[Question #6023] HSV2 Transmission and Condoms

18 months ago
I have been living with HSV 2 for 15 years. I take 500 mg Valtrex daily for suppression. The main reason I am taking the medication daily is because I am in a monogamous relationship and want to reduce the risk of transmission. He is aware of the risk involved and we have a sexual relationship that revolves around condom use. Although I am aware this is not 100 percent foolproof in prevention, I know it reduces his risk of infection greatly. 
Am I going to be stuck with condom use for the rest of my life, or do some couples go without a condom? I really want to feel more intimate with my partner at some point, and condoms kill it sometimes. I don’t know what to do. He is on the same page, and would also like to experience a more intimate sex but we are scared. What are the chances of passing it to him without any symptoms, daily dosage of Valtrex but no condom?     Please help, I don’t know the right answer. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
18 months ago
Many couples forego condom use.  They may start out that way but as the relationship becomes more solid, they may continue with suppression but drop the condom use.  And that's really a choice he should be able to make, I think.  The risk, having sex about twice per week, with suppression, is about 2% per year.  There is no perfectly correct answer for everyone, it's an individual thing. As long as he knows your status and you avoid sex during outbreaks, I think the risk is low and manageable.  I've been in his position and made the decision to take a risk.  I didn't get infected and sex was better.  That was MY choice.  And it worked out.

Terri
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18 months ago
Hi, thank you for your quick and mind easing reply. I know it’s not a concrete percentage and it varies person to person, but are you aging a 2 percent change with suppression and a condom or a 2 percent chance with suppression and no condom? Thank you again! 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
18 months ago
Two percent, on average, with condom and medication - about 5% with only medication

Terri
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