Herpes Expert Forum
She has herpes 1, I don't
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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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She has herpes 1, I don't

Trying to keep this short (2000 characters and a lot of questions). I know there are no absolutes, but your best info/opinion is greatly appreciated.
The woman I just started seeing has herpes-2 (genital). She’s only had one outbreak some time ago and now takes Valtrex daily.
I've heard that in our age rang (40-50) that one in four women has genital herpes, whether they know it or not. Is that number accurate and if not what would be?
I have herpes-1 (cold sores). I've read that if you have herpes-1 that it’s difficult to contract herpes-2 because you already have the anti-body. Is this accurate and if so, how much "protection" is there having the anti-body?
I take acyclovir as needed for the cold sores but would maybe want to switch to a daily Valtrex if that would help prevent getting herpes-2. Would that help?
If I use a condom I know that you can still contract herpes through contact with the skin that is not covered, so showering after is a good idea. How quickly can infection happen? Is this something I have to do immediately or can I wait a while.  Do anti-bacterial wipes work against the virus? A warm washcloth with something less mood-killing?
If we get serious enough that I want to stop using a condom I would still want to wash but have also heard that urinating can help reduce the risk. Is that true and again, how soon would I need to do that to be effective?
This is the fourth woman in the last several years that I met and like, but then found out they have herpes. In the past this has been a deal killer. It’s scary and I’m trying to figure out how to deal with it as it seems to be so common. I’m trying to figure out what my risks are and what safer sex practices make sense. I would love to hear that since I have herpes 1 that I don’t have anything to worry about (probably wishful thinking). I’m hoping you can give some sort of assessment about just how risky things would be (a one in whatever chance?). Any additional info would help.
55646_tn?1263664409
I've heard that in our age rang (40-50) that one in four women has genital herpes, whether they know it or not. Is that number accurate and if not what would be?

It is higher - closer to 35%

I have herpes-1 (cold sores). I've read that if you have herpes-1 that it’s difficult to contract herpes-2 because you already have the anti-body. Is this accurate and if so, how much "protection" is there having the anti-body?

There isn't any proven protection for HSV 2 from having HSV 1, but it does make acquisition of HSV 2 more likely to be subclinical (no symptoms).  

I take acyclovir as needed for the cold sores but would maybe want to switch to a daily Valtrex if that would help prevent getting herpes-2. Would that help?

Not that we know of, no.

If I use a condom I know that you can still contract herpes through contact with the skin that is not covered, so showering after is a good idea. How quickly can infection happen?

Condoms reduce transmission by about half, they are a useful tool in the toolbox.  Washing may or may not help, we don't have any research on this issue.

Is this something I have to do immediately or can I wait a while.  Do anti-bacterial wipes work against the virus? A warm washcloth with something less mood-killing?

See above.

If we get serious enough that I want to stop using a condom I would still want to wash but have also heard that urinating can help reduce the risk. Is that true and again, how soon would I need to do that to be effective?

Again, no research on this, but I think it is unlikely to be helpful.

This is the fourth woman in the last several years that I met and like, but then found out they have herpes. In the past this has been a deal killer. It’s scary and I’m trying to figure out how to deal with it as it seems to be so common. I’m trying to figure out what my risks are and what safer sex practices make sense. I would love to hear that since I have herpes 1 that I don’t have anything to worry about (probably wishful thinking). I’m hoping you can give some sort of assessment about just how risky things would be (a one in whatever chance?). Any additional info would help.

In my personal opinion, choosing a future mate because they do or don't have herpes doesn't make sense.  There are so many more important values to consider when choosing a partner.  Now if this is not about choosing a casual sex partner, that's another issue.  Under those circumstances, you might not feel attached enough to risk acquiring herpes.  It is all up to you, just sharing my opinion.

Terri
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Sorry, title should have read She has herpes 2, not 1              
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