I see this question being skirted around but I think it is so important. If an uninfected person can prevent getting infected by taking valacyclovir this seems like a marvelous thing to do. In a committed relationship where both parties can take it, seems to me there is a possibility of reducing the chance of transmission to zero. I know it's a little odd for someone without a problem to take meds but really, it makes a lot of sense since fear of transmission is the number one fear of those who are infected. Please elucidation, wonderful Dr. H.
this is not the experts forum and Dr Handsfield doesn't stop by.
we never did human studies on this because in animal studies, the uninfected partner being on antivirals didn't reduce the risk of infection. all it does is make it less likely you'd have obvious symptoms to get diagnosed and to delay how long after getting out of a relationship you have to wait to get accurate blood test results before moving on to a new partner.
since you are a male, a female partner can get the risk of transmission to you down to 1%/year. if you are the infected partner, you can get the risk of transmission to a female partner down to 2-3%/yr. to give you something to compare it to, the risk of pregnancy for a female while just using the pill for birth control is 8%. A heck of a lot easier to control herpes than it is to raise a baby together for a lifetime.
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