Herpes Expert Forum
Genital herpes
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Welcome to the Herpes forum. This forum is for questions and support pertaining to herpes simplex virus infections (HSV-1 and 2) and herpes zoster (shingles) and the virus that causes it, varicella zoster virus. Questions about genital herpes are welcome both here and on the STD Forum.

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Genital herpes

Hello, I fell in love with a lady and had unprotected sex with her during her period. She then informed me that she has genital herpes. I was definitely shocked and didn’t really know how to react so I just continued having unprotected sex assuming I already had it. A month passed during which oral sex was kept at a minimum and protection was used over 80% of the time. I got tested and turned out negative so I was surprised that I didn’t get it after all the “crazy” fun we had. The facts: She has had it for 7 years, and hasn’t had an outbreak in a year. She is on a daily 500mg dose of Valtrex. She keeps saying “I know my body” to the effect of being able to tell from the slightest of signs that it is not a good time to engage. She says that sometimes she feels something but no symptoms appear. Could this be a hidden symptom of viral shedding, a helpful sign that now is not a good time? Questions: What are my chances of staying with her and not contracting the H be it in the short or long term? Will I most likely get it if I think on the long term? Can we have unprotected sex; can I give her oral sex? What kind of sex life can we have, what measures should she and I take for protection and prevention? Thanking you in advance.
55646_tn?1263664409
I would say, given everything that you told me, that your chances of getting herpes from her are very low.  

First, since she is taking Valtrex daily, it reduces the risk of transmission by almost 50% if she had HSV 2.  Probably it is about the same for HSV 1 but we don't have data on this.  If it was HSV 2, the chances of transmission in a year on therapy daily is about 2%.  If it is HSV 1, it is most certainly less because HSV 1 recurs and sheds much less frequently than HSV 2. We don't have exact numbers for HSV 1 however.  

Asymptomatic shedding is, by definition, something that occurs when no symptoms are present at all.  So her statement that she knows her body is just not consistent with this definition, no matter how hard she tries.  

So you tested negative for both HSV 1 and HSV 2?  Have you ever had a cold sore on your lip?

Terri
6 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
PS: If I also take valtrex would i be more protected?
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Avatar_m_tn
PS she has genital hsv1
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your reply.

Yes, I tested negative for both HSV 1 and 2 and have never had a cold sore on my lip.

About the asymptomatic shedding; her view is that she sometimes gets an inner feeling that lasts a day that something is going to pop up but then the feeling goes away. She also sometimes feels some itching which also then goes away with no outbreak. I hope this is not repetitive, but could these be signs of asymptomatic shedding or is there absolutely no way to tell.

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Avatar_m_tn
Would you advise against unprotected sex?

What about me giving her oral sex?

Thank you
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55646_tn?1263664409
I would advise against unprotected sex until you are truly ready to take a very small risk.  Same with oral sex, only the risk is probably even lower that you will get it orally.

Terri
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55646_tn?1263664409
Terri Warren, RN, Adult Nurse Pr...Blank
Westover Heights Clinic
Portland, OR
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