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1stAnd10

Husband: 1st OB. Diagnosed: HSV-1 Neg; HSV-2 Positive. Wife? - Thoughts? Advice?

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1stAnd10

FIRST TIME TO WEBSITE. HELP....  Had a single small spot show up on my penis.  Never had anything like it occur previously.  Showed up the morning after having oral and vaginal sex with my wife, each of the two previous days, like 6 hours after intercourse.  Went to my doctor the next day and he was unsure but suggested testing for HSV-1 and HSV-2 as precaution.  Lab Test Results:

IGG HSV-1 = <0.90 Negative 

IGG HSV-2 = 9.55 (>1.09)

Needless to say I'm trying to wrap my brain around all of this....   Is it possible the above is a false positive?  Have been tested in past and been negative.   I don't know how I contracted it.  All very upsetting but my real concern is my wife. 

I'm married in a monogamous relationship and have not been with anyone else for over 3 years.  My wife and I are very sexually active, having sex multiple times a week most weeks since August 2015.  I think the longest we have gone without sex is like 2 weeks and that's been very rare.  My wife has oral cold sore out breaks multiple times a year but to my knowledge hasn't had any genital herpe symptoms and has never been tested for HSV 1 or 2. 

What is the likelihood my wife has HSV-2?  That she contacted HSV-2 from me, that I contracted it from her or that we both came into the relationship with it?  The reality is none of this really matters, I'm just so upset that it involves her.  My worst nightmare. 

Since the spot popped up I have refrained from being sexual with my wife.  Felt like it would be a breach of trust to be sexual with her without telling her there could be an issue. I wanted the test results first and wanted to discuss with her so, if there was an issue, we could work through this together.  Its been two weeks and she has started making comments about not having sex and asking if something is wrong SO I have to address this now.  

Shouldn't she go to the dr? Shouldn't we go together?  Shouldn't she get tested?

My doctor, whom she goes to for general stuff as well, has acted like no big deal.  Told me I could have had this for years or gotten it six months ago, no one knows for sure and people have this and deal with this all the time.  Obviously, if she is negative iy can't be a resent infection. He has suggested  suppression therapy of 500mg Valacycovir daily for each of us.

Any thoughts or comments? Thank you.

 

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WilsoInAus

Hey @1stAnd10 and welcome. You have quite a story and exactly in the frame for a lot of assistance from members.

Your result is positive, no question. Only a lab mixup could see you truly negative. That’s rare, but you may consider a second test as confirmation.

A result like that indicates an established infection.

Next steps? Depends on a lot of things. I’m tempted to just say ask your wife to test so you have full facts. However the do nothing strategy may also be appropriate.

Maybe one question that may help. Are you from a high incidence background? (Such as African or South American?) 

 

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1stAnd10

No.  I'm just your typical small town middle class America. 

Also, I was previouly married for 8 years and have two daughters from that marriage ages 13 and 8. Only 3 other sexual partners between marriages.  All women, and daughters, for that matter, have oral cold sores outbreaks.  Not sure if type 1 or 2.  To much info.... sorry. 

That's my 15 year sexual history.

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WilsoInAus

That’s a pretty common history! 

Oral cold sore outbreaks are almost always HSV-1. 

I’d suggest a reason you have not contracted HSV-1 yourself is that you have HSV-2 that provides a lot of protection.

So back to you and your wife. My usual advice in these circumstances is just forget about it. You have both made vows for better or for worse. Sounds like you have a great life together, especially sexual. What would either of you want to be different? Just shred the test result and live on, come what may.

The alternative is for her to test and determine status and then decide what prevention methods are appropriate for you. You can still revert to Plan A above if you choose.

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1stAnd10

WilsoInAus, let me just say that I greatly appreciate you trying to educate and help people.  I have read many of your post and it has helped tremendously.  Thank you.  

In futherance of my questions above.  Is it more likely than not my wife has HSV-2 either from previously having it or being exposed to it by me given the amount of time and sexual activity? 

Also, would your comments hold equally true that if she didn't have HSV-2 her cold sores would be caused by HSV-1 which may provide protection against the HSV-2?  

That plus suppression therapy....

Sorry about the additional questions.  Your advice seems to make perfect sense.  I'm just trying to put myself in her shoes to better understand what she is going to have to reconcile.  She is strong, loyal, loving and without a doubt my rock.  It's just that sex is a big part of our relationship and I don't want this to impact her or us.  Wishful thinking.

Again thanks for your help. 

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WilsoInAus

@1stAnd10 please keep asking as many of these great questions. Hopefully they are helping you in your thinking around the virus.

Just a minor point I want to put forward. Over 97% of HSV-2 infections are genital. The virus can infect other parts of the body though if that body part is actively rubbed on an infected area. This includes the oral region (head) for a baby born to a HSV-2 mother or giving oral sex to an woman with genital HSV-2 - maybe even the fingers. This is all such low odds, but it might trigger some thoughts.

All up, I think it is a 50/50 call as to whether to whether your wife has HSV-2. 

The figures do not seem to bear out the HSV-1 provides any protection from a HSV-2 infection. The same proportion of people with HSV-1 have HSV-2 as for those who do not have HSV-1. You’d expect to see those with HSV-1 have a lower incidence of HSV-2, but we don’t see that. Hope that makes sense. It is funny how the reverse though (HSV-2 provides protection for HSV-1) does seem to be true. It is best to assume that HSV-1 provides no protection from HSV-2.

Suppression is good, as are condoms. You would only consider taking suppression of course should your wife tests negative for HSV-2. There is no point an uninflected person taking antivirals, they have no preventative effect.

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