by Sally

I recently was diagnosed with hsv 1 on my genitals and my boyfriend was tested. He had never had an outbreak and didn't know he had it. His hsv 1 blood levels were 4.0. Does this mean he won't ever have an outbreak? Has he built immunity to it?


Dear Anonymous,

Seems like your boyfriend is asymptomatic. It is said that more than 80% of herpes simplex infections are asymptomatic, with the majority of those having HSV1. No tingling sensations, no red bumps or sores, not even redness that are usually signs and symptoms of a herpes outbreak. This asymptomatic viral shedding is the reason why the herpes virus is passed around so easily—people aren’t aware that they have it and unknowingly transmit it to the next person they get involved with.

Although your boyfriend may be asymptomatic and show no signs or evidence of having outbreaks, he can still shed the virus through viral shedding on the oral skin surface and possibly through saliva as well. He can transmit herpes via kissing or performing oral sex. My guess is that is how he got you infected.

With that said, he most likely had it since he was a child. And his body has adapted to it in a way that the virus never showed up. Good overall health and lifestyle conditions are also factors that may have kept the herpes virus at bay.

As far as immunity is concerned, your boyfriend will not be re-infected with HSV1 again. This is due to the fact that HSV1 never goes away (stays dormant in the base of the nerve) so the body continues to produce antibodies against it.

Finally, since HSV1 and HSV2 are different strains of the herpes virus family, he can still very likely get infected with genital herpes HSV2 if exposed to it.

Hope this helps!



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