[Question #4434] Sex with a Herpes 2 Infected Partner

29 months ago

I recently started dating a woman who informed me she had in the past been exposed to Herpes 2. She thought it was a false positive, but a recent test revealed she does in fact have it. We have only French kissed and had heavy petting, fingering, hands jobs etc. but nothing else.  My research shows that even with the use of a condom she can still pass this disease on to me.  Being able to have sex is a big deal for me. What are the risks? Is it possible to have safe sex? What is shedding?  Is  anal or oral any better with a condom? Additional information is she is taking daily medication for this.

I really appreciate your advice.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
29 months ago
If she is taking daily antiviral medicine (acyclovir or valacyclovir) daily, and you have sex about twice per week, the risk of transmission in a year is about 2% (2 men out of 100 in your situation would become infected).  If you used condoms, the risk would drop to around 1%, the more sex, the more risk.  It is important that she check her index value on the IgG test to be sure it is above 3.5 and she does not need a confirmatory test.  If below 3.5, she should obtain a herpes western blot as a confirmatory test.  The things you have done so far to do not put you at risk

Terri
---
29 months ago
Do female condoms work better to protect me or are they the same as male condoms?
She gets extremely wet when I pet her. Are there any concerns with that?
Thank you
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
29 months ago
We don't have data on that but intuitively, one would expect female condoms to cover a great area of tissue and offer greater protection against transmission.  The amount of vaginal lubrication that she produces does not influence transmission rates, no.

Terri
---