[Question #4546] Herpes when both partners have been diagnosed

27 months ago
My guy is assymptomatic for both HSV 1 and 2.  I still seem to be suffering from initial outbreak of type 2 from 3 months ago.  Are there precautions we need to take?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
27 months ago
You seem to be suffering?  You were diagnosed how?  I'm a little confused by your post.  What are your continuing symptoms? 
If you are indeed both infected with HSV 2, there are no precautions that you need to take in terms of your sexuality.
If you do have HSV 2 infection, you should of course notify any obstetric providers about this should you become pregnant.

Terri
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27 months ago
Thank you for your reply.  I  didn’t think there was anything to worry about at this point since we’re both infected.  I will try to clarify:  he was diagnosed thru a blood test and I had a blister when I went into the clinic.  The Dr took a culture and sent it into the lab.   I have had only a few normal days since my diagnosis in September.  I had a small lump on my labia which lasted about three weeks.  It faded away only to be replace shortly thereafter with two small bumps on the labia.  I think I had that sore for over a week.  Just last week, I had one lump (on my labia) that only lasted a few days.  Thank goodness!  The crazy part of this is  I had a lesion (I think it was at the end of October) that appeared to be cold sore like on my forehead!  The genital sores were single smooth lumps that never crusted over; this forehead thing did the oozing and crusting.  I had it tested and it came back HSV 2!  I have not been tested for HSV 1 but have never had a cold sore.  There is no chance of being pregnant (I am 66 years old).  My follow up question regards performing oral sex on my partner who shows no signs of either HSV yet has been diagnosed with both.  Am I likely to start getting cold sores if we are together during a time he is shedding?
Fortunately  I think I have learned that the day before a lesion shows up, I get a major headache that doesn’t go away with just ibuprofen  or acetaminophen.  I frequently have genital aching and tingling/ burning.   Hopefully that doesn’t become my new normal.   Also, does HSV affect ones sex drive?  I seem to be drier and wondered if there’s anything besides using lubrications to treat that?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
27 months ago
So to clarify, you have tested positive for HSV 2 by swab test but have not tested for HSV 1 antibody.  So it appears that HSV 2 is just about fully protective against HSV 1 so if you don't have it, it is extremely unlikely that you will get it. 
I would suggest that you have the bumps that you are describing swab tested to be clear about whether they are actually herpes or not.  They don't honestly sound like herpes (except the one that looks like a cold sore on your forehead - is that correct?)  That could be reactivation of oral herpes, BTW. 
Herpes does not affect sex drive medically, no. 
If you get these symptoms before an outbreak, you could try really bumping up your antiviral medicine dose at that time - 2 grams of valacyclovir then 2 grams 12 hours later to try to stop the outbreak altogether.  This is the cold sore dose approved by the FDA but I find it works well for genital infection as well.  Talk to your doctor about this of course.

Terri
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27 months ago
I really appreciate your answers.  Especially about the meds.   My main concern is regarding performing oral sex on my partner who was diagnosed with HSV1 but has never had a cold sore.  I have not been tested for that type.  (The genital sores and the lesion on my forehead were both swabbed and came back #2)  If I do get tested and have the antibodies, am I fairly safe from getting cold sores?  I assume if I don’t have the antibodies, I should not give my guy oral sex??
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
26 months ago
A person who has HSV-2 Will almost certainly not acquire HSV one subsequently so I do not see giving someone who has HSV one genitally oral sex a risk.  Am I understanding you correctly on this one? And if you do test, and test positive for HSV one antibody it is not a real risk

Terri
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