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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:34 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
My boyfriend and I have been together for about 2 years. I've known from the beginning that he is HSV 2 positive. I tested and was negative (except for oral HSV 1 which I already knew). He is not currently on any suppressive therapy but he does take medicine when he has an outbreak, which is rare. We've been very careful up until this point and to my knowledge, I am still currently negative. But this leads to my question.

Last week during the night he performed oral sex on me but was wearing boxers and pajama pants. However, when I "returned the favor" he was naked. Before I actually began oral we were kissing and our genital areas briefly touched. When the lights came on we noticed he was beginning an outbreak. He didn't notice because he had none of the normal symptoms of an onset and there was nothing visible before we went to sleep.

But now I'm terrified. I understand the transmission statistics when there is no outbreak and with the use of condoms. But in our situation, he was having an outbreak and even though we didn't actually have sexual intercourse there was brief but direct skin-to-skin contact. In my mind, it's guaranteed that I now have it. He keeps telling me that I should still remain optimistic but with all that I've read it seems impossible that I would still be negative.

What is the likelyhood of transmission in our situation? I do realize it's probably very high. If I do not see any visual symptoms in the near future, how long should I wait before being tested? I would hate to have a false negative. Sorry for the lengthy post but I just really need some helpful information.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
This is very unlikely to result in infection for you. brief naked body contact is low risk in general.

any particular reason why your partner is not on daily suppressive therapy to reduce your risk of infection?

betsy

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:34 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
Thanks so much for your quick reply. It's given me a little more comfort knowing it's not a for sure thing. If I don't have any visual symptoms, I'll be going to get tested at some point soon for piece of mind.

Until we found this website we didn't know much about suppressive therapy. His doctor has been EXTREMELY insensitive and difficult throughout the entire process of diagnosis and testing. Needless to say, that doctor is no longer his physician. We will definitely be looking into suppressive therapy, hopefully we can find a doctor we can openly talk to.

Are there different types of suppressive therapy or any that we should specifically ask about?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
You can use acyclovir, famvir or valtrex for suppressive therapy. there's a post anchored here called "how should I treat my herpes" you might find helpful. valtrex is the most convenient if he has insurance to make it affordable.

keep asking questions!

betsy

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:34 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
I just wanted to start out by saying thanks again for all your quick replies and complete knowledge on this subject, it's very informative!

Since the last post, my partner has found a new and hopefully more open-minded doctor and has a consultation later this month so we're trying to get some more information.

I was reading the treatment post you suggested and was a little confused about episodic therapy vs. suppressive therapy. If suppressive therapy helps limit the number of outbreaks a year and possibility of transmission, does it also help to shorten the length of actual outbreaks? If so, is it even worth being on episodic therapy during outbreaks?

Also, my partner is currently on an episodic therapy. But when he has an outbreak the average time from onset to heal is about 3 weeks, even on the medicine. Would you suggest switching medicine or is this normal?

Lastly, I'm looking to be tested for hsv2 (even though I haven't had any outbreaks) just to be sure of my status. I have been tested once before and had some problems. I am oral hsv1 positive and because that came up positive for some reason they never tested for hsv2. Which test should I ask for to check my hsv2 status?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:40 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
ask your partner how he was originally tested for herpes to find out he had hsv2. 3 weeks is a long time for recurrences so perhaps it's a good idea to look into his side of things too.

Episodic therapy helps ob's heal faster. it does nothing else. You get a lot more results from suppressive therapy. Taking suppressive therapy reduces ob's so there are less interruptions to your sex life as well as it makes what recurrences you do have heal faster. Less shedding of the virus in general means less time a partner is likely to come in contact with hsv2 to chance being infected too.

You need a type specific herpes igg blood test. If you can find out what lab your provider uses, I can probably get you the exact test number to order through them. Another option is to order up the test yourself through either www.healthcheckusa.com or www.tstd.org if either of them have participating labs near you. Both run about $105 for the igg herpes blood test. I can help you with your results too.

betsy

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:10 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:34 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
I know my partner was originally tested and confirmed by a blood test, which test I'm not sure. He goes to the doctor in a few days to talk about suppressive therapy but I also asked him to get the results from the last test. Hopefully you can shed some light on reading the results. Can a history of different skin disorders have an impact on outbreaks, making them longer or more "intense?"

Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:13 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
yes different skin issues can effect how long herpes lingers as well as complicate recurrences. does he have a history of skin issues?

betsy

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:34 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
Since a very young age (before he contracted hsv) he has randomly developed abscesses on the surface of his skin around the upper thigh area and higher. Sometimes they heal by themselves and other times they've needed to be drained. Look very similar to an hsv outbreak but larger.

