If you could get it on your lip or your arm, we wouldn't be having this web discussion.
However, most people don't have symptoms, and may not even know they have herpes.
If you're worried about getting infected, you can take some simple precautions to lower your chances, such as avoiding contact with cold sores.
"Also, if I knew I was likely to catch HSV-1, I would prefer genital over oral." Again, medical perspective.
I understand why you would have this opinion, and logically I agree with you.
Once in a committed relationship, I would stop taking any of those measures, except (maybe) if I knew my partner had genital HSV-2 infection. It doesn't help that a friend had a related experience. I agree with #1, which is the essense of the dillema I've created for myself.
Best wishes-- HHH, MD I guess my concern stems from the following scenario: Girl: "Oh my God! He was dating a girl, and she had her initial hsv-1 oral outbreak. Lets take the girl I've been seeing recently, and a piece of our conversation. But I seriously doubt she'd be interested in engaging in any sort of oral sex from my end.
Almost nothing is known about most of the factors that may raise or lower the risk in any particular case, such as: a) how long the orally infected person has had HSV-1, and therefore the infected person's age (it's a fair bet that teens might be more likely to transmit HSV-1 than older persons, but no data exist); b) whether the infected person has symptoms of oral herpes, how frequently, and how recently; c) whether or not the infected person has had a cold or other illness that could reactivate HSV-1; d) details of the sexual exposure; and on it goes. I would not recomend anybody intentionlly acquire any HSV infection, whether type 1 or 2.
Until such research is available, the answers to all your questions will be little more than guesswork and common sense--and "common sense" often is wrong! Actually, they are being done increasingly as a routine when people have HSV testing. Should all people with positive blood tests for HSV-1 alter their sexual behavior and/or inform their partners? Although serious complications are rare, they do occur; every year a number of people die of HSV infections or their complications, or are permanently disabled.
Communicating About Herpes Examples Getting Informed Avoiding Infection Building Trust with Your Partner Community Q&A It's likely that you will date someone with herpes at some point in your life.
Herpes is common: about 90% of adults have been exposed to the HSV-1 virus, while roughly one in six people within the age range of 14-49 have genital herpes caused by the HSV-2 infection.
I think from a medical perspective, genital herpes isn't a big deal.