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Old 01-07-2008, 06:57 AM   #1
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Talking Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

To all:

I have posted messages on this board previously. My initial membership into this community was after having sexual contact with my now girlfriend who I found out has herpes after our first sexual contact. Our first time having sex was done unprotected, (I know this is wrong but neither of us have ever been so attracted to another person in our whole lives, we couldnt resist even though we didnt have a condom.) But that is irrevelant at this point, we are now a couple and head over heels in love with eachother. I always wear a condom since she told me she has H, and for months have not shown any symptoms of herpes. I will remain using this board because it is just as helpful for me, an uninfected boyfriend, as it is for someone who is actually carrying H. Today I am comfortable with her situation and will continue to love her regardless of some stupid virus that she regards with a positive attitude anyway, she takes great care of herself and treats her condition as she should. Here are my current questions though, can anyone answer me?

I saw a my doctor to discuss things, and he told me that because of the time period between this Dr visit and the contact, (several weeks), I would have shown acute symptoms by now, therefore without having any test my Doctor said its very safe to say I did not contract it. He said getting tested would proove nothing regarding my current girlfriend because I have been having sex for many years before her, and testing only says you have it, not when you got it or from who. Should I go to planned parent hood and get a test done anyway, or just be assured meerly because I have never had any symptoms of H? My girlfriend takes Valtrex and doesnt miss a single dose.

Also, What are the best strategies to continue loving my girlfriend physically and prevent myself from getting H?
a). When using a condom, is it still possible to contract H? (some areas of the penis are not always protected, i.e. scrotum, lowest section of shaft etc...)
b). Is spreading H only from Skin to Skin contact, or can it also be fluid contact (when she is getting off and dripping on me)
c). does Sexual contact during her period increase or decrease the odds of spreading? (with a condom)
d) Does taking a shower with lots of soap right after contact make a difference?
e) If she rarely has O.Bs is it possible to have unprotected sex reliably safe, or is unprotected sex regardless of her OB cycle always like playing Russian Roulette?
f) My doctor told me that as long as I wear a condom, dont have sex during her OBs, and she continues to take Valtrex my odds of picking up H are EXCEEDINGLY LOW. But my girlfriend and I LOVE sex, we always have sex we LOVE eachother soooooo much. Can I still accept my doctors advice about my odds even though we have sex 10x more than most people?

 
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

Your doctor is both right and wrong. You would not necessarily have shown symptoms by now. IF a person shows symptoms, it would happen within about 3 - 21 days, usually. But many people contract the virus and don't show syptoms at all. Getting tested now is a good idea. You very likely would not show up positive on a blood test due to exposure by your current girlfriend - that usually takes 3 - 4 months. But it's entirely possible you had the virus before, and just didn't know it. If you get tested now, and it's positive, you know you had a prior infection. From the sounds of your relationship, this isn't really a big deal for you. However, if you do show positive it's important to know what strain you carry. If it's a different strain from your girlfriend, then she needs to protect herself from you, as well as vice-versa. (People with HSV2 seem to have some "immunity" to HSV1, but not the other way around). As well, if you do test positive, and have the same strain she does, then unprotected sex is just fine (from a herpes point of view!!) If you test negative now, get re-tested in a few months to find out whether your exposure has resulted in you getting the virus. Chances are pretty slim.

It is still possible to contract the virus while using a condom. The virus is spread via skin on skin contact, and genital herpes lives in the entire boxer shorts area. Therefore, any contact with the area could result in transmission. Additionally, though she is on valtrex, she CAN still communicate the virus - again, the chances are reduced quite dramatically, but it can happen.

Herpes is spread only via skin on skin contact - it is not carried in saliva, blood semen or any other bodily fluids.

Soap and water kills the virus, but my personal opinion is that by the time you make it to the shower, there's been enough contact during foreplay etc. that the virus has already been spread, if it's going to. There may be other viewpoints on this...

Unprotected sex - assuming no suppressive medication and no sex during outbreaks - the chances of you getting it would be about 4% per year. She IS taking VAltrex, so that's reduced even more.

