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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 5:08 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:55 am
Posts: 3
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.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:25 am
Posts: 141
courious wrote:
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! :D

Dharma

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:55 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
Dharma has already covered the basics but I just wanted to add a few things. The risk from a one time protected encounter with no obvious genital symptoms is pretty low. It happens but it's always more likely not to happen than it is to happen.

So what do you do now? Well it sounds like you are interested in seeing more of this fellow - am I correct? If so the first thing I recommend doing is getting yourself a baseline type specific herpes igg blood test for hsv1 and hsv2. That way you know for sure if you even need to be concerned about transmission of the virus and you have something to compare future test results to. Also talk to your fellow and find out if he knows for sure which type of herpes he has. 20 years ago they didn't do a lot of typing - they just said below the belt means it's hsv2 and that was that which isn't always the case. Also find out how he treats his herpes. Ask him what he knows about genital herpes and transmission. Even though he's had it for 20 years there's a good chance that he was told - just avoid sex during ob's and you will be fine - and he might have never taken the time to learn more about it. Ask him how he feels about daily suppressive therapy. Find out if he's willing to go on it to cut your risk in half of contracting hsv2 from him. Yes I know it's a lot of new stuff to learn and remember but it's well worth the time and effort to know all this.

So even though this is the first person you know who's told you they have genital herpes - it's not the only person you've ever met who has it. It's just not something that folks stand around the water cooler talking about. It's been very unfairly stigmatized by soceity for some reason so folks just aren't comfortable for the most part reaching out to friends and family for support when they find out they have it. Also the vast majority of folks who have it , have no idea until they are tested. 1 in 4 adults have hsv2 - it's FAR more common than most folks realize it is.

Kudos to you for taking the time to seek out accurate information about herpes and how you can reduce your risk of contracting it from a partner :) Let us know if you have any other questions and how we can help you with them!

betsy

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Last edited by betsyb1967 on Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Thanks to you both....
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:26 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:55 am
Posts: 3
I appreciate your directness and promptness.... I feel much better. I need to talk to him more about what he has dond and what he is doing....he is leaving everything up to me, as far as our next step. I just want to make sure I am equipped for a relationship of this magnitude.


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 Post subject: Sorry Dharma...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:29 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:55 am
Posts: 3
YOu asked abvout oral sex on me, yes, he did. ...and I did on him also...no protection of any kind for that. I never thought about it....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:26 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
You can get hsv2 orally but it's much less likely to happen than contracting it genitally is. It's not no risk but it's certainly low risk.

betsy

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