[Question #5102] Preventing herpes transmission

25 months ago
I am a female. I was diagnosed with HSVII 32 years ago, take 500 mg. Valacyclovir on average 6 of 7 days a week for suppression. I have had two instances of prodrome symptoms in the last three years. I have a new partner with HSV1. We are using condoms for penetrative sex to prevent him from getting HSVII. My question is about safe sex practices for cunnilingus, vaginal or anal fingering and anal sex. Concerning hand to genital contact, does having cracks on fingers from dryness change the transmission chances?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
25 months ago
It is highly unlikely that your partner would acquire HSV 2 by giving you oral sex as HSV 2 does not like the oral area at all.  Fingering is not a method of transmission.  Anal sex probably presents a similar risk to vaginal sex so condoms used by used for that as well.  Cracks on the fingers could conceptually allow herpes virus into the finger of someone who is uninfected but that would result in whitlow, which is not common.  I have not seen someone acquire whitlow in this way - I have seen people get whitlow with a first infection in themselves when an immune response has not yet been established.

Terri
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24 months ago
Thank you for the information. So are you saying he would have an immune response since he already has HSVI? 

Also, my partner with HSVI had not experienced a fever blister in 17 years and got one in the week following the first time we had protected intercourse, fingering, but no cunnilingus. I do not have HSVI. Is it possible that I caused that outbreak?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
24 months ago
He has an immune response against HSV 1, correct. 
No, you did not cause his oral outbreak.  Nothing that happened between you would precipitate an oral outbreak. 

Terri
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