[Question #3322] Herpes

36 months ago
Doctor,

I recently found out the girl I have been sleeping with has confirmed herpes.  We had sex for the first time 10 days ago 31/Jan, and 2 times after, once on the 9th feb, and once on the 10th. We used condoms every time and she told me after she has had it for 7 years and has been taking antivirals everyday.  8 days after we fist had sex I developed an upset stomach where I lost my appetite,legs felt achy, and I threw up a couple of times, maybe a slight fever? No soar throat or swollen lymph nodes in my neck and no lesions as of yet in my genital area. is this a coincidence or a possible sign? I guess my question is, based on this situation what are the chances that I do catch herpes, how effective are condoms alone, and how effective are condoms combined with antiviral meds? Also, if i do not see any visual signs within 3 weeks would you say there is a good chance i'm in the clear? how difficult is it for female to male transmission.

Thanks in advanced
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
36 months ago
Nausea and vomiting are most definitely not signs of herpes.  I think you might e referring to flu symptoms that you read about but that's influenza type symptoms - like muscle aches, fever, light sensitivity, things like that - not GI stuff.  Condoms and daily antiviral medicine and sex about twice per week (more sex, more risk) end up with about a 1% risk of transmission -that is, in a year of doing that, 1 man out of 100 will get herpes.  You've had sex 5 times, not the 104 times in a year of the statistics above.  Do the math - your risk is incredibly low!
And I am assuming that you already know that you don't have herpes, correct?

Terri
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36 months ago
Terri,

You are correct, I have been tested for herpes and I am negative for both using the IGG test.  My partner currently takes 500mg daily of valacyclovir and based off of that, what percentage would you say that reduces viral shedding? If I do not see any visual signs, within how many "days" would you say there is a good chance I'm in the clear? Also, I've read it is more difficult for female to male transmission, is that true?

I do plan on getting tested at 8 weeks but in the meantime the wheels in my head are spinning and any information you could provide would be appreciated.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
36 months ago
It reduces viral shedding by about 70% and transmission by about 50%
Female to male transmission is less likely, correct.  If you don't see any signs of herpes within 2-10 days, you probably are either uninfected or are not going to see any symptoms.
I really really think transmission is unlikely here.

Terri
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