[Question #6567] What is safe or not too risky?

13 months ago
I am a female who was given a herpes 2 diagnosis 3 years ago now.  I am seeing someone who does not have herpes. After explaining my herpes situation, he is scared to touch me, kiss me or go near me below my waist.  I do understand his fears but want to know what is relatively safe or not very risky behavior. I've only had one outbreak, 3 years ago and take the anti-viral medication every day.  
Can he kiss me below the waist, my lower abs, my legs or thighs? Can he touch me with his fingers in that general area? I read he could if he washes his hands before touching his penis.  
He asked me for percentages of risk if we had sex with a condom while I take the anti-viral medication.  Which is far as I looked up seems to be low risk.  Any information that helps me, explain what is relatively safe behavior would be very helpful. 

Thank you in advance for your help. 



Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
13 months ago
So I am going to assume that you were diagnosed with a swab test from a lesion, is that correct?  Let me know
Here are some statistics.  He can most assuredly touch you below the waist, with no breaks in his finger skin, he can put is fingers in your vagina, touch your clitoris, anything he wants to do down there with his hands without risk.  If you take daily antiviral therapy and avoid sex with outbreaks and he uses a condom, the risk of transmission to him in a year is about 1-2% - that is 1 or 2 men out of 100 will acquire herpes in this situation in a year, having sex about twice per week.  Herpes is clearly NOT as easy to contract as he seems to think that it is.  And I am assuming that he has been tested for HSV 2 already to determine that he is not infected himself?    Continue to ask me questions as needed OK?

Terri
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12 months ago
Thank you very much for your quick response Terri, 

You are correct, I was diagnosed from a swab test originally.  The bloodwork came back negative at the time because I hadn't developed anti-bodies yet. My other question here is can he kiss my body, because he is scared to kiss my skin below my waist as I've read the virus surfaces to your skin. Is that only during outbreaks or when you would feel as if one was coming on? Or is there a risk if he kisses my thighs or my waist on any regular day?  I am not talking about oral sex as I am aware that would pose a threat.  I am just speaking of kissing my actual skin with his lips. 

As for your other responses, I just wanted to thank you.  It is very helpful information for me to have. 
 

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
Of course he can kiss your body!  No question about it.  there are only certain places on the body where the virus can surface - areas of very thin skin or mucous membrane - the labia, the anus, the vagina.  Areas of thicker skin, like your belly, thighs, buttocks, do not shed virus unless an actual lesion is present as the skin is too thick for virus to surface.  I hope that is helpful for you.

Terri
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12 months ago
Terri, Thank you again for your response.  

I was wondering if you could tell me for example if he did touch my vagina without outbreaks, with his fingers how long would the virus potentially last on his hands?  Or does he need to go wash his hands right after so that he won't risk maybe touching himself in a vulnerable area. 
Is this a risk and if so will antibacterial hand gel work as well? 
Thank you for all your help.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
The virus would only last minutes, if that.  And if there is a concern about this kind of transmission (and in general experts agree that this is NOT a risk for transmission), the antibacterial gel would be just fine. 

Terri
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