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Marybr

How can I help?

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Marybr

Hi, everyone. 
As far as I know, I don't have herpes, but my best friend who is really really close to me recently had an outbreak with all symptons of genital herpes. He is treating it right now, but the blood test came negative. I know there's false negative, so he probably has it. He's already on medication and is going to make a urine test today to confirm. 

We used to date but it's been a while we don't have anything. I will make a test to make sure I don't have it too, but I think he most probably got from the last person he had sex. It was around a month and a half after having sex for the last time (with a new person) that the symptoms came. He ALWAYS uses condom, but not for oral sex, could he had contract HSV-1 on his genitals? Could he had contract HSV-2 even with a condom? How likely is that?

Also, I am very worried about the psychological side. He came to me before all that to say he was depressed and asked my help. He was having suicidal thoughts and most days couldn't get out the house. So I am sick worried that the herpes could make it worse in this moment. 

I've been reading a lot to trying to understand all that, but I must admit I am scared and confused.
So, here I am. I would like to ask you, HOW can I support him concerning his herpes situation in your opinion? How can accept and help him accept this is how things are going to be right now?
What is his sex life going to be from now on? Can he NEVER have sex without condoms for the rest of his life? Can he have children without transmitting to his future wife? Can he have oral sex without condom is he has type 2? If he has no symptoms is it likely to transmit the virus or is it very hard to happen? 
How come people that has it on their lips can kiss and have a normal life if they don't have symptoms and people with type 2 get more restrict with sex? Is it possible that a couple can be + and - for herpes and the other person never contract the virus if they are careful enough? How?

I am sorry to ask a bunch of questions, I am just very confused. I really like him both as friend and as crush and I don't discard getting back together or eventually ended up having sex (we had a one night stand earlier in this year, despite not being together for several months). I won't be hypocrite and say I am not scared of getting it or already having it from him, but I know once I understand better, most likely this fear will be under control and even if we're not together as well, he can understand he can have a normal life. His mom told him she knows a guy that has genital herpes and ALWAYS has any kind of sex with condom and for this reason he couldn't have kids, for example. 

Edited by Marybr

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hopeing

You can catch both HSV1 and HSV2 on many parts of the body, this is something that even health professionals sometimes get wrong, which I find frankly shocking. Typically the virus enters the host through a 'mucus membrane', that is why the mouth and sex parts are particularly vulnerable. They aren't the only places though, the eyes also, be very careful with contact lenses etc. Also you can get it anywhere on your skin, then skin is supposed to be a good barrier defense, but there is herpetic whitlow which is when its on the finger, and wrestlers often get is on their body from skin contact. 

Condoms are therefore not 100% effective as areas of skin will still touch during sex, and also possibly before and after sex.

Its not advisable for a HSV2 positive person to ever had sex without a condom from my knowledge.

Its possible to be shedding on 30% of days of the year even with zero symptoms, so its hard to manage the safety of the condition for others.

Your doctor is supposed to be able to help with lower risk conception if you ask, I'm not sure what this involves, you'd have to investigate. I expect it involves some form or artificial insemination, but I could be wrong.

Many people report having healthy sex lives, but its very difficult to be sure, some people are asymptomatic or dormant carriers for their whole lives or the first 5-10 years of infection. Its possible peoples relationships break up before their partner even realizes.

Some people with HSV1 have maybe one outbreak a year, I can see how its possible for them to have normal life.

My own experience of HSV2 doesn't seem to allow for what I would consider normal sex life.

I spent at least 3 years being suicidal, and I still struggle with many things like the thought of never being loved or having sex again. What i can say is even with the diminished life I have, it is still worth living.

A person an Antivirals +  condoms + sex abstention after prodrome or active symptoms is supposed to be 1% risk infection per year according to some studies. Just be very careful is my advice.

Maybe tell him that you want to help and support him ? I really hope you both manage to find something good from this.

Edited by hopeing

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WilsoInAus

I think the best thing to do is encourage him to pursue an accurate, typed diagnosis

You suggest it was six weeks from last sex to symptoms and a negative blood test and maybe swab?? 

There is hence the real possibility this isn't herpes at all. Either way he needs to keep pushing toward diagnosis 

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Lisajd

In terms of the above comments about sex it really is up to the person that he is seeing and how they feel about it.  But he does need to know which type he is because that is important in terms of knowing how many outbreaks he is likely to have and the risks associated with it.  Not every partner will choose to use condoms because they might be happy to take the risk because they really care about somebody and if he takes antivirals then that will reduce the risk.  In regards to all your questions there is a lot of good information out there and a positive and negative person can have a good sex life.  If a person knowingly has herpes they can take all the precautions so that they don't put the other partner at risk and it is more the people who don't know they have herpes and don't know the risks and are careless that transmit it to the other person.  I think what's important is to worry about the diagnosis first and go from there

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