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Old 03-25-2004, 03:13 AM   #1
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veryworriedguy HB User
Lightbulb Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

Came across a study (from Glaxo/Valtrex) about the transmission of genital herpes from an infected partner to an uninfected partner. The study involved 1484 couples with one infected partner (HSV-2) and one uninfected partner over an 8 month period. Also, keep in mind that 2/3rds of the "uninfected partners" were males. The findings:

PLACEBO GROUP:

- 16 out of 741 (2.2%) participants contracted Genital Herpes and actually showed symptoms

- 27 out of 741 (3.6%) of participants contracted Genital Herpes but did NOT show any symptoms

- Overall rate of transmission for placebo group (symptotic or assymptotic) was 5.8%.


VALTREX (DAILY) Group:

- 4 out of 743 (0.5%) of participants whose partner took Valtrex suppressively contracted Genital herpes and showed symptoms

- 16 out of 743 (2.2%) of participants whose partner took Valtrex contracted Genital herpes but DID NOT show any symptoms of the virus

- Overall rate of transmission for Valtrex daily group was 2.7%.


CONDOM USE:

- 55% of participants said they NEVER used condoms, 13% SOMETIMES used condoms, and 30% ALMOST ALWAYS used condoms

- Condoms were found to significantly reduce the risk of transmission

- No one who used BOTH Valtrex AND condoms at least SOMETIMES or ALWAYS contracted herpes along with the symptoms (this doesn't exclude them from contracting herpes but not showing the symptoms)


VIRAL SHEDDING:

- Placebo group shed the virus on 7.8% of their days over 8 months

- Valtrex group shed the virus on 2.8% of their days over 8 months

- Of the placebo group, 82% shed the virus on at least 1 or more days

- Of Valtrex group, 49% shed the virus on at least 1 or more days (however, the amount of virus shed was 60% lower for this group)

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Keep in mind that all of these couples were counseled on safe sex practices with a partner who has herpes (for instance no sex during an OB). Also, the majority of the "uninfected partners" were men (2/3rds) and it was found that the risk of transmission is greater for women than it is for men. Based on the results, the bottom line is that the risk of spreading genital herpes to a partner is about 6% over an 8 month period. If you throw in Valtrex suppressively, your risk of spreading it is about 3%. If you use Valtrex AND condoms, the risk is even lower. Also not that these numbers are slightly skewed due to the majority of uninfected being men, so the risk is slightly higher for infected male + uninfected female partner...and lower for infected female + uninfected male partner.

Anyway, I hope this helps quantify things a little bit for everyone. On one hand it made me feel unlucky to have contracted this virus (I unknowingly had sex with an infected partner just once AND used a condom and still got it). On the other hand, at least you have an idea of what kind of risk is involved.

P.S. On another note, if you throw in the HERPES vaccine for women which *should* be out within a few years by Glaxo, your risk of spreading the disease to your female partner at all goes down by 40%. Meanwhile, the risk of spreading the disease to your female partner AND having her develop herpes symptoms decreases by 75%. So I figure with the vaccine, plus valtrex daily, plus condom use...the risk of infecting a female partner is practically nil. This thought at least gives me some hope for the future. Cheers.

 
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Old 03-25-2004, 06:44 AM   #2
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positiveone HB User
Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

Hi VeryWorriedGuy Thanks for all of the information. Having been infected by someone that had known for along time and didn't say boo to me...I would like to say this to you. The fact that you are a man...that is even concerned about such a thing, goes out and researches it and sincerely doesn't want to hurt anyone especially someone you love....shows your character and level of integrity. I think you are great!! When you meet the right person herpes will be the least of your worries...I promise.

 
Old 03-25-2004, 07:57 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: MD
Posts: 839
Ornament HB User
Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

Veryworriedguy.....

I totally agree w/positiveone (love the name).....I couldn't of said it any better myself. It's nice to know there are still, people in this world, ready to inform themselves, thru research, understanding and compassion for others and then take the time to share this information, for others to benefit.....Glad you posted on this board and please continue.......Bravo -Ornament
P.S. I too, was infected by someone who knew....but, remained in denial.....and get this, we're still together.....Hmmm, who would of thunk it!!!

Last edited by Ornament; 03-25-2004 at 07:59 AM.

 
Old 03-25-2004, 03:45 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 4
learningtodeal HB User
Talking Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

undefined
Quote:
Originally Posted by veryworriedguy
Came across a study (from Glaxo/Valtrex) about the transmission of genital herpes from an infected partner to an uninfected partner. The study involved 1484 couples with one infected partner (HSV-2) and one uninfected partner over an 8 month period. Also, keep in mind that 2/3rds of the "uninfected partners" were males.

