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Getting HSV-2 orally on purpose to prevent getting it genitally
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Getting HSV-2 orally on purpose to prevent getting it genitally

I don't know if anyone has considered this before.  Here's the scenario:

- I have genital HSV-2.
- I want to prevent transmitting it to my wife genitally to prevent potential pregnancy complications and so that she doesn't have to deal with genital outbreaks.
- I know that you can't get HSV-2 genitally if you have HSV-2 orally because you develop HSV-2 antibodies, and the chance of auto-inoculation is then almost zero.

- So, what if we tried purposely to infect my wife with oral HSV-2 via oral sex while I'm having a genital outbreak?

HSV-2 has a lower affinity for the oral area, but infection is still possible.  Future outbreaks of oral HSV-2 will typically be few and far between and likely mild due to HSV-2's low affinity for the oral area.  Once my wife has oral HSV-2 (in her trigeminal ganglion) and develops HSV-2 antibodies, she won't be able to auto-inoculate herself genitally, and I won't be able to infect her genitally via intercourse.

Has anybody thought of this as a way to prevent HSV-2 in the genital area where it can be the most damaging for a child-bearing woman?  Please let me know your thoughts.
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Avatar_n_tn
What your talking about is a BAD idea! It sounds almost as if you are wanting to infect her in order to activate some sort of vaccine effect to prevent her from getting it genitally. It doesn't work that way necessarily. And I doubt ANY health professional would go along with you on that. And to be honest, that's a ridiculous scheme not to mention dangerous one. Sorry. First off, you said yourself, having Oral HSV2 will 'almost' prevent auto inoculation. "Almost" translates to not 100% if you do the math. Why would you take that risk 'intentionally' if she's not infected? What if it backfired on you, and she did become infected genitally and also got pregnant. Are you ready to deal with her emotional devastation? Are you ready to deal with a potential legal ramifications she would have every right to bring against you for purposely infecting her on such a ridiculous basis that could fail miserably?

Instead why not just take care to keep her from becoming infected? Get on suppresive therapy. Talk to the doctor about when would be the safest time to impregnate your wife without infecting her. The odds can be reduced greatly if you take steps. Heck, if anything, look into artificial insemination if you can't bring yourself to take steps to find another way.

And an even more important issue is regarding her personally. How do you know she would really want to try that? Have you talked to her about it? Did she go along with it? If not, did you try to convince her to go along? And do you know she would actually want to engage in such a weird plan truly deep in her heart, regardless if she agreed outwardly? I'd almost guess if she did agree it would be very hesitantly. I would think that's just plain scary to think about for her.  

Sorry but I just can't support you on the idea. I don't mean to be mean but that idea just sounds really inconsiderate to 'her' as a person, and as your beloved wife. And as I mentioned, it would still not guarantee the baby wouldn't be at risk also. It's just not a justifiable motive you described imo.

I'm very sorry to post such a negative response to your question but I just had to chime in on this one.

It's enough that people are devastated by unwanted infection that they never intended to get, but to start engineering ways to intentionally also infect you partner on some absurd & far out idea that's not even 100% guaranteed to work is just going too far imo!
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Avatar_n_tn
In addition, you should be aware that regardless of what you read ion message boards and herpes and different opinions on herpes websites and forums, auto-inoculation 'is' theoretically possible until antibodies are built up and then there's still no 100% guarrantee. And despite what you read about blood tests waiting 3 months antibodies to develope, it could take longer. You never know really. Up to 6 months in some cases I've heard. So, there 'will' be a risk that you can't 100% rule out. What you are talking about possibly trying to do is just not worth it. And as I said, I'm just a little disturbed about what amounts to 'maniplualting' you wife's body to carry out this idea of yours without any consideration of her a a person, and her feelings and emotions with acquiring the virus intentionally with no sure guarantee of the outcome. It just seems a little impersonal is the best way I can describe it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Also, you mentioned auto-inoculation. Infecting her with HSV2 orally might not 100% necessarily protect her from contracting it genitally when you have intercourse with her either. You should completely rid your thoughts of this idea imo.
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Avatar_n_tn
I appreciate your opinion, but there's no reason to get so upset.  We haven't even close to seriously considered this.  We're both doctors and just recently discussed it, so we wanted to get an STD expert's opinion.  HSV is typically only devastating to the ignorant.  We're obviously not ignorant, are looking at this objectively, and are wondering if anyone else has done the same.  Manipulation of my wife's body and disregard for her as a person and for her feelings have nothing to do with this.  If you read what the experts on this forum have written about auto-inoculation and transmission, and if it's true, this idea isn't absurd at all.  The body is a machine, and it can be manipulated to respond favorably to an exhaustive list of medical threats.  We do it every day.  Think objectively, and I'll wait for a response from a medical expert who does the same.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, your original post was addressed to anyone and requested thoughts, so I guess anyone, including myself will feel obliged to offer our opinions, whether you judge them objective or not.  But that being said, if you're a Doctor as you claim, then I would imagine you have access to plenty of sources of STD expert's opinions other than posting randomly on a message board forum and waiting for an "objective" response from someone who might claim to be an expert on the herpes virus and all it's variables. Have you thought about possibly posting in the Doctor's forum? ( I believe there is one attached to this sight if I'm not mistaken. Seems Grace has referred to it a number of times. Although I think you have to pay for responses there. But if it's a real expert your looking for a response to, well... That''s where you'll find responses from people that you can be reasonably sure are "experts"

