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National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:13 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:48 am
Posts: 1
My male partner is HSV-2 positive and I am negative. We have been dating for several months, but holding off on intercourse until I know more about HSV and how we can best prevent transmission to me. I'm wondering if there is any advantage of female condoms over male condoms. If so, where can they be purchased? I've looked in condom displays and they are not available.

I've done a little research on PubMed but cannot find any studies that have examined the difference in HSV-2 transmission rates between male and female condoms. Do you know of any studies that suggest female condoms are more effective in preventing genital transmission of HSV-2.

Currently my partner is not taking daily medication because he is not certain it is helpful and worries about long-term effects of daily medication use. I understand there is some research to suggest that daily medication is useful in reducing outbreaks and possibly in reducing the likelihood of transmission. Can you provide any references to studies that have investigated these issues?

What are the side-effects or long-term risks associated with medication?

Is there any evidence to suggest that if medication is used for a period of time and then discontinued, outbreaks become worse? or if used for a long period of time, the virus is suppressed and medication can eventually be discontinued?

Finally, are there any avenues for low-cost access to medication?

Thank you for your response.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:43 pm
Posts: 405
Hey and welcome to the boards.

From what I've asked doctors, female condoms provide more surface coverage so they could be helpful in reducing trasmission. Keep im mind I said reducing transmission. HSV -2 is skin to skin contact so whereever the condom is not covering, that is an opprotunity to contract HPV. Female condoms can be purchased usually at most drug stores like CVS or Walgreens. There are some store online that sell them. Just google the name female condom or even try They can ship you some if you can't find them. Also try a store that specializes in condoms as weel.

Also I have not heard of any long term side effects from using suppressive therapy and your partner should really consider taking an antiviral medication. Antiviral medication can help reduce tramission of the virus to partners, reduce viral shedding on the skin, reduce the duration of an outbreak and the symptoms of an outbreak. Here are two sites you should check out.

Alos for cost effectiveness, he can take the standard that started them all, acyclovir. Valtrex is an updated formulation. Usually those who take suppressive therapy reduce the amount of outbreaks they have as well as reduce transmission rates of the virus. I take famvir in episodic therapy when needed. I currently have HSV-1 only and for me Famvir has been a lifesaver and it hasn't slowed me down in the relationship department as well :D

Before you have any relations, your partner should consider a therapy if he is having outbreaks. It helps to protect you and reduce your chances of contracting the virus. Just my two cents.

If there are any questions,ask away. We are all here to help ya!!!! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
There aren't any studies that I'm aware of that showed if female condoms protect better than male condoms do. In theory they should since they cover more skin area but no studies have been done. I've never found them in a store in my area - your best bet is to order them online if you want to try them. Condomania is another good site to order them from. The few folks I know who have tried them have said that their price and their sound they make are why they don't use them regularly ( imagine the sound stiring macaroni's makes is how they describe it ). I'm too cheap to pay the price they want for them so I've never bought any myself.

Daily suppressive therapy is more effective than condoms at reducing transmission of the virus to a partner. It's very safe and can even be used long term. As isis already pointed out - the valtrex and famvir websites both have info on this. There is also a terrific article on pubmed on 20 years of acyclovir safety to read too.

I''m not sure what you mean by wanting studies that explain the differences in transmission rates between genders? Are you asking why females are more likely to be infected than males are? if so the answer is because of our anatomy. We have more nooks and crannies made of soft tissue that isn't as keratinized as the fellars have which is why we are more likely to contract the virus.


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