PLACEBO GROUP:

- 16 out of 741 (2.2%) participants contracted Genital Herpes and actually showed symptoms

- 27 out of 741 (3.6%) of participants contracted Genital Herpes but did NOT show any symptoms

- Overall rate of transmission for placebo group (symptotic or assymptotic) was 5.8%.


VALTREX (DAILY) Group:

- 4 out of 743 (0.5%) of participants whose partner took Valtrex suppressively contracted Genital herpes and showed symptoms

- 16 out of 743 (2.2%) of participants whose partner took Valtrex contracted Genital herpes but DID NOT show any symptoms of the virus

- Overall rate of transmission for Valtrex daily group was 2.7%.


CONDOM USE:

- 55% of participants said they NEVER used condoms, 13% SOMETIMES used condoms, and 30% ALMOST ALWAYS used condoms

- Condoms were found to significantly reduce the risk of transmission

- No one who used BOTH Valtrex AND condoms at least SOMETIMES or ALWAYS contracted herpes along with the symptoms (this doesn't exclude them from contracting herpes but not showing the symptoms)


VIRAL SHEDDING:

- Placebo group shed the virus on 7.8% of their days over 8 months

- Valtrex group shed the virus on 2.8% of their days over 8 months

- Of the placebo group, 82% shed the virus on at least 1 or more days

- Of Valtrex group, 49% shed the virus on at least 1 or more days (however, the amount of virus shed was 60% lower for this group)

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Keep in mind that all of these couples were counseled on safe sex practices with a partner who has herpes (for instance no sex during an OB). Also, the majority of the "uninfected partners" were men (2/3rds) and it was found that the risk of transmission is greater for women than it is for men. Based on the results, the bottom line is that the risk of spreading genital herpes to a partner is about 6% over an 8 month period. If you throw in Valtrex suppressively, your risk of spreading it is about 3%. If you use Valtrex AND condoms, the risk is even lower. Also not that these numbers are slightly skewed due to the majority of uninfected being men, so the risk is slightly higher for infected male + uninfected female partner...and lower for infected female + uninfected male partner.

Anyway, I hope this helps quantify things a little bit for everyone. On one hand it made me feel unlucky to have contracted this virus (I unknowingly had sex with an infected partner just once AND used a condom and still got it). On the other hand, at least you have an idea of what kind of risk is involved.

P.S. On another note, if you throw in the HERPES vaccine for women which *should* be out within a few years by Glaxo, your risk of spreading the disease to your female partner at all goes down by 40%. Meanwhile, the risk of spreading the disease to your female partner AND having her develop herpes symptoms decreases by 75%. So I figure with the vaccine, plus valtrex daily, plus condom use...the risk of infecting a female partner is practically nil. This thought at least gives me some hope for the future. Cheers.
I hope this is where I start typing my response. This is my first time actually replying on the board. Well, this news you just gave me makes me SO HAPPY! (BTW, I need to start taking Valtrex.) Anyway, My partner knows about it and as far as I know, he has not got it yet. After coming across this message board yesterday, I have been thinking about asking him to get a test to see if I gave it to him but he has no symptoms. OR if we have managed to not transmit it in the last two years. These results really give me hope in dealing with H in my life. When I first got it and up until yesterday actually, I thought that my sex life was shot..and over! Unless I found someone with H already. Now how would I do that? But now with these results you gave me, it puts it into prospective on my options and risks. Thank you

 
Old 03-25-2004, 04:10 PM   #5
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learningtodeal HB User
Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

Oh and one more thing, I am in agreement with "positive one." I am happy to see someone who cares. I am a female and have never spoke to anyone about this, except for my current boyfriend, who remains uninfected. (oh, and my ex-HUSBAND who gave it to me...) Therefore, I am unable to educate myself becasue until this message board came my way...I had nobody to talk to about it. This really helped!

 
Old 03-25-2004, 04:44 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 99
veryworriedguy HB User
Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

Quote:
Originally Posted by learningtodeal
Oh and one more thing, I am in agreement with "positive one." I am happy to see someone who cares. I am a female and have never spoke to anyone about this, except for my current boyfriend, who remains uninfected. (oh, and my ex-HUSBAND who gave it to me...) Therefore, I am unable to educate myself becasue until this message board came my way...I had nobody to talk to about it. This really helped!
Hey learning! I'm glad it helped ya (and not just cause I spent about 2 hours reading the FDA report on the trial and translating it into plain english for my post =) ). I guess what it teaches you is that with proper precautions and management of the virus, you can really give your partner a pretty decent shot at staying uninfected. What I have found is that most of the people who get infected...were infected by a partner who didn't bother warning them (or perhaps didn't know), and therefore did not take any precautions to avoid transmitting it....now if only I could take my own advice and get the nerve to try dating again...

