[Question #1684] Herpes Type 2 and Graves Disease

46 months ago
I have been having unprotected sex with my boyfriend for 3 years.  He tested positive for Type 2 Herpes this week and I tested negative.  He has only had one outbreak 6 years ago and is on no medication.  How likely will it be for me to get it now?  I have Grave's Disease, if I catch herpes, how likely is it that I will have a thyroid storm and how likely is that to kill me?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
46 months ago
Let's talk first about your boyfriend and his testing - was his test positive from a lesion (sore) or was it a blood test?  If a blood test, was it IgG or IgM? If IgG, what was the number value associated with the positive?  Was his outbreak swab tested 6 years ago? 
Let's assume that you don't have it and he actually does have it.  If you have not contracted it in 3 years, that's great - the longer you have sex with someone who is positive and you are not, the less likely statistically you will be to get it. 
Acquiring herpes if you do, should not create and thyroid storm and it most certainly isn't going to kill you!  Herpes is a common infection - in the US about 56% of people have herpes type 1 and about 25% of women between 14 and 49 have HSV 2.   They may have periodic outbreaks either orally or genitally but it doesn't kill them! 
I'll look forward to seeing your answers.

Terri
---
46 months ago
Thank you for your response.  Here are the answers to your questions:
Was his test positive from a lesion (sore) or was it a blood test?  blood test
If a blood test, was it IgG or IgM? IgG
 If IgG, what was the number value associated with the positive?  <5
Was his outbreak swab tested 6 years ago?  No
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
46 months ago
One quick question:  Was the result actually >5 rather than < 5? 
If > 5, then there is no need for confirmatory testing.  He's infected with HSV 2.  If he takes daily antiviral therapy and used condoms daily, the risk of you acquiring herpes, having sex about twice per week, is about 2-3% per year.  But since you've been having unprotected intercourse all this time and you haven't gotten infected, that's a very good sign.  He may not be shedding very often.  What are your thoughts about this?

Terri
---
46 months ago
 I double checked.  It says >5.
We are not using condoms and he is not on any medication.  What % chance do you think if we continue the way we have been?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
46 months ago
That's difficult to say because you've had all this time of being exposed and not getting infected.  The research suggests in general that the odds are about 10% per year transmission without any condoms or medication, about 5% if you add medicine with no condoms.  And these measures are not static - you can always change your mind about medicine or condoms.  I hope this is helpful for you.
Terri
---