Also, my response has nothing to do with not being objective, but rather weighing the risks against what you seem to be thinking is an absolute no-risk scenario. And I don't think it is.

Yes the body is a machine, ``But herpes being an irreversible STD leaves no room for guess work in regards to what you propose doing. You mentioned you and your wife have discussed it. I would sure hope she in particular thinks hard about it and does what she in her heart really is comfortable with. Because for all the body being a machine to be manipulated explanation you've given, herpes as you know will have a definite effect on the emotions and mind of the owner of that machine. And that's something not to be taken lightly. So, what you are suggesting should be thought long and hard about, and not just from the point of view of, ok this is my machine and I'm going to infect it this way or that way so as to accomplish some goal or outcome. That's almost like a lab experiment for lack of better term, and one that's not completely 100% predictable in regards to stated purpose.

And regardless, what you've read of what the experts on this forum have written about auto-inoculation and transmission or on any other forums, their comments still still do not state that it's absolutely 100% guaranteed not to happen. Yes, build up of antibodies makes auto-inoculation very unlikely, yes I get that, but it's not completely out of the realm of possibilty. Nor would be the scenario of intercourse after you had infected her orally.

One of the reasons that the first year is the worst for outbreaks is because the body is still getting adjusted to the virus. That information is stated on various herpes websites and it makes perfect sense. And then the outbreaks tend to be less severe...for some. But not all. And that's the key concern with predicting what you're claiming. There is no precise black & white behavior with herpes. And there's so many variables with different individuals who have the virus.

You posted this thread, I'm just giving you my perspective.
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101028_tn?1348750963
yes this idea has come up quite a few time before.

it's not going to be easy to infect your wife orally with hsv2 for starters. Even if you did, what little info we have on folks who only have hsv2 orally, it doesn't seem to be 100% protection against contracting it genitally later on ( I think it's an article by lafferty on herpes that covers this but I'm not sure ).  Most people who contract hsv2 orally, also contract it genitally too so it's very hard for us to study.

if you take daily suppressive therapy and avoid sex anytime you have anything genitally going on, your wife is 95% likely on average not to contract hsv2 from you. Avoiding sex during her 3rd trimester is also recommended when the male partner is hsv2+. It's really only infection during the 3rd trimester that is the highest risk for transmission. even if she contracted it during her first 2 trimesters, a c section would be protection.  You also can resume condom use once she is pregnant too to further protect her a little more.

keep asking questions :)

grace

ps sorry but I haven't read through the other responses to comment on them. just not in the mood today to be honest with you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had herpes type 2 in the genital area for about 30 years.  I have been married for 23 years and have never given it to my husband.

A week before I was due to deliver my daughter, I had a herpes outbreak.  The doctor (rightly) insisted a C-Section was in order.  Two days later my healthy child was delivered by C-Section with no exposure to the virus.  

To INTENTIONALLY give this virus to a person you love (or a person you don't love, for that matter) almost sounds like a socipathic idea. I am glad that you aren't MY doctor.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so happy to see that you were able to deliver a healthy baby. I am so worried about passing it to my unborn child (I'm not pregnant but we are trying) and they told me about getting a C section. The worst things play in my mind, blindness is the scariest. I found out about two years ago that I had it after my first outbreak, while my husband and I weren't together. I am grateful that he decided to reconcile after I told him that I contracted it. Now we are talking about kids and I am just so scared. Is it safe to use Valtrex during pregnancy or while breast feeding? I was told by the doctor that it is, but I would prefer a personal perspective. Plus around my period I still have breakouts, so when I do get pregnant will they be more frequent because of my hormones? I know that everyone is different, but do pregnant women with HSV have more flares than they do when they aren't pregnant?
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101028_tn?1348750963
please do not hijack this posters post. we will gladly answer all your questions if you start your own post - thanks!

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Avatar_n_tn
Grace was I talking to you? Don't be bold online when you probably aren't in person!
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