[Question #2122] Genital herpes transmission

45 months ago
Hi, so I'm a strong healthy 30yr old White male and I recently contracted herpes 2. I'm so devastated and mad at myself but I was being careless. Question I believed it was a woman I had a one time unprotected encounter with on Friday, and then on Sunday I had u protected sex again with another woman who I had sex with for the first time a week prior. I believe it was the woman on Friday that gave it to me cus I showed symptoms a few days later, what is the chance I passed it on to the other girl on Sunday before I experienced my first symptom? I want to have kids one day, I don't want to pass it to my future wife, can we still have unprotected sex together every now and then? Do u come across a lot of men that have herpes 2, damn I'm so pissed about these slip ups, I really almost always practice safe sex and I always get tested. This a real low blow in my life now
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
Tell me exactly how you were diagnosed please - swab test, blood test?
The incubation period from infection to symptoms is anywhere from 2-10 days, with the average being 5.5 days.  How does that fit with your contacts with the two different women? 

You can have unprotected sex but there will be a slight risk of infecting someone even if you have no symptoms.  Taking daily antiviral therapy will reduce that risk by about 1/2.  When you decide that you want children, you can not use condoms and take a small risk or place a small hole at the end of the condom. It's also possible that you may find a partner who is already infected - one in four women have HSV 2.  And about 1 in 6 men has HSV 2 so yes, I see lots of men who have HSV 2 who live full and rich lives with wonderful partners who are completely understanding about herpes and are willing to take the small risk of infection in exchange for a life with someone they love  - that's far more common than you might imagine.  Don't lose hope!

Terri
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45 months ago
I was diagnosed through a swab test several days later when I was feeling pain and had a blister, they called me the next week and said I tested positive for herpes 2 even though the blood test at anylab tested negative probably since it was so recent that I contracted it. But if I did get it from girl #1 on Friday could of I passed it on to girl #2 on Sunday unprotected? I didn't feel my first outbreak until around  that following tuesday. And am I wrong for not wanting to date another woman who has herpes? Also if I get in a committed relationship I really don't want to use condoms, I hate latex, it effects my performance too. So this means Valtrex every day or prevent shedding? If I skip a day does that make a difference? Should I test my body first with no antivirals to see how I react? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
IF you got it from the woman on Friday you definitely could have infected the woman on Sunday.
Are you wrong to not want to date a woman with herpes?  How would it feel to you if a woman with herpes said she didn't want to date men with herpes?  Would you think that was rational?  I mean, herpes is one aspect of a person - I've seen people who have had one sexual contact and got herpes - it doesn't represent a person who is promiscuous, it represents a person who had sex with someone who had the virus  - and many people have no idea they are infected.  I think you should find a woman with whom you have things in common, with whom you share common values, who you are attracted to, who you laugh with - herpes is small part of who people are - that applies to you AND to women you might date.  If you get into a committed relationship, the decision to use or not use condoms in addition to daily medicine to reduce transmission would be up to the two of you.  And no, you definitely don't want to miss a day of medicine.  We know that almost every single person with HSV 2 genitally sheds virus with and without symptoms so it doesn't matter how your body "reacts" - you will shed virus.

Terri
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45 months ago
Ok and last follow up can herpes have any additional side affects for me? Will it affect my sex drive and performance? Will I have night sweats at night? Also I pray I never give it to a woman but if I ever did accidentally, a woman outbreak is much worse and painful isn't it? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
It will have no physical impact on your sexual functioning or performance, no.
It will not give you night sweats.
Some new infections are dramatic and others are not even noticeable.  It varies greatly between people and some of that is based on whether they have HSV 1 prior to getting HSV 2 - if they have HSV 1` first, their new HSV 2 infection could be so mild it is unnoticed.  It is important from a medical and legal point of view that you notify all potential partners about your herpes status.

Terri
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