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Hello! I have a couple questions about HSV. My girlfriend and I both have HSV-1. I have oral HSV-1 and she has genital HSV-1. Is it possible that I could get genital HSV-1 by having sex with my girlfriend? I've tried researching this topic and I couldn't find a definitive answer. Many say you can't have both oral and genital HSV-1 because your body has already built an immunity to the virus so your body can fight against it quickly and effective. Ultimately, preventing you to get it transmitted to any other part of your body. My second question is if it is not possible to have HSV-1 in more then one place, then is it ok if my girlfriend and I have unprotected sex? Thank You

It is not possible to be infected with the same type of HSV more than once, so if you and your girlfriend both have HSV-1, regardless of where, then you cannot get it again in another location.

The only time that someone may have outbreaks in more than one place is if, during their first outbreak (Primary Outbreak), they touched the area of the outbreak and then touched another part of their body. There is a potential for the virus to be passed between locations at this time because the body may not have had a chance to develop enough antibodies to prevent a second effected site.

Since you are both aware of your HSV-1 status you have obviously had the virus and therefore the antibodies for a while and would not be able to re-infect one another.

As far as unprotected sex goes, if you have both been tested for other STI’s and neither of you is having sex with anyone else then the two of you can decide if you would like to discontinue condom use.

Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.

This answer was posted on August 25, 2014

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