› Forums › Herpes Questions › Disclosed HSV2 – how to be safe practically
- This topic has 3 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by Terri Warren.
December 21, 2022 at 12:00 pm #79778PartnerAnxietyParticipant
I’ve been seeing a lady for 3 months and she just disclosed that she has HSV2 (we haven’t had sex yet). Her first outbreak was 5 months ago and she has had one re-occurance. She had 2 bumps each time that she said hurt bad (not sure where yet). We have really connected very well and I want to find a way to continue our relationship and not contract HSV2. I know the official guidance (no sex during BO’s, condoms, antivirals daily) but I’m looking for more practical advice.
– Since she is newly infected, does it affect the likelihood I’ll contract it? Should we wait until a specific time after her initial OB to have sex to lower the odds?
– If the location of the bumps are in a location where a condom doesn’t cover my body parts that would touch it, does wearing the condom actually provide protection. I don’t do great with condoms so I’d prefer not to have to wear them forever, especially if it isn’t going to protect me based on where it is. If it’s an area that the condom will cover and protect me, I will wear them of course.
– I know dental dams are suggested but HSV2 tends not to transfer to the mouth. What is the risk of me giving her oral sex practically? It’s something that I’d like to do to make her feel good. Again I will use them if they are actually necessary
– Is it practical to think I can have sex with her for years and not get HSV2?
I really like her but I’m really worried as well. I want to be armed with as much practical knowledge as possible to make the best decisions. I also don’t want to avoid things that won’t help me stay safe based on the location of the outbreak, I don’t want her to feel like I’m scared to touch her.
December 22, 2022 at 10:39 am #79798PartnerAnxietyParticipant
I think my previous question might have come across wrong. The disclosure was a big shock and I’m trying to find my path forward with her. As I said above I really feel connected with this girl and thank that the relationship has great potential. I’m trying to figure out how to stay negative at the same time having not only a emotional but also sexual relationship. So far we haven’t had any type of sex but she has shared that she wants sex to be a important part of the relationship and I do as well. She only has HSV2 (2 sores) and 2 BO’s in 5 months. My IGG test for HSV1 and HSV2 were both negative 16+ weeks after sex with anyone.
What I think I know is that nothing is really “safe” it could be transmitted even if we do everything. From what I understand I as a male have about a 4% change of getting the virus. It would go down to 2% if she takes antivirals and to about 1% if we also use a condom. It’s about the same odds as dying from an automobile accident. So it seems like a low risk (albeit guys still get it so I could still be the unlucky one).
Since she has HSV2 genital region what is the risk of oral w/o a dental dam? I know it’s “low” but I would assume it’s much lower than sex with a condom and antiviral?
I have also read that newer cases are more contagious and hers is only 5 months old. We could wait to 6 months but probably not to 2 years. Is there any data that says we should wait a few more months and we would be much safer or is it basically the same until the 2 year mark?
I think I know that you have to wear a condom every time. I understand that the condom only works if the OB happens in a place that condom covers. Does the condom still help if I will still be touching the area that breaks out with non condom areas of my genitals
Thank you so much for all you are doing. She is wonderful and I want to find a way to stay safe and move forward with her. It’s early though and I’m afraid of becoming positive and it not working out.
December 23, 2022 at 2:08 am #79802tach100520Participant
I just want to say how much I appreciate your post and all the research you’re doing to really give this woman a chance. No one asks to get HSV2 and it’s a devastating diagnosis on the outset. I, a female, was completely broken when I found out 1.5 yr ago and refuse to let anyone touch me now and I don’t know how to break that cycle because in all reality, it has zero bearing over my life and if tests didn’t confirm it, I wouldn’t know I have it. I have friends with it, 3 lifelong friends, that have had it since their very first relationship and all are now married with kids for decades and only one passed it to her husband but neither have any symptoms of it and they tell me the fear of it is infinitely worse than the actual infection. It’s a skin condition – like acne – nothing more. Now, knowing as much as I know about it, a true connection with someone is way more rare than HSV2. There’s a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that’s helped me graphically show the odds of a man contracting it from a woman – you should look that study up. The chances of you getting it are higher in the beginning but not 100% if you’re careful and she’s on meds. What are the odds of finding another deep connection with someone though? I wish you both the best of luck! I commend you for seeing who she is and not letting her diagnosis scare you away and I commend her for being so so brave to tell you about her situation – she must feel super safe with you.
December 27, 2022 at 8:49 am #79831Terri WarrenKeymaster
I’m glad that you are reaching out to find ways to sort this out.
And you are right on target – condoms and suppression and awareness of outbreaks are the ways to reduce the risk of transmission. Condoms will reduce the risk of acquiring virus that may be present on or in the vagina without an actual sore. You could put a barrier on the labia like saran wrap or special panties for giving her oral sex.
People with new herpes do shed virus more often than later, that is correct. But there is no specific date where you can count on that.
The data on transmission varies greatly depending on the study that is conducted – the 4% is an average. There are studies showing higher and lower transmission rates.
There are specific things you can do to reduce transmission and you know that they are – at some point, you will need to simply step into the risk – carefully.
Please let me know other specific questions you may have.
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