If i. Had cold sores as a child does that mean I have hsv-1 for life?

Yes. Hsv-1 remains in your body once you get it once, however it becomes dormant - it goes to sleep - in one of your spinal nerves. Sometimes, the virus can become reactivated, and cause more cold sores, but other times it remains dormant for life.
Stays in your system. It does stay in your system after the first infection, but depending on the strength of your immune system may or may not reappear again. Some people get them repeatedly, some occasionally, and some lucky folks, never again. For those affected more frequently, they might want to consider lysine supplements.

Related Questions

Since cold sores are so common and probably easy to pass on to babies, how would you know if a baby contracted the HSV 1 virus?

HSV. Herpes simplex virus produces these and if the baby already has cold sores the chances are very high that they have been infected with this virus. You could do viral cultures on one of the sores, or do antibody titers on the baby. But why bother?
Herpes simplex. Common. Between half and three-quarters of ordinary people "carry" HSV. Most are not symptomatic. If you have a mouth or lip blister, I wouldn't kiss the baby, but I wouldn't recommend 1/2 to 3/4 of mothers not kiss/touch/cuddle their babies. You probably would not know unless the baby was extremely young, unusually small or very ill.

How likely is it that I will spread HSV 1 to my baby if I have never had symptoms of the virus but my mother has gotten cold sores for as I remember?

Herpes simplex. Common. Between half and three-quarters of ordinary people "carry" HSV. Most are not symptomatic. If you have a mouth or lip blister, I wouldn't kiss the baby, but I wouldn't recommend 1/2 to 3/4 of mothers not kiss/touch/cuddle their babies.

I have had hsv-1 for many years. I rarely or never get cold sores. I never found it necessary to tell a partner. Do you agree? Thanks.

Herpes simplex. Most human beings have had herpes simplex exposure. Whether or not you have active sores does not necessarily determine whether you are going to transmit it to others, since you may be shedding virus despite the absence of active lesions. Whether or not you tell people is a personal ethical choice. Wouldn't you want to know if a potential partner had something you could acquire?

Shared a cigarette (Slightly damp on the end) with someone who has HSV-1, no cold sores though. What is my risk of contracting? Should I be worried??

Yes. Be worried, as cigarettes are dangerously harmful. One should never intentionally inhale the byproducts of burning organic material plus whatever chemicals are added to the organic material (called a cigarette). No worries for HSV-1, which causes about 80% of oral herpes and is considered a universal virus (most people have it). An estimated 80% of adults have HSV-1, so it's the new "normal".

Could HSV 1/ cold sores be spread to the tongue?

Yes. The first time you have hsv 1 you could have it spread anywhere in your mouth. After that the sores tend to appear on soft tissue like the tongue and lips.

I have hsv-1 what is the chance that I could transfer the virus to my bf, when I have no cold sores present?

Up to 50% Half of all people have hsv1 by the time they go to college. So there is a 50% chance that your boyfriend already has it and there is no issue about passing it to each other. Even without an active cold sore, there is some asymptomatic shedding that occurs always, so you can pass it to him even if you don't have cold sore if he is negative for hsv1.
Not likely. You may not be aware that you have lesions present but if there are no lesions and not vesicles you are not contagioius... It is important to avoid contact with mucous membranes that are infected if lesions are present and routine hygiene like hand washing is critical.