I have a (probably) stupid ?, I found out recently that a man I slept with whas Herpes and has for over 20 years. He told me right before sex and we used a condom. My ? is we kissed and had oral sex, am I at risk if there were no lesions and he has not had any in a few years.
this may sound stupid to most, but I have never had an encounter with someone who has Herpes. I do not even know anyone who has it now, until this person. I want to continue our relationship but DO NOT WANT to take a chance of transmitting it to me.
Welcome to the message boards, Courious!
First, your concerns are not stupid to me or anybody here on these boards. People ask these questions hundreds of times a day across the country - so you're not alone.
When you say you had oral sex, do you mean that he performed on you? If so, you cannot get herpes from him unless he has oral herpes.
If you used a condom from beginning of the sexual activity to the end, you have gone along way in protecting yourself from transmission. Herpes is transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact when the contagious area comes into direct contact with another person's mucous membrane such as the mouth, genitals, and anus. If these things didn't occur, it's not likely you were at risk for transmission.
It is not possible for anyone to quantify the risk of transmission, but...
There are 3 Proven methods of Risk Reduction:
1)Abstaining from genital-to-genital and oral-to-genital contact during outbreaks
2)using condoms when there are no symptom
3)daily, suppressive use of Valacyclovir is FDA-approved to reduce the risk of transmission to a partner by as much as 50%.
It is possible to transmit HSV even when there are no noticeable symptoms because of a phenomenon known as asymptomatic viral shedding. The virus can come to surface of skin between outbreaks without causing any symptoms.
There is no way of knowing when this may occur but research shows that it can occur 2%-6% of days during a given year.
Asymptomatic shedding occurs more frequently in the first few years after primary genital herpes (HSV-2) and declines with time
(so if your partner has had it for 20 years, it would be so that he has less viral shedding).
Suppressive antiviral therapy significantly reduces asymptomatic as well as outbreak (sympomatic shedding).
Now Courious, knowing what you know about the activity, you can put apply this information to what happened with your partner. And, btw, there are a lot of loving, sucessful couples where one partner has herpes and the other does not. I hope this helps!