12 – Will my partner catch it again if he or she already has it? – HERPES

12 – Will my partner catch it again if he or she already has it?
If you and your partner have the same virus you will not reinfect each other – even on a different part of the body. So, if you have caught it on your genital from your partner’s facial cold sores, he or she will not catch the virus back on the genitals. There is more about transmission in our “Transmission” leaflet – available to members

If the new partner has had facial cold sores in the past and they will either have the same virus as you and be unable to catch it from you, or will have the other type (there are only two types of herpes simplex). If they have the other type and then catch you type, their symptoms will probably be slight or non-existent. This is because the antibodies they already have for ‘their type’ will immediately start fighting this slightly different virus while it prepares new antibodies to fight it properly. It is called having ‘patrial protection’. This gives them an advantage over people who have no herpes simplex antibodies of either type. An antibody (blood test) might show that this is the case. Members can request our leaflet explaining what an Antibody type test can do

http://www.herpes.org.uk/faq.html