[Question #6987] HSV-2 Transmission Probability

10 months ago
Hello again:

I am a middle aged man with genital herpes.

My GF gave me oral sex for about 10 minutes.  

Then,  my GF was grinding on my penis area while I was wearing boxer shorts.  She wasn't wearing anything.  During that time my penis came out of the boxer shorts via the front flap.  

I believe what came out of the shorts was my penis head and the top part of my shaft.  I'm not sure totally but I am assuming this.

 So I believe my penis head (top and/or underneath part plus part of my shaft) came into contact with her vaginal area.  It didn't go in her vagina.  

I have no outbreaks and no prodrome for at least a day prior and during the event.  I still don't have any outbreaks or prodrome.  

I am on 1000mg of Valtrex daily which I have been taking religiously.  We did have sex later on that night and I used a condom.

I do have some scarring on my penis shaft from a previous outbreak which was close to my penis head. The same part that possibly came out of my boxers.
 I checked before and after and saw no outbreaks anywhere.

I am worried she contracted gential herpes from when my penis slipped out of my boxers.  What are the chances of her getting it from this incident?




10 months ago
I should mention too, I get a slight tear in my skin on the upper right portion of my shaft sometimes when there’s friction. I think that was the part that was exposed too.  

I’ve had that at times even before my HSV-2 diagnosis. 

I’m not sure if that makes herpes transmission more likely or not. I’m not sure if I had that then. It definitely wasn’t bleeding or anything. 

Would that matter with herpes transmission? Would it make it more likely if there was a slight tear?  

I think that’s how I got HSV-2 bc the tear was open from a previous partner.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
10 months ago
True tears are not very common on the penis shaft, are you sure they aren't outbreaks?  I'm not sure why you would repeatedly get tears in the penis skin but maybe you know what is causing that?
The contact that you had with your partner was pretty limited, 10 minutes is not very long. I think because you are on suppressive therapy in the context is relatively short, transmission in this situation is highly unlikely. Is it zero? No, but again, very unlikely. If this was just a small tear, I don't know that that would increase your risk of transmission. Is your partner aware of your herpes status? It has your partner been tested to know that they are uninfected with HSV-2? As you may know, condoms reduce transmission from males to females by 96% when used regularly. So congratulations on your regular condom use with your partner.

Terri
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10 months ago
Hi Terri,
She is very aware of my status. I’ve had HSV-2 for 2 years last month.  Three months before I was diagnosed, I was tested as well and it was negative. I’m fortunate to know exactly when I got HSV-2 based on my testing. 

I have had the tear pop up long before my diagnosis. It’s always the same spot.  My DR said it could be from friction as I have a vein near there plus dry skin or fungus from moisturizer I’d use.

So based on what I said....the amount of time she grinded on my boxers and with my penis slipping out of the flap (she wasn’t wearing anything) the risk would be very low? Oral sex lasted longer than the amount of time she grinded on me. 
Thanks!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
10 months ago
So you don't mention if the oral sex was protected or unprotected.  If unprotected, it is possible, though not likely, that she would acquire this orally.  If she did, it would look like a cold sore and would essentially vaccinate her against HSV 2 genital infection.  But HSV 2 doesn't "like" the mouth so infection here is uncommon. 
I would say that she should just observe the oral and genital areas for any unusual symptoms, and if she has any, to get them evaluated right away.  My GUESS is that she'll be fine.

Terri
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10 months ago
Thanks Terri! IDK if she has HSV-1 or 2. A couple other questions as it helps me hopefully not spread this to my GF:

1) is unprotected sex riskier than the scenario I mentioned above?

2) if I do have a cut on my penis will that make the virus seep out and make me more contagious?

3) what if I discover a lesion on an area covered by the condom right after I have PROTECTED sex...is she more at risk in acquiring it?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
10 months ago
I would say before you worry about transmission, you should try to find out if she has HSV 1 or 2.
1.  Yes, far riskier!
2.  That's difficult to know for sure, but possibly.
3.  No, if the condom stays intact over the lesion, she is not at more risk.

Terri
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