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The H Bomb

Keeping a partner safe

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The H Bomb

Hey guys,

So last week I had 'the talk' with the girl that I have been seeing for a few weeks. Things have been going really well and I felt like we were ready to take the relationship to the next level. I honestly expected her to run a mile, but she didn't. She said that she was familiar with how herpes operates and thought our relationship was more important than some skin condition. Great news for me! She is 100% herpes free.

But here is my question - I am absolutely petrified about passing this on to her. I know that she is accepting the risk by moving forward but I still need to do all I can to keep her safe. I am aware that there are no guarantees that she won't get herpes from me, but I was wondering if anyone could offer their 2 cents worth as to the best ways to protect her. It would be great to hear from other couples where one person has herpes and the other has managed to remain herpes free.

I know the basics - avoid sex during an outbreak and always wear a condom, but I am so paranoid knowing the my 'boxer shorts area' is potentially contagious at any given time. I have thought about surpressive therapy but don't know if it is right for me. I have GHSV-1 and my doctor said that i would need to wait a year before going onto daily meds so he could see how the virus behaved in my body. He still thinks that since my only outbreak was extremely mild, there is a good chance i won't experience future outbreaks. Whether or not that is the case, is surpressive therapy that effective for people with GHSV-1 who experience minimal outbreaks?

The thought of passing this on to this girl is causing me so much stress. I think a part of me was secretly hoping she would walk away when I told her so that I wouldn't have to deal with this biggest fear.

So if anyone out there could pass on some of their tips I would really appreciate it.

And one other question - there is a lot of conflicting info on the net about the virus being present in body fluids so thought I would see if anyone on here could enlighten me. I think I can safely rule out that I don't have the virus in my saliva as I only have GHSV-1 (correct me if I am wrong), but will there be any traces of the virus in my semen? Some sites say yes, while others say no - so which is correct?

Thanks again.

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GntiNh

Did your doctor understand that you wanted to have suppressants to try and help with your relationship?

Yes there are no guarantees with HSV but the mixture of no-sex when breakout occur, condoms and suppressants reduce transmission rates.

You have given your partner a choice and therefore she can make up her own mind as to what risks are involved. Just to double check, you say she is H free, has she just had a HSV test then?

HSV is passed through skin to skin contact, not in saliva or semen - remember alot of the internet is "I made it up wikapedia" and I've even seen people confuse HSV with HIV!

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chickentuna

hiya read this link for transmission rates...

and try your bet to get on antivirals and use condoms ...valtrex is the known medication to reduce transmission. or its generic valacyclovir.

http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/18/giving-your-partner-herpes/

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The H Bomb

Thanks for the replies so far - to answer your question -

- When my doc spoke about waiting to go on suppressive therapy I wasn't dating anyone

- My partner had a test a few weeks prior to us meeting and was clear of all STD's including herpes. She has never been exposed to the virus before.

Are there side effects to taking the daily meds? And not sure if anyone out there knows the answer to this, but for someone with GHSV1 who doesn't have recurrent outbreaks, would the daily meds have that much of an impact of viral shedding?

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GntiNh

Drugs of any type can have side effects, you won't know until you try them. With any drug is it is used long term then your kidney and liver function could be affected so that's why anyone on any drug (not used anti-virals) should have it monitored.in

I couldn't find any study which used G HSV 1 and suppressants, but it is believed to work in the same way as suppressants and G HSV 2. There are various threads at the moment in the forum with the statistics about risk factors but the general recommendation is that the use of a barrier method and suppressants reduced the transfer of the virus.

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MissHope

I have GHSV2 and my partner does not. In three years I've not passed it on to him (that we know of - he's not tested in that time). I did not take suppressive meds as he didn't see the point and have only used condoms for protection. That said, we are expecting our first child next week so we obviously didn't use anything when we were trying to conceive.

I just make sure that as soon as I feel any tingles or like an OB is coming on, that I take valtrex and we steer clear of each other. I also take soluble zinc and vitamin a to boost my immune system, and this combo with the valtrex usually clears up anything in a day or two.

You mention that your girlfriend was just tested - did she specifically ask for a herpes screening? Herpes is not tested in a routine screen as they can only diagnose from a swab from an active lesion or a specific blood test.

I wish you the best of luck - there are many happy success stories around here where folks like us have made it work. I hope you guys are another one of them!!!

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