[Question #5079] Diagnosed with Herpes, scared about transmission and HIV
25 months ago
I'm a guy in a relationship with a girl for 3 years , but I do have short term relationships on the side from time to time. About 3 months ago I got involved with another woman, we had sex twice. A week after, I developed painful sores on my penis. I went to my doctor who confirmed HSV-2 using culture test but no blood test. I feel that this girl was the source of my infection as she stopped replying to my texts after I texted her about my diagnosis. Before developing the sores I had sex with my primary girl twice ( one time was both vaginal and anal). After I developed the sores, I avoided sex completely with her and it is starting to feel fishy. I'm really scared of telling her. I have few concerns:
1) What is the risk my girl is infected given she has no symptoms?
2) How will contracting herpes affect my HIV risk if that girl had it? scared to get tested
3)I know you guys say the risk from any exposure is low but if that is the case how come I got herpes from just two times sex ?I guess herpes is very common but there are many stories online like Joshua Middleton who contracted HIV from a single exposure to a girl and singer Nadja Benaissa who transmitted HIV to her boyfriend in only 1 month relationship and also WHO says 90% of HIV infections worldwide are through vaginal sex . How do those happen if the risk is so low and HIV is uncommon?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
25 months ago
I think there is a reasonable risk for your regular partner. People give off herpes virus the most during a new infection. I am assuming you are having unprotected intercourse with your regular partner? Herpes increases the risk of HIV acquisition by 3-4X. But that statistic is really for people who already have herpes and it sounds like you were just getting it new from her so it likely does not apply - you had no open skin for HIV to enter until later, right?
The other alternative way to look at this is that you'e been infected with herpes prior to this contact but didn't know it. Without the proper antibody testing with the right timing, it isn't possible to know exactly when you got this infection.
I'm not inclined to put a lot of faith in anecdotes from the internet.