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Genital herpes transmission/ suppression questions
Avatar_m_tn
by isab31, Jan 18, 2011
Hi. I was diagnosed with HSV 2 about 8 months ago, this was done via positive culture while having blisters. I have been taking aciclovyr as suppressive therapy since. I am not sure whether I have had an outbreak as such since. I certainly have had no visible blisters but have had occassions where discharge seems more prominent. I was just wondering how likely it is that I will pass it on to a non infected partner if no condoms are used and sex is avoided during any visible symptoms. Does anyone have experience of being on suppressive therapy but still transmitting? Also, is aciclovyr as effective as valtrex as this appears to be the drug that has been used in the studies. Many thanks
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Member Comments (21)
Avatar_f_tn
by tedabell, Jan 18, 2011
I would use protection to be on the safe side its better to be safe than sorry.However regardless if there is no visible outbreaks doesn't mean it's safe to have unprotected intercourse because you are still shedding the virus. Although you are taking suppressive theraphy I wouldn't chance it. Anyway valtrex and acyclovir both works fine but acyclovir is the oldest drug.
Avatar_m_tn
by isab31, Jan 18, 2011
Thanks for your comment. I would appreciate any feedback on discordant couples with one on suppressive therapy and no condom use.
Avatar_f_tn
by tedabell, Jan 18, 2011
I am not sure about that like I said it would be best to not have unprotected sex unless you explain your condition to your partner and if they are willing to have unprotected intercourse with you and understands your situation then so be it. But how would you feel if you found out you infected someone. On the other hand I would recommend that you talk to your doctor in reference to this. They may have a better answer for you. I understand that you are taking your medication and you want to know what is the likelihood of me having unprotected sex and not infecting my partner. Still sounds risky but it can also depend on how long you have been taking suppressive theraphy and how often you have outbreaks.
Avatar_m_tn
by isab31, Jan 19, 2011
Thanks again, any other comments and experiences would be appreciated
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by gracefromHHP, Jan 19, 2011
you've listed your gender as male but are you male or female? what is your partner's gender?

you don't have to have protected sex just because you have genital herpes. using a condom does help reduce the risk of your partner contracting hsv2 but it's all totally up to the two of you.

The transmission studies were only done with valtrex because it's more convenient to take as well as acyclovir was generic at the time so no money to be made off of doing them with acyclovir.  acyclovir reduces shedding and ob's at the same rate as valtrex, you just have to take it more often. we assume the outcomes would be similar when acyclovir is used instead of valtrex. valtrex is an acyclovir prodrug which means you swallow valtrex and your body converts it into acyclovir inside. you get more active acyclovir available in the body to kick a little herpes butt which is why you don't take valtrex as often as acyclovir.

until my latest partner, I've always been in discordant relationships. I've been on suppressive therapy with acyclovir. My partners have stayed hsv2 negative ( they are male and I am female ). I don't use condoms in long term relationships.  

grace
Avatar_m_tn
by isab31, Jan 19, 2011
Thanks very much for your comment grace, that's very informative. I am female and my partner is male. I know every situation is unique but it's good to know there are examples of couples, who taking measures, can prevent infection to a non infected partner and it doesn't mean you will transmit as soon as you get intimate with someone.
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by gracefromHHP, Jan 19, 2011
if you did nothing but avoid sex anytime you had anything going on genitally, on average your partner has a 96% likelihood each year of NOT contracting hsv2 from you. suppressive therapy cuts his risk in half.   so yes you can transmit it to a partner but the risk in general is very low as long as you know you are infected and avoid sex when you have anything going on genitally.  anything over and above that that you do just puts the odds even more in your partners favor of staying negative!

has your partner been tested to know their status?
Avatar_m_tn
by isab31, Jan 19, 2011
No but it's the age old statement that he has never shown any symptoms therefore he has never felt the need. By anything going on genitally I take it you mean the slightest change which could indicate an outbreak. As I said earlier I have only had one visible blister outbreak since being diagnosed. I am slightly worried that I am going to spend the rest of my life being massively paranoid by the slightest thing going on down there! For example I have started over analysing my discharge and convincing myself it's an outbreak when it's probably just normal monthly discharge.
Avatar_f_tn
by tedabell, Jan 19, 2011
I understand what you are feeling about your outbreaks and transmission. However don't let genital herpes ruin your life of course we tend to get stressed sometimes because this virus can be tricky but when you take control of it it's not so bad.

You mentioned something about your partner not having any symptoms and not getting tested completely explains that you are taking precautions. On the other hand how long have you been taking your meds because you said something about you only had one outbreak since being diagnosed.

However outbreaks varies everybody outbreaks tend to be different. In the begining my outbreaks were horrible I'm saying horrible because I experienced them every couple of weeks to once and even sometimes twice a month.
I wasn't on any meds at the time and I experienced these outbreaks for about 2 years that's why I'm saying horrible.

I been on daily suppressive theraphy acyclovir for about five months now and things are just fine I feel much better than before. You did mention something about your discharge things of that nature are normal with this virus because it produces alot of discharge so you may be worried that an outbreak is on the way don't worry it could be the prodrome stage when an outbreak seems like it is getting ready to come on and then it doesn't that is why I'm saying that this disease is tricky because it tends to have you stressing about another outbreak.

On the one hand do you know about herbs that can be helpful in suppressing outbreaks such as lysine, herbal teas, citrus bioflavonoids, vitaminC, zinc these herbs and vitamins can be found in the health food store some of these herbs are beneficial it all depends I read that they are go for individuals with GHSV2 I read about the herbs in my Home remedies books.

It's a good idea to read and know about the virus that way you have a better chance of controlling your outbreaks. As for me I try not to stress alot and get plenty of rest and take my medication on time eat alot of fruits and vegetables and things are working out just fine I don't think I have had an outbreak now for about 2 months now that is improvement from my previous outbreaks.
                                                          
Good Luck isab31 Take care.