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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:31 pm
Posts: 1
Location: usa
Most commenters in the various herpes forums say that if a person already has HSV 1 oral herpes they can't catch HSV 1 in the genital area. But I just read a few research papers (some on this site) that, by deduction, would imply it must be happening. Think of the statistical implications of several studies that say that HSV 1 genital herpes is skyrocketing -- for example this article -- -- says 78% of new genital herpes cases at the colleges tested in 2001 were HSV 1 (up from just 31% 9 years earlier), yet numerous studies since the early 1980s show that 50% of the population tests positive for oral HSV 1 by the age or 20 and that percentage has remained constant for decades. Further, the number of new genital herpes cases has remained steady (or even slightly declined) as a percentage of the population. Studies from the UK and Isreal show similar trends. Thus, either you can catch HSV 1 genitally despite having it orally, or else virtually all the increase in HSV 1 genital cases is coming only from the half of the population that doesn't test positive for oral HSV 1, while the half that does test positive for oral HSV 1 had a parallel offsetting decline in genital herpes HSV 2 cases. The odds of that are not only miniscule, there could be no reason for it. Anyone have another explanation, or aware of a research study that directly measures HSV 1 genital after HSV 1 oral?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
in the US, it's not been 50% of folks having hsv1 orally by the age of 20 in quite some time ( as far as I know, not since they developed tests to test for hsv1 actually ). It doesn't reach the 50% mark until you are well into your mid to late 30's. It's closer to 20-30% of folks under 30 have hsv1 according to the NHANES studies on herpes.

yes indeed hsv1 is the cause of most newly acquired genital herpes infections in college age students. the reason for this is because less and less of us are getting hsv1 orally as children. folks are starting to realize that cold sores are contagious and less folks are kissing babies, sharing food, "cleaning" pacifiers in their mouths etc. these people don't already have hsv1 orally and are getting it genitally later on, they never had hsv1 orally to begin with. unfortunately many folks are practicing more oral sex as a way to prevent pregnancy, maintain their "virginity" and under the mistaken belief that it's "safe" sex and not a risk for std's. 20+ years ago, practitioners also weren't consistently typing genital herpes infections either. they believed that if it was genital, it was hsv2. unfortunately today even some practitioners still believe this. Some studies have actually looked at preserved specimens from 20+ years ago and realized that a good many of those infections that were believed to be hsv2 just because they were genital, were also hsv1. so yes while it is more cases are hsv1, the caveat is that up until a few years ago, we weren't doing a good job at typing cultures to realize that hsv1 was causing a significant number of genital herpes infections.

do I know of specific research on contracting hsv1 genitally after having it orally? no. far too hard to really study anything like that. Even though it seems like everyone is getting hsv1 genitally, it's still a small number of overall. throw in the fact that most folks aren't getting tested for hsv1 to know their status routinely, most folks who have hsv1 orally don't get obvious cold sores to know it and even the best blood tests we have still miss 10% of all hsv1 infections, it's far too labor intensive and expensive to study . In general we don't have many studies that look at just hsv1 genitally. most of the info is from studies where most participants have hsv2. Several out there though that do look at hsv igg status at the time of visual diagnosis of herpes and it's just not occurring frequently where folks are hsv1+ on igg and then test+ for hsv1 on the lesion culture too.

In the 12 years I've been doing the online message boards for herpes, I think I can recall less than a handful people total who had definite well established oral herpes infections and then later on contracted hsv1 genitally. most of those involved shaving of the genital area prior to receiving oral sex from their partner ( creates cuts in the skin for the virus to get into the body easier ). there have also been a handful of posters who thought that they contracted hsv1 genitally after having it orally only to find out that they really had had canker sores and not oral herpes prior.


any particular reason behind this question I can help you with?

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