[Question #6896] HSV-2 risks shedding and prodrome

9 months ago
I am a male who has HSV-2 for about 2 years. I usually get breakouts on my penis shaft although one would be just where the condom would stop or just below it.

1) With the above said where would I normally shed?

2) When you have prodrome are you shedding then?

3) How many days a month would I typically shed and for how long?

4) What are the general risk percentage of a female getting HSV-2 from me with the following scenarios given I only have outbreaks on my shaft with one being at or just below where the condom would stop? I've had HSV-2 for two years

1) unprotected sex with 1000mg of daily suppression Valtrex?

2) condom sex with 1000mg of daily suppression Valtrex?

3) prodrome and condom sex with 1000mg of daily suppression Valtrex?

4) outbreak covered by the condom, sex with 1000mg of daily suppression Valtrex?



Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
9 months ago
1) With the above said where would I normally shed?
Most viral shedding in males happens from the shaft of the penis, anywhere on the shaft including the lower part where it meets your body

2) When you have prodrome are you shedding then?
Hard to know for sure without swabbing, but I think you should make the assumption that you are shedding when you have prodrome

3) How many days a month would I typically shed and for how long?
We know that people who have symptoms with HSV 2 shed on about 20% of days.  Episodes of shedding can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

4) What are the general risk percentage of a female getting HSV-2 from me with the following scenarios given I only have outbreaks on my shaft with one being at or just below where the condom would stop? I've had HSV-2 for two years



1) unprotected sex with 1000mg of daily suppression Valtrex?

About 5%

2) condom sex with 1000mg of daily suppression Valtrex?

About 2%

3) prodrome and condom sex with 1000mg of daily suppression Valtrex?
unknown

4) outbreak covered by the condom, sex with 1000mg of daily suppression Valtrex?
unknown and definitely not recommended due to condom breakage

Terri
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9 months ago
Thank you for your responses. They are always well informed.  Stuff they do not tell you in the usual Web MD descriptions.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
9 months ago
You are most welcome.  You have another post if you have more questions, I'll be happy to answer them

Terri
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9 months ago
Hi Terri:
A couple more questions. 
If she performs oral sex on me w/o any lesions. Does HSV-2 transfer to the mouth?

 I thought I had slight prodrome on my right butt cheek again and down my right thigh during intercourse with my GF. 

I used a condom and continue to take 1000mg of Valtrex a day. No lesions anywhere. 

The prodrome comes and goes and is very slight. Again I’m not sure if it’s psychosomatic or not.  HSV2 was in my mind a lot as I have generalized anxiety disorder.

I did notice the condom didn’t go all the way down my shaft while erect. It left about a half inch exposed at the bottom. 

Would this increase her risk of getting HSV-2? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
9 months ago
It is possible for HSV 2 to infect the mouth but not common.  If that did happen, it would look just like a cold sore, recur or shed infrequently and likely infer immunity against genital infection.

The risk is very low with condom use AND daily antiviral medicine.  I suspect you may be over-observing for symptoms, like prodrome?  As long as the condom covers the majority of the penis shaft, that's really about all that you can do (plus take daily medication.)  You're doing a great job.

Terri
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