Your doctor is right - using a condom and suppressive mediation does make your chances exceedingly low. But understand it can and does still happen. Some people using this type of preventative therapy go their whole lives and never get the virus. Others have sex only once, and do get the virus. So even though your chances are low, it's still a crap shoot.

 
Old 01-08-2008, 04:53 AM   #3
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youwillbefine HB User
Smile Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

Thanks Catherine,

Your advice is great, I am so glad people like you are willing to share their knoweledge on the subject with strangers like me. I care about my girlfriend and want to still be able to satisfy her regardless of this H crap. Hopefully there will be a complete cure sometime soon. Do you think there ever will be? Well, until then we all must make changes in our life both the infected and not. I should get tested now and continue to get tested in the future, what do you suggest, every 6 months? I will get my first test this week or so to see if I was already infected before I even met her. And your saying if I am infected, and its HPV2 then we can start having unprotected sex? Is herpes like poison IVY? If I have it could I get it even worse, or once you have it you will always fight it the same way? Example, if I end up having HPV2 and my body isnt having OBs from it, will unprotected sex encourage my body to start having OBs from further contact, or is the way I respond a constant regardless of how much further contact I recieve?

 
Old 01-08-2008, 03:34 PM   #4
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Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

Firstly, the herpes virus is HSV, not HPV - that's genital warts (Human Papillomavirus).

If you get tested now, and turn out to be positive with the same strand she has, then yes - unprotected sex is OK. Do you know she has HSV2 though?? Genital herpes does not necessarily mean HSV2 - either strain can live in either location. So make sure it's the same strain before you do so.

How often you get tested is up to you and how comfortable you are with the virus. Probably once a year minimum would be a good bet. 6 months is a good amount too.

How you react to herpes is a constant. It doesn't spread like poison ivy. If it spreads, it does so by itself, not because you've touched another area on your body. If you have sex with your partner while she has an outbreak (assuming it's not too painful for her) it will not encourage your body to react and have an outbreak. You may break out shortly after sex, but only if your body was priming up to do so anyway, or if the sexual friction initializes a breakout.

Cure?? Who knows. Supposedly they're working on it, but the drug companies would lose too much money if they succeeded!

 
Old 01-09-2008, 09:25 AM   #5
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youwillbefine HB User
Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

OK, so then for my situation it would be a good idea to find out what strand she has correct? She is hesitant about getting tested, and actually never has. She is still going off her doctors diagnosis which was visual and not stereological. She has never been tested, her DR just recognized it based on the showing symptoms she had at the time of the visit. It would be best if she got tested to find out what strand of HSV she has, correct? This way if I am positive and its the same strand, then we are good to go. Otherwise, if I am negative, atleast I know what she has and where she has it. Should this be a good enough a reason to convince her to go and get tested?

 
Old 01-09-2008, 03:45 PM   #6
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Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

Absolutely. She should definitely find out what strand she has. I'm surprised she never was tested before. Doctor's are wrong about herpes all the time - if the Valtrex is helping, the diagnoses is probably correct. But what if it's not and she's treating something that doesn't exist?? I can't imagine agreeing to take medication permanently for a virus I've never actually confirmed I have!

Last edited by catharine101; 01-09-2008 at 03:47 PM.

 
Old 01-10-2008, 04:35 AM   #7
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youwillbefine HB User
Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

Catherine,

I hope you dont mind my daily questions lately. You are the most helpful stranger I have ever met! Even though internet is not exactly meeting, ha. I am wondering if a test can also locate where the virus is, oral or genital. I know the test can detirmine whether the herpes is HSV I or HSV II, however can it specifically tell the doctor where either strand lives? The reason why I am curious is because sometimes my girlfriend gives me oral sex. Should I be concerned about this? She has never had an OB on her lips before, only on her other area. BUT She told me that the person who gave her herpes genitally, she used to also please orally. Is there a chance that she might have oral herpes and never ever had any acute symptoms? And if so, does her giving me oral sex mean that I can recieve HSV on my genital area from that? She is confident taht she does not have HSV orally, but if she used to perform oral sex on a man who does have genital herpes couldnt she have it and not know? Could a test detirmine whether she has oral HSV or not?

