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HSV2(neg) woman considering intercourse with HSV2(pos) man
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HSV2(neg) woman considering intercourse with HSV2(pos) man

First off, this forum is an excellent resource!  So glad to have found it.

Here is my current concern... I have been dating a man who disclosed to me he is positive for HSV2.  He contracted it many years ago and currently has 1-3 outbreaks per year.  He takes suppressive medication off and on (currently on).

I have been tested for HSV2 (IGG) and am negative.  (Although as an aside, I do suspect I have HSV1 as I remember having a cold sore once on my mouth as a young person.)

Currently, due to concerns about transmission of HSV2, we are not having intercourse at all.  We kiss, etc, but our genitals never touch without underwear on.  I do stimulate his penis manually and orally while he is wearing a condom.

We are now thinking about having vaginal sex, with a condom of course.  However, I don't feel I fully understand the risks of doing this.


- I've seen stats that say the risk of male to female transmission of HSV2 during a year of unprotected sex is 10%.  But by adding condoms and suppressive therapy, this risk is reduced (by half?)  True?
- Currently, I stimulate his penis manually and orally while he is wearing a condom (but never during an OB).  However, during manual stimulation, my hands do touch skin in his genital area that is not covered (eg: scrotum).  I wash my hands immediately after stimulation.  Are there any risks to me here?
- If we decide to proceed with protected vaginal intercourse, I know that condoms only cover the penile shaft, so I'm concerned about transmission from the other parts of his (uncovered) genitals that would be touching my uncovered genitals.  We would never have sex during an OB, but I am worried about prodromal periods and asymptomatic shedding.  This is probably what frightens me the most.  Thoughts?
- If I *did* somehow contract HSV2, how would I know?  I am concerned about the possibility of passing it on to others.

Thank you in advance.
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Just an update that I have just posted this to the paid Expert forum... I still welcome any and all advice and replies, but I know the Forum Leaders like to know when a question has been cross-posted.  :)
..i am still trying to learn all the information i can..but i remember seeing it on the handbook..that the chances are slimmer if you have the opposite type of virus, just make sure you have HSV1 for sure..so for example, if you have HSV1 (oral) and he has HSV2 (genital) then the chances are way slimmer that you will get the genital HSV2 and he the HSV1, but please do not quote me on that, i am no expert and i am still trying to face my diagnosis of HSV2, which hasnt been easy, but i have tried to do some research and i think i remember seeing that in the book.  
..the risk is reduced to 2-3%..
..i think if you wash your hands right after, you have nothing to worry about..
..not sure about that one..
..to be honest, i think you wouldnt unless you clearly had visible symptoms..i didnt know, havent had any outbreaks/warts/lesions..and apparently i have it..so if you DID, i would say to tell your doc and get tested every few months..?..
..good luck..
If you use condoms and your BF is on suppressive therapy, there's a 98% chance annually you WON'T be infected! Pretty good odds, don't you think?

Here are the stats for male to female transmission rates:

MALE TO FEMALE TRANSMISSION RATES (HSV 2 ONLY STATS IS NOT APPLICABLE FOR HSV 1) If you have 100 couples where the male has HSV 2 but not the female (these figures are over a year) the odds of male to female transmission are if you do nothing (other than avoid sex when there is an outbreak) 8-10 females out of a 100 will get herpes in a year, or 8-10%. If you do go on a suppressive therapy then it drops to 4-5 females out of a 100 in a year or 4-5%, and if you use suppressive therapy and a condom the chances are 2-3 females out of a 100 will get herpes in one year, or 2-3%.

The Valtrex and transmission study stats are based on having sex 2 times/week.

As far as knowing or not if you've been infected down the road, testing would be necessary in the absence of any symptoms. As to passing it to others, I assume you know that it's only transmissible through sex (hence why it's called an STD).

I highly recommend you both read the Herpes Handbook here  http://www.westoverheights.com/genital_herpes/handbook/view_the_chapters.html  
If you find that the free handbook isn't enough info, check out Terri Warren's book - "The Good News About the Bad News" - it goes into far more detail and is very helpful for newly diagnosed people and their partners http://thegoodnewsaboutthebadnews.com/
Thank you Petal!  

Yes, I did read the westoverheights chapters online already.  They were helpful.  :)
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