 before

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Tim, MD replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Tim, MD :

Hello, I would be happy to help you today with your question.

Dr. Tim, MD :

I am a little confused - please answer the following questions:

Dr. Tim, MD :

Have YOU ever had an 'outbreak' or are you referring to your partner?

Expert:  Dr. Tim, MD replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I had an outbreak 2 years ago. The test showed I had never been exposed to HSV prior to this initial outbreak. My partner had no symptoms at all and we had been together for a year before I had the outbreak.

Expert:  Dr. Tim, MD replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the followup clarification.

In answer to your questions:

1. Yes, HSV-1 is considered an STD in the sense that it can be a cause of genital herpes (it is most commonly associated with oral herpes, or cold sores, but it can be associated with genital outbreaks as well)
2. Given that you have been exposed to herpes (2 years ago) then there is a chance of additional outbreaks. If it was HSV1, then episodic recurrences are far less common than if you had HSV-2
3. It is very difficult to say exactly what the chance of transmitting the virus would be. It is more likely when the "source" of the virus is the male, and is more likely with increasing number of episodes of intercourse. It will take longer to "transmit" the virus if you avoid contact when you have symptoms of an outbreak, but there is the potential for viral shedding even when you do not have symptoms. So the answer is, it is likely that transmission will occur the longer you are with this partner, and this can be prolonged or perhaps avoided by avoiding contact when symptomatic.


I hope that this answers your questions! Please remember to provide a POSITIVE RATING.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If I enter a new relationship and the male does not have HSV what are the chances of transmission if I do not have an outbreak which like I said I haven't had in 2 years.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I continued the relationship with this person until recently. He never had an outbreak or symptoms,unfortunately I got it, how?? He must have had it and didn't know. My outbreak was genital and very painful. I was on Valtrex and then once the outbreak cleared up remained on a low dose for months. Would staying on a low dose of this medication decrease the chances of spreading the virus?

Expert:  Dr. Tim, MD replied 1 year ago.
That is correct. HE must have had it and was shedding the virus without a visible outbreak. That is the only explanation.

It is certainly reasonable to stay on a low dose of valtrex (500mg once per day) continuously as this will decrease the chances of an outbreak and viral shedding in the absence of an outbreak. But given that the frequency of genital HSV1 recurrences is so seldom, you probably are safe to NOT put yourself on suppressive therapy unless you are experiencing frequent recurrences (lets say more than 2 in a year) OR when you enter into a new relationship.

I hope that this helps. Please remember to provide a POSITIVE RATING!
Dr. Tim, MD, Board Cert. OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 865
Experience: General OB/GYN, complicated obstetrics, complicated GYN
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