My wife has herpes Type 1, how can I avoid it spreading?

by Ruben
(Bangalore, Karnataka, India)

My wife believed that Type 1 Herpes (Simplex) which causes mouth sores is not infectious. We are happily married for 4 years now and have a kid. Is there something that I can take myself or for my son as a preventative cure without spreading the problem? I love her, but I'm bit worried about getting infected, I may already be. But I hope it will not spread to my son. Any advice on the same would be highly appreciated.


Dear Ruben,

Herpes Simplex Type 1 (HSV 1) indeed manifests as cold sores or blisters in the mouth. The lesions may also appear on the lips, chin, cheeks, nose, even the eyes. Because the mouth is the preferred area of HSV1, it is also known as oral herpes.

However, oral herpes IS CONTAGIOUS. Many people who have oral herpes don’t know they have it, either because they don’t experience any outbreaks or are too scared to see a doctor and know the truth. That’s why the virus gets around.

It’s totally understandable that you’re worried and concerned for the safety of yourself as well as your son. Since oral herpes is transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact, best is to avoid kissing. Even without the visible signs of an outbreak, an innocent peck on the lips or cheek to a non-herpes positive person can easily pass along the herpes virus.

This is due to the phenomenon called “viral shedding” wherein the herpes virus travels down to the site of initial infection a few times a year. The infected person cannot predict or tell when this happens but he/she is still contagious.

My advice to you is to get yourself tested. You may already have the virus remaining dormant inside your body. A reliable herpes blood test is the only way to know for sure what you are up against. That way, you can have peace of mind.

Hope this helps!



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