[Question #354] Transmission

35 months ago
I recently had a one night stand.  I was not having an outbreak at the time, however, since then have felt like I'm going to get one, which could be stress also.  During the one night stand, there was oral received by me (HSV2), vaginal touching, and some insertion (once) but not full penetration.  What are the chances of me transmitting this to the other party?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
I think the risk of a single encounter is low, all by itself, even if it had been full blown intercourse.  And since the penetration was not complete, that lowers the risk even more.  HSV 2 does not like the mouth, so the receiving of oral sex is really unlikely to result in transmission.  And if the partner with whom you had sex has ever had a cold sore, this would look just like a cold sore if they did acquire HSV 2 orally, which I think is extremely unlikely.  No matter how you look at this situation, the risk is just very very low.  I think you should not worry about this situation. 

Let me ask you a few questions - do you take daily antiviral therapy?  That lowers the risk even more if you do.
What other questions do you have here?

Terri
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35 months ago
I do not take daily medicine.  He won't have anything to do with me now and I'm feeling extremely dirty and alone.  Should I encourage a blood test after the correct amount of time?  How long after exposure before he would show symptoms?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
34 months ago
oh sweetie, I am so sorry!  While it is better to disclose your HSV 2 status before sexual contact, your situation is very common - things go a little further than you expected they might, the discussion hasn't happened yet, you put the brakes on for full intercourse yet when you disclose, all hell breaks loose.  And you feel awful, they get angry when you do disclose and so it goes.  It is also up to the person who appears to be uninfected to participate or initiate a discussion about STD's ahead of time so it is a two way street.  I don't think you need to encourage testing for him - the risk just isn't there.  His reaction is emotional, not scientific.

Going forward, I would suggest that if you anticipate a sexual relationship with someone, you should consider taking daily antiviral therapy and begin 5 days ahead for full benefit.  You can reduce the transmission risk by half.  And have a pack of condoms available too. 

You are human - you made a small error in not disclosing this earlier.  It doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you a fallible person.  You will learn from this experience, I'm sure.  Instead of downing yourself with guilt, try instead feeling regret - regret makes a person make a behavior correction far more than guilt. 

Best,
Terri
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34 months ago
Thank you so much.  Now I just want to be able to sleep at night and not replay and feel guilty about everything.
Can you tell me how things are going with vaccines or cures?    How could I participate in trials?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
34 months ago
Things are going along - there is a treatment vaccine in rather advancing clinical trials, starting now and in to next year.  You can look it up on clinicaltrials.gov for sites that are conducting the trials - there may be others on there as well that are of interest to you.  Be sure to check.
Best
Terri
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