hi betsy, i am first-timer here and am so impressed with the thorough answers and support you give. i've read so much but can't find my exact story, especially with a head that's swimming with questions and a diet of piecemeal internet information.
i'm a 43-year-old female who's been infected with genital herpes for more than half of my adult life. it's really been no more than an occasional bump in the road, psychologically and physically. i've enjoyed general good health without the need for suppressive therapy, only episodic with various anti-virals, and have managed to keep two very long-term relationships transmission free...
until now. i have found the love of my life and am heartbroken that three months into our monogomous relationship, he is now also infected. he was just diagnosed this week; the area of infection for him is the pubic region (we believe an irritated ingrown hair was the skin opening where the shedding virus got in and settled -- his genitals are totally unaffected at this point.) the one spot suddenly sprouted several little whitehead neighbors, and we knew. i gave him some of my valtrex to start immediately.
we went to the doctor's office the next morning and requested that they do a blood test in addition to the culture so we could ensure which type it is and if it's definitely new and from me, vs. a strain that was old and undetected thus far. when the doctor called to tell him it was genital herpes, he didn't say which type, only that it's genital and that it's new. i'm hoping that we can call back and get more details about numbers and types if you advise us to, but it looks like HSV-2 from me (unless my genital herpes is HSV-1? i've never been typed. and i've never had a cold sore.)
where to start? the doctor couldn't offer any advice about how we should proceed other than to prescribe more valtrex. we are hoping to find the positive, as attitude is everything. my boyfriend doesn't blame me, he knew the risks and is reassured that we are in a loving, committed relationship. i'm trying to be the source of as much support and information as possible, which is why i'm here. of course, i keep wondering what i could have done better and am dealing with the guilt in the best way i can.
so. we want to know what the risks are of additional transmission to each other now that i've infected him (we assume).
1. can we infect our own or each other's DIFFERENT body parts (if we have unprotected sex, can his genitals be infected?)
2. if i rub against his pubic area, might i get lesions on mine?
3. what about oral sex?
4. are we somehow protected by our own antibodies? does it take time to build immunity, and if so how long?
5. and if we become immune, why does everyone say we need to abstain during an outbreak?
6. we both have kids. keep the warm, wet towels to ourselves, right?
7. my area of outbreaks is right near my clitoral hood, in case you really wanted to know!
he also is an extremely healthy type-1 diabetic with late onset at 40 years old nine years ago. his quarterly A1C scores are 6 or below, with zero complications. does this pose any special risks for him?
we are hoping there's a silver lining -- like hey, guess who doesn't have to worry about herpes transmission anymore? we have had an amazing connection, and do not want our beautiful sex life to suffer because of this. i just ordered terri warren's book but that will take days. any advice or support or good questions you can offer would be most appreciated. THANK YOU.