 
Old 01-10-2008, 04:59 AM   #8
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Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

The only way to determine location is by having a breakout in that location. The blood test can't tell you.

If she contracted oral herpes in or around the same time as the genital herpes, she probably would have had an outbreak, since she had a genital outbreak. There really is no way to know for sure, but if she's pretty certain she doesn't have it orally, she's probably right.

If she did, then yes - oral sex could transfer the virus to you genitally. (Trust me, this one I know!) I think that this is probably your least concern though.

Besides, think about it - if she does perform oral sex on you, and then you have sex with penetration (with or without a condom, doesn't matter) and you then have an outbreak... Where did it come from?? Does it matter if she gave it to you orally or genitally at that point?? If you do contract the virus, you will never know if she transferred it to you from oral sex or from genital sex, because protected sex isn't 100% safe and you aren't 100% certain she doesn't have oral herpes. Once you get the virus - who cares what location it came from?

 
Old 01-10-2008, 06:05 AM   #9
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Talking Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

you are so nice Catherine, thankyou for so much help. I dont even think I have any more questions, (at this time). Thankyou so much, you provided me with more assistance than my doctor. How do you know so much anyway?

 
Old 01-10-2008, 03:28 PM   #10
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catharine101 HB User
Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

Six months of reading the board. It's everyone else who has answered my questions in past.

 
Old 05-08-2008, 09:38 AM   #11
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MakeUpGirl1 HB User
Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

Hi Catherine,

I was wondering if you can help me with my questions? I hope so. I have been diagnosed visually by my family doctor during a breakout on my genitals. I have been taking Valtrex 500mg daily since Feb. (3 months now). Is it safe for my partner to perform oral sex on me if I am showing no symptoms of an outbreak? Also, I understand that viral shedding can happen anywhere in the boxer shorts area. What are the chances of my partner catching herpes if he uses a condom and what are the chances if he does not use a condom. Of course this would be with no symptoms of an o.b. I am also understanding from what I have been reading, that if I do not have cold sores at all in my mouth can I perform oral sex on my male partner safely? What if he enters me and pulls out and I have oral sex on him after he has been inside me? Can I get herpes in my mouth that way? Ever grateful for your help.

 
Old 05-08-2008, 11:37 AM   #12
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Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

I'm not Catherine, but can offer my opinion/experiences.

I would first ask for a blood test to verify that you do in fact have HSV. I believe the Western Blot test is the most accurate and can type which strain you have.

As far as receiving oral, you are on the suppressive therapy.. that does help reduce the asymptomatic shedding, but it is not a 100% guarantee. As long as your bf knows and understands the risks.. i'd go for it. It would be wise to have him get tested also.

I don't have any statistics, but i think it would be very unlikely for you and your bf to pass your HSV back to your mouth. It all boils down to what risk you and your bf are willing to take. There is always that freak chance it could happen.

I definitely recommend going to Planned Parenthood or some health depts have anonymous testing to make sure you know what you are dealing with. Just make sure if you get a STD screening that it includes one for HSV. The standard screenings DO NOT include this.. which amazes me with 1 in 4 (? now?) having it. I know of one girl on a support group that i belong to had always been treated for HSV, taken suppressive etc and all the blood tests she had later on in life were negative! Get tested..

Good luck!

 
Old 05-09-2008, 05:29 AM   #13
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Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

Thank you for your information. Much appreciated!

 
Old 06-04-2008, 10:17 AM   #14
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Re: Love my girlfriend, she has H, I have Questions.

Ok, I have genital Herpes. I just started taking Valtrex 3 days ago. I was on an OB when I started taking the 500mg daily. Should I do 2 a day for 3 days? My doctor didn't tell me. My fiance doesn't have herpes. Can she ever give me oral sex again?? I mean, if I don't have an OB and I am free of anything down there, can she still pleasure me?? My doctor didn't give me alot info. He just said you got it, showed me the test results, and told me to get Valtrex. Can anyone share some knowledge?

Last edited by Rube8514; 06-04-2008 at 10:18 AM.

 
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