Herpes Expert Forum
Questions about telling a partner about genital HSV-1 and pregnancy
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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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Questions about telling a partner about genital HSV-1 and pregnancy

Hi,
I am a woman in the mid-thirties andI have a had a first bad episode of genital HSV-1 about 8 years ago, and only 2 small recurrences in the following year. I read a lot on your expert forums and understood that transmission is rare form genital tract, as shedding is very low, and that if I have not had any outbreaks for a long time I am unlikely to have another one in the future.
I feel really bad because I think I was in denial of the risk of transmission after having read that, and now I am in a strong and wonderful relationship...but have never told my boyfriend! I know it is irresponsible.
Now I just learned that I am pregnant and I don't know how to deal with it.
Do you have any professionnal suggestion on thst matter?
How to tell him?
Which facts I get give him on possible transmission and pregnancy, to let him decide what he wants to do next? Staying on board or discussing together the pursuit or not of this pregnancy?
I am ready for any decisions he might take, as I cannot continue by keeping him out of the loop. I respect him too much for that.
Thank you so much.
55646_tn?1263664409
That's a difficult situation, for sure.  
Has he ever had a cold sore on his lip?  If yes, then he is highly unlikely to acquire your genital HSV 1 infection.

Your pregnancy is an opportunity to raise the subject.  You might say something like "Now that I'm pregnant, there is something we need to talk about.  I should have raised this earlier, but now, with a baby on the way, things have changed".  You can expect him to be somewhat unhappy, not so much about the herpes, but rather, about the deception.  

If he has never had a cold sore, then it would be good for him to get an IgG antibody test to see his actual status.  Fifty seven percent of the US population between 14 and 49 has HSV 1, so the odds are good that he is infected.

There's really no way to do this, I don't think, but just do it.  Please let me know how it goes.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for answering so fast. To answer your question about past sores he might have had, I don't think so but I am not sure.
If not, and he still wants to be in the relationship, how do you suggest we handle it at this point? So if he has question about that I will be able to answer him and hopefully reassure him...
Thanks again.
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55646_tn?1263664409
well, that's kind of an individual question per couple.  If he is really worried about it, you can take daily antiviral therapy after you have your baby to reduce the risk of transmission to him.  Frankly, I cannot imagine that this could end a relationship between two people who are having a baby together.  He needs an antibody test to see where things stand.  Who knows, he could have HSV 2 and not know it!

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello again!

I just want to give an update on my situation, since you helped me so much... I finally talked to my partner, so afraid of what he might say (ready for a break up actually, because it is so not in our values to hide ourselves things). He took it so well, he almost laughed at me because I thought of the worse!

He has never been officially tested, but since he has been in the past with a partner that had a genital HSV1, he knew about the risks involved and the difference between type 1 and 2. He had a monogamous relationship at that moment, and we are in a committed relationship as well, so he is not worried about it.

I still don't know if we wants to get properly tested, he is thinking about it.

Thank you so much for your help, you have been a wonderful guide!

P.S. The only test report I have in my files is dated 2 years after my initial outbreak, and it is juste written Positive for HSV-1 and Negative for HSV-2 (IgG).  You guys talk a lot on the forum about values,  IgM, etc. Is it necessary for me to get retested with those informations?
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55646_tn?1263664409
No, we know you have antibody to HSV 1.  How do you know that you have it genitally?

Glad it went so well, I knew it would :-)

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
I know because when I had my initial outbreak, they did a culture test and a blood test. It was so bad I had to go to the emergency room, after 2 wrong diagnosis of urinary tract infection, and even had to be hospitalised shortly. I saw the microbiologist at that time. I didn't think of challenging them on that, I was so surprised... I trusted the experts.
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55646_tn?1263664409
OK, I overlooked that part of your history, didn't know about the positive swab test.  Sounds definitely genital.

Terri
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