November 17, 2020 at 3:52 pm #71812
HSV2+ 18yrs. Quite severe OBs for the first 3 or so years. Now maybe 4 or less a year. I recently left a 15 year relationship, where my BF and I avoided sex during OBs. He was quite easygoing about my diagnosis as was I, and I felt very in tune with my body in regards to active OBs. I was on and off suppressive therapy prior to this relationship. For the past several months, I have been involved with a new partner. As I always have, I disclosed my status before any intimacy, as well as restarting suppressive Valtrex at 500mg/per day. After having an OB on this dose (mild, no prodromal just an itchy blister) my physician increased the dose to 1000mg per day. I had a second OB after the increase (same manifestation as described above) shortly after, but as far as I know have not had any in 6 months.My new parter who expressed little concern at first has gotten quite worried on and off. My fears have increased as a result. Recently, I have been concerned that the way my OBs manifest have changed with being on daily Valtrex. I feel out of tune with my body. From the time I was diagnosed until the last few months, I have always felt very confident that I knew if I was actively having an OB. I always had blisters that would have a very obvious twinge if touched, and when not on suppreasive therapy prodromal sxs. I now worry anytime I have a tingling or an itch, and obsessively check my vulva. I have not had an obvious blister appear during any of these periods of obsessive checking. I am sure some of it is psychosomatic related to new partner’s fears. I am also wondering if you have seen cases where OBs that have ALWAYS (18yrs) involved blisters changing to atypical symptoms? I am concerned I am taking a med meant to lower risk is doing the opposite, by making OBs atypical, though this was not my experience when on them earlier in my HPV2 journey. I know it’s impossible to be 100% sure w/out swabs, but any guidance helps. I want to be as safe as possible.
- This topic was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Rose4. Reason: Submitted by mistake!
November 17, 2020 at 6:59 pm #71814
A few additions. I realized that I used HPV vs. HSV in my above post. I mean HSV in all cases, apologies for the typos.
I have read through many of the forum posts, and did come across one where you mentioned that in that particular case it was possible the antivirals were not completely suppressing outbreaks. I am curious how likely this would lead to an OB being so different than typical for many years that you would not know you were having one.
I also came across the stats that with HSV2+ women and a negative male partner, with the infected partner on antivirals the transmission rate is 4% per year. This is reassuring. Also, I saw the risk of transmission lowering over time in an partnership. Do you have a timeframe re: this? The more stats I can share with him the better.
When I mentioned he was worried, I wanted to add detail. None of his concerns have been specific to anything I would be concerned about knowing what I know about HSV 2. He is a generally anxious person. I do my best to be reassuring. My new fears and going back and forth on being “safe” are obviously compounding this.
I mentioned my own recent concerns about being unsure about outbreaks, I feel I should add there too. It tends to be more a feeling of discomfort, which can change places. Then I do my test, which is to scratch the area gently to see if I get the distinct herpes response I have always had. I have not felt this in 6 months since the last time I had a definite OB. Still, I get into a pattern of obsessively checking. I suspect I am irritating the area with checking vs. OB. Sometimes there is redness, but no visible cuts etc. I scrutinize my sebaceous glands in case I missed something. I am so afraid to make a mistake and be intimate during an outbreak unknowingly. I know I can’t control asymptomatic shedding, but feel it is my responsibility to know when an active OB is happening. The anxiety is ruining my sex life, and I am considering ending this otherwise good relationship.
November 18, 2020 at 5:04 pm #71823
A quick update. I really intended to be succinct!
My partner contacted me today with concern re an OB. He sent me photos that did not seem to be an OB to me. I suggested we both go to a clinic to see if we could get swabs.
The MD told me, as I suspected, that it is not likely a OB would manifest differently after so many years, but could not confirm for certain (which I also understand). He examined me and told me there was nothing to swab, attributing the discomfort to my checking vs. OB. He told my partner that he saw no need for concern and nothing to swab
either. My partner understands that he may have had prior exposure and will get a blood test once he can afford it.
November 18, 2020 at 5:10 pm #71824
To add, I am interested in your expert opinion so I can be as clear with any partner about risk as possible. Seeing an MD today helped with some reassurance re likely current active status for my partner and I, but it was a temporary measure in terms of the understanding I hope to gain here.
Thank you so much for this forum and your work, Terri. It’s so hard to find accurate information, and this is deeply appreciated.
November 25, 2020 at 10:47 am #71873Terri WarrenKeymaster
So I do understand your concern about the medication changing the symptoms. The thing is, before, when you felt in tune with your body about outbreaks, you were likely missing the times of asymptomatic shedding which were definitely occurring. but not, the risks of transmission are lower because of the antiviral medication by about 50%, even though you aren’t as able to be clear about actual outbreaks. It might be helpful if, when you have mild symptoms, you got them swab tested or if possible, for your doc to give you swabs to use at home when you have symptoms, and then drop the sample off at his office or the lab. That gives you more real-time feedback about your symptoms then your doc or I can give you.
This may not be the right partner for you if he is this worried. And he would definitely benefit from testing, if only for a baseline read (which I am assuming he didn’t do before you started having sex?)
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