The doctor wasn't able to give the results from the last test. Said it was a HSV "Tidder" Test (not sure of my spelling) and numbers are not given, just as a positive or negative.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
if he's never had a lesion culture done on his symptoms, probably best the next time he has a recurrence to be seen within 48 hours for one. confirm that he really does have herpes going on.

depending on what testing he had done ( some older doc's refer to them as titer tests ), depends on how accurate it is and I'd confirm it with a lesion culture or a 2nd test like a biokit or herpes WB.

betsy

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:19 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:34 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
Update and questions on the newest developments. I didn't know if I should start a new post or not but I like having them all in one convenient spot!

My partner went to the doctor and got a prescription for Valtrex. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover the medication and we had NO IDEA how expensive it was! Is there a generic version of Valtrex that is more affordable? The pharmacist suggested Acyclovir (which he was already on) but that doesn't help with transmitting to a partner right?

After going through the testing and discussing HSV from the beginning, my partner is still really concerned about having sex. Even though we are trying to take more precautions, he is terrified of giving it to me. Would things such as dental dams and plastic wrap take any of the risk off?

Just out of complete curiousity, while looking through the board months ago I thought I once read a post where you suggested a company that makes condom boxers?! Do those actually exist?!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:20 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
even generic valtrex is still pricey :(

acyclovir reduces ob's and shedding at the same rate as valtrex, you just have to take it twice a day. we don't have studies on it for reduction in transmission and probably never will because it's a cheap generic( same with famvir ). anything that reduces shedding of the virus helps to reduce transmission - the less active virus you are exposed to, the less risk of transmission.

did your bf ask about his blood test results for you to post here?

I think you misunderstood the post on the condom boxers - I don't recommend the condom boxers by no means. I think it's putting far more emphasis on herpes than needs to be. Just avoiding sex during obvious symptoms, his being on suppressive therapy and using condoms for sex reduces your risk significantly. to me your partner having to slide into a latex boxer each time you have sex and having to pay that much money for each pair just isn't worth it.

It is hard sometimes to even think about the risk to an uninfected partner, especially when either you haven't dealt with your own herpes infection and all the feelings that can come with it if you let it and/or if you are having ob's frequently. let your bf know that education is the key to controlling his herpes better and figuring out what is herpes and what isn't for him. Let him know that yes it is frustrating to have to avoid sex when he has symptoms but it's certainly not the end of the world and you understand. Also let him know that he's been doing the "right" thing all along towards you as far as his herpes and you are glad he has and you accept the risk. He told you from the gitgo that he has it and you've been avoiding sex whenever he has symptoms which are both really helpful. He is so much more than herpes and so is your relationship - sometimes he probably just needs reminded of that.

And yes it is best to just keep it all in one post. it's too time consuming to go looking for prior posts and read through them when I can just skim down through one post and remind myself of who you are :)

betsy

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:28 pm
Posts: 13
Location: North
The generic is called valacyclovir and when we picked it up from the pharmacy I paid $5 and the receipt said "your insurance saved you $198."


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:30 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:34 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
I feel at this point our most frustrating obstacle is finding an affordable suppressive therapy that also reduces the risk of transmission. It's basically a "where do we go from here?" situation. The acyclovir wasn't helping much because the ob's were more frequent and lasted longer and valtrex is more expensive than a car payment! It really does seem like most doctors don't know much at all about testing or treatment, which would make the whole process so much easier.

The doctor just said that there were "no numbers to obtain" from the test... ? Is there a way to go around the physician to get the actual results?

I was just curious as to if I read it correctly because I've never heard of latex boxers before. I agree, the whole process of getting into them doesn't seem like it would exactly inspire a romantic evening.

It really is hard for him to think about the risk because like you said he has never come to terms with it -and- since the diagnosis (especially over the past few months) he has had frequent outbreaks. It is definitely frustrating and somewhat stressful on my part but I don't want herpes to be on the main stage of our relationship. We are blessed that it hasn't been so far. You are right, I'm very glad that he told me from the beginning. I think it was important to him to be upfront because unfortunately a partner he trusted was not so honest. I will try and remind him more frequently because I want him to know he's not alone.

Thanks again for all the advice and patience you share with us!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
When you are asking valid questions like you are it's never a matter of patience dear :)

I think at this point he needs a dermatologist to be working with him. Sounds like perhaps what he thinks is herpes might not be. all the acyclovir in the world won't make a difference if it' s not herpes going on. I'd also try to get a lesion culture done on his symptoms the next time they start too to confirm hsv2 since it sounds like he's getting nowhere with his test results :(

grace

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