Herpes Expert Forum
Statistical Dilemna
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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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Statistical Dilemna

Hello,

First, thank you for taking the time to answer all of these questions.  This question may have been asked and answered but there is so much information it is often hard to determine the accuracy.  I have recently started dating a woman and we have amazing chemistry.  She has informed me that she is HSV2 positive and has been for 12 years.  She has not had an outbreak since her original outbreak although I know that the absence of outbreaks is essentially meaningless.  I am not willing to let her having HSV2 deter me and her from seeing where our relationship may take us, however, I also would like to avoid becoming HSV2 positive if this relationship does not end with the two of us together.  I have read that it is likely that I could contract the virus between 3-10 days per year and have a 5-10 percent chance of contracting the virus in any one year.  I have also read that if she is on valtrex or similar antivirals (which she is) the chance of her infecting me is reduced by 95% which to me would equate to a rate of infection of less than 1% per year or that she is likely to spread the virus approximately 1 day per year.  Is that correct ?  
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If she is taking antiviral therapy daily (500 mg once a day of valtrex or 400 mg twice a day of acyclovir), and you don't use condoms, and you have sex about twice a week, the risk of you acquiring HSV 2 from her is about 2% in a year.  That is, if there were 100 men in your same situation having sex with HSV 2 positive women, about 2 would become infected in a year.  Condoms will reduce that even further.

Good for you for not letting her HSV 2 deter you.  Have you actually been tested yourself ever to determine that you are not infected and just don't know it?  80% of those infected with HSV 2 don't know it, so it might be worth getting tested, just to be sure.  If you turn out to be infected as well, there is no issue here.

Terri
3 Comments
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Would the same hold true tor an HSV+ male with a negative female? Assuming the male was on antivirals?
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55646_tn?1263664409
No, the risk of transmission from an infected male to an uninfected female is about double the risk.

Terri
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Westover Heights Clinic
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