Although HSV – 1 isn’t technically an STD, you can potentially catch the virus through sex. If you receive oral sex from a person with HSV – 1, there’s a risk that the virus could make its way into your body through their saliva. When you acquire HSV – 1 through oral sex, it leads to genital herpes rather than cold sores.
Transmission. HSV – 1 is mainly transmitted by oral-to-oral contact to cause oral herpes infection, via contact with the HSV – 1 virus in sores, saliva, and surfaces in or around the mouth. However, HSV – 1 can also be transmitted to the genital area through oral-genital contact to cause genital herpes.
According to the World Health Organization, 3.7 billion people under age 50 have herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) — that’s 67 percent of the global population in that age bracket. Another 417 million people ( 11 percent ) between ages 15 and 49 worldwide have herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
The average incubation period for an initial herpes infection is 4 days (range, 2 to 12) after exposure. The vesicles break and leave painful ulcers that may take two to four weeks to heal after the initial herpes infection. Experiencing these symptoms is referred to as having a first herpes “outbreak” or episode.
Why Is It Important to Tell Your Partner Herpes viruses are extremely contagious. And it’s not just the risk of spreading a cold sore that you should be worried about. If you have an HSV – 1 infection, you can give your partner genital herpes through oral sex.
So, can you ever kiss again? I vote yes, although there is a slight chance of transmitting the virus even in the absence of any symptoms. To reduce the likelihood of transmission, if you DO have an active HSV-1 lesion (like a lip blister), skip the kiss …and give a hug!
Herpes simplex 1 ( HSV – 1 ) It’s less common, but you can also develop sores inside your mouth. The sores may tingle, sting, or burn. In some cases, sores in or around the mouth can become painful when you eat or drink. They generally clear up after a few weeks.
There is no cure for the herpes simplex virus. The blisters usually heal and go by themselves, so you may not always need treatment. There is antiviral medicines for herpes, which can: shorten outbreaks, relieve discomfort and stop symptoms from getting worse.
Outbreaks are usually recurrent, but the severity and frequency decrease with time. Everyone who is exposed to the virus does not develop sores, but may still shed virus and expose others through contact with the infected area even if sores are not present. Who should get tested for Herpes?
HSV – 1 is very contagious. You can spread the virus even when you don’t have any symptoms of a cold sore, though you’re usually most contagious when you have them. However, this is much less likely than if contact occurred when a cold sore was present.
It’s not known what triggers recurrences, but they’re associated with several factors, including menstruation, fatigue, stress, illness, and exposure to sunlight. Herpes simplex is very common.
Herpes outbreaks usually last for about one to two weeks, though the first outbreak after infection may last longer. The symptoms typically go away on their own without treatment. However, there are at-home remedies and prescription treatments which may help to ease symptoms and shorten the length of outbreaks.