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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:28 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Canada
I am hoping for someone to answer some questions for me. I apologize for the volume of questions and the lack of knowledge in the area but any help would be greatly appreciated.

My girlfriend has tested positive for genital HSV-1 through a culture test and has backed it up with a blood test. I am awaiting my results right now. As far as I remember I don’t recall ever having cold sores, and neither does she so we are a bit confused as to how she could have gotten it. Maybe someone could help to shed some light on this?

If my blood test comes back that I am HSV-1 positive as well, what does this mean for me? I haven’t had any symptoms of any kind. Does this mean that I am in anyway immune to catching HSV-1 genitally, or is it still possible for my partner to transfer HSV-1 to my genitals?
If my results come back negative, than that means that I will run the risk of catching herpes from my partner. I have read that with HSV-1 the outbreaks are very few and you may get them once a year and maybe even never in span of a lifetime. Is this true? What are my risks for catching it from her? How often does viral shedding occur with genital HSV-1?

What do you recommend my partner does for treatment of HSV-1 genitally? I’ve read a lot about Valtrex; should she be taking this right now daily? Or is it something she should be taking when she ever feels another outbreak coming along? My partner has said that she is not sure whether Valtrex is something she should be taking because she has no idea what it feels like for an outbreak to come along because of the way her “first OB” was. It was barely an outbreak, and just a small bump on her labia that was tested and came back positive. She had absolutely no other symptoms that have been described. This may be a silly question, but since her so called “first outbreak” was as little as it was and that apparently the OB’s get lesser in intensity as time progresses, does that mean that she will never have a larger scale outbreak in the future? And if this is the case, does that mean the amount of viral shedding that occurs for her will be greatly diminished? What other type of treatment do you recommend?

As for prevention of transferring HSV-1 to me what are my best options for this. Regarding sex, will we need to always wear a condom to prevent, or with HSV-1 is the risk low enough that it does not matter as much? I know it is selfish of me but I have always enjoyed unprotected sex to start and then to put a condom on during sex, is this no longer an option for me? And if this is the case I feel like there is going to be so much anxiety that it is going to be hard to have sex normally again. Things like whether or not I can touch her at all with my genital region even if there is no penetration is an issue I feel. Oral has always been something that me and my partner has enjoyed, is this still possible with HSV-1 genitally, going both ways? What are some methods of prevention of herpes transfer during sex that you recommend?

Once again I apologize for the number of questions I am asking but if someone could take the time to answer every question that I have put forward that would be unbelievably helpful to me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:32 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
once you know your own status you'll have better answers. were you able to get a type specific herpes igg blood test done on yourself in canada?

If you have hsv1 yourself, this won't be an issue in the relationship. just avoid sex anytime she has obvious genital symptoms to err on the side of caution. you have significant protection against contracting hsv1 genitally if you already have it orally. Most folks who have hsv1 orally don't get obvious cold sores to know it but many adults do have hsv1 orally.

Even if you don't have hsv1 yourself, odds are you won't get it from her with just avoiding sex during obvious genital symptoms. Hsv1 genitally doesn't reoccur very often and doesn't shed very often either. In general we don't recommend suppressive therapy for hsv1 because you don't get a lot of bang for your buck with it plus we don't have studies to show that it's even effective enough to make it worth taking for hsv1 genitally.

do you have to use condoms if she has hsv1 and you don't? that's totally up to you. You didn't mention how long you've been together but if she had it prior to meeting you and never realized it, you already know if you are negative that the odds of you contracting it are rather low. same goes with oral sex, you can use barrier protection if you want but if you've been giving her oral all along and didn't contract it, you already know that yes indeed transmission risks are as low as we say they are.

if you need help with your test results, I can help you with those too.

betsy

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