How Worried Should I Be About the Risk?
I strongly suspect that I have oral herpes (HSV-1), since my mom gets cold sores and I have had things around my lip that resemble cold sores before. I only just found out recently that oral herpes can be spread even when there is no cold sore (asymptomatic shedding). That was a shock to me, since Iíve given my boyfriend a few unprotected blowjobs before and didnít realize I was putting him at risk. He knows I get cold sores, and he said heís gotten cold sores before too as a child, but inside his mouth, which makes me think what heís talking about are actually canker sores and he may not have HSV-1 himself.
I know in order to be as safe as possible, we should be having protected oral sex, but Iíve frankly never heard of anyone giving a blowjob through a condom and feel like that would just defeat the point (feel free to correct me if Iím wrong). Iíve asked my female friends about this and all of them have said they just have unprotected oral sex when they donít have cold sores, despite the risk (which they say is minute), and said Iím just being paranoid about it.
My question is, what really is the risk of transmitting HSV-1 through unprotected oral to genital contact? Is it large enough to be worth worrying about? What scares me the most is that websites Iíve consulted tell you to abstain from oral sex as soon as you feel a cold sore beginning to come on, like a few days before. However, I can never tell when Iím about to get a cold sore, as Iíve never experienced any of the itching/soreness/tingliness that other people describe. They just pop up randomly (almost like a pimple), sometimes within a few hours, and I wouldnít even know it was there at all if I didnít look in a mirror. The boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year now so itís likely if he didnít already have it, Iíve given it to him through kissing at some point.
Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Am I being paranoid or responsible? Whatís a girl with HSV-1 to do?