Here are some suggestions to reduce risk as much as possible:

- ABSOLUTELY NO SEX if you have the slightest hint of an outbreak
- Condom use
- Valtrex suppressively
- No sex if either one of you is feeling sick at all (weak immune system means greater chance of transmission)
- Your partner washing themself after sex (maybe shower together?)
- This one goes a little further, but on top of wearing a condom, your partner *could* wear boxers during sex, and simply pull his thingie out through the slip in his boxer shorts (I know, maybe not as romantic as you'd like, but it would reduce skin-to-skin contact down there quite a bit)

Good luck.

 
Old 03-27-2004, 03:52 PM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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sarah1000 HB User
Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

Just wanted to share my experience and give some hope to others who may be going through the same thing (i.e. I wish someone had told me this when I was first diagnosed).

I was diagnosed 10 years ago and have had two sexual partners since then in long term committed relationships (one for four years and the other for six years). For the first guy, we always used condoms and we sometimes had sex even when I had some tingling/itching - but he was never infected (got yearly blood tests). The second guy, we always use condoms and I have been on Valtrex suppression therapy for five of those years and he has not been infected either. I do not recommend having sex during the prodrome symptoms but I was young and stupid then.

Another note about Valtrex, I went from having 12-20 outbreaks a year to 0-1. I have discussed with my doctor about long term side effects of taking this drug, and he advised that acyclovir has been around for many years, is one of the safest drugs I can take, and can prevent other complications like ocular herpes (caused by HSV1). I still get worried occasionally about that blue pill I take everyday, but remembering how difficult life was without it, it's worth the risk of the unknown to be able to focus on other things that last five years. I would love to hear from other people about any long term risks about Valtrex they might have heard about??

 
Old 04-07-2004, 02:55 AM   #8
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veryworriedguy HB User
Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

Just moving this up for all the people who need to tell new partners so at least you have some figures to go by.

 
Old 04-08-2004, 06:50 AM   #9
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Posts: 77
ohcanada HB User
Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

Wish I could take Valtrex. It appears I am allergic to both Valtex and Famvir. It makes me burn, itch and sting - and at first I thought I was in constant prodomal stages but I really believe it has been the supressants causing it because I have stopped taking it for a week now and the burning is 90% gone. If I use condoms only with my partner, do I have a great chance of spreading herpes? My ex fiancee never told me he had herpes, hence is was the ONLY man in 4 years I never used a condom with, and I got herpes a few months after we stopped using condoms. I don't know the strain of herpes I got but if I could name it I would call it the Hell series as mine seem to be mean, and re-occuring a lot. My doc said some people get it worse than others and that is why I was so glad to start the Valtrex. Oh well, I am waiting for an e mail back from the company that manufactures it to see if they know about allergic reactions to it. For all those who it works for Bravo! Keep taking it, and enjoy, because not one of us that have herpes ever deserved it - including the people who were stupid enough to give it to us without warning.

 
Old 04-12-2004, 04:08 AM   #10
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: TX
Posts: 113
BurnedByAnAngel HB User
Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

Honestly I just wanted to move this up for all the newbies and people that might have to tell a partner soon, just some facts and figures for you to realize that its not the end of the world. I also wanted to give a million congradulations to veryworriedguy. You leave A LOT of helpful information on here man and all your post are straight forward an honest. Some might see your bluntness as harsh, but thats how i am, and reading your post and others have helped me out a lot.

 
Old 04-19-2004, 05:15 AM   #11
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BurnedByAnAngel HB User
Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

Just bumping this back up to the top AGAIN, AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME!!! I hope everyone is dealing with this situation fairly well. I also hope someone is having enough sex for me and you both.

 
Old 04-19-2004, 08:37 AM   #12
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serialnovelist HB User
Re: Chances of Spreading to Uninfected Partner

[QUOTE=ohcanada]I don't know the strain of herpes I got but if I could name it I would call it the Hell series as mine seem to be mean, and re-occuring a lot. My doc said some people get it worse than others and that is why I was so glad to start the Valtrex. [QUOTE]

Oh Canada, My stupid doctor didn't authorize my refill, and then they were closed for the weekend, i was on the verge of a total breakout caused by friction and my friend gave me a bottle of echinachea. I'll be gol darned if it didn't clear it up before it even got going. I'm gonna go back on the valtex just for the "no so contagious" aspect of it and keep taking the echinachea twice a day. just remember two weeks on and two weeks off when taking it.

Course a Centrum a day after your first meal doesn't hurt either

 
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