Congestive Heart Failure Expert Forum
Effect of HSV-2 on Cardiomyopathy
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CHF is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. In some cases, the heart can’t fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems. The term "heart failure" doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. Heart failure is a serious condition that requires medical care. This forum is a place to ask questions about CHF. Some examples are: How is CHF diagnosed? What treatment options are available for me?

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Effect of HSV-2 on Cardiomyopathy

Hi, My bf suffers from mild Cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the heart). I'm not entirely sure which type it is though.

I was recently tested "equivocal" on my HSV1 and 2 tests and now his Cardiologist has advised him to end our relationship for fear of him getting HSV2 from me. According to his Cardiologist, getting HSV2, or any infection for that matter,would jeopardise his life!

I just need a second opinion. Is this really true? Could I really kill him? Please help!
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

First, I suspect you are referring to genital herpes?

Regardless, the advice that your boyfriend received from his physician seems quite unsubstantiated.  HSV-1 and HSV-2 are both very common infections worldwide and estimates suggest that at least 50 million people have genital herpes in the United States alone.  Many couples continue to enjoy a healthy sexual relationship even when one has genital herpes but condoms and other precautions should be used.  

As far as his cardiomyopathy is concerned, I do not see any significant risk.  Even when HSV involves the body outside of the genital region it rarely if ever involves the heart.  As far as infections in general are concerned, it is true that people with severe heart failure can have an exacerbation of the heart failure triggered by an infection.  However, you describe a “mild cardiomyopathy” and your boyfriend is much more likely to become ill from the common cold, flu, etc, which by virtue of being in contact with anyone during the winter (including you) would put him at some (very small) risk.  As a heart failure expert, I see no reason why you should not be able to continue to be in a relationship with your boyfriend on the basis of the information you have provided me.

Hope that helps.


Dr. Rich
Thank you so very much for your view on this matter Dr. Rich! Much appreciated.
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