[Question #7593] Likelihood of HSV1 transmission through anal sex

3 months ago

Hello,


I was diagnosed by 2 different blood tests of having HSV1... the only problem is I haven’t, to my knowledge, had an outbreak of any kind. I have no idea when I got it or where it is. The nurse who informed me said I probably got it when I was a kid but who knows? I’ve never been a very sexually active person and can count my partners on 1 hand.


To say that this knowledge has plagued me would be an understatement.  I’m extremely paranoid by every little bump or tingle and it’s completely taken over my life to the point where I just don’t seek out relationships for fear of having to disclose.


I finally had the courage to start a fwb relationship. I informed him that I had HSV1 and that, given the variant, it was more than likely oral.


After some discussion, we agreed to proceed but I wouldn’t involve my mouth at all. We are 2 men so we have just been performing anal sex where I am always the receptive partner (bottom). As an extra precaution, I also am taking 1 gram of valtrex every day and we always use condoms.


About 15 hours before our 3rd anal encounter, I decided to shave a few wispy hairs on my buttocks with a pair of clippers. Something that I don’t normally do.


About 6 hours after our 3rd anal encounter I felt what I can only describe as like ghost sensations on my right buttock. It doesn’t hurt or tingle per se but I am vaguely aware of it and it’s only when I’m sitting or laying down.


I was SUPER paranoid when I felt it and thought maybe I was shedding virus that was aggravated by my shaving. As soon as I thought this, both butt checks had the same sensation. There is no visible bumps or sores and when I apply pressure to my buttocks, in feel absolutely nothing.


I also discovered that if I can preoccupy my mind with something else, I usually don’t feel anything. I decided given all of the information I’ve stated above, that perhaps this was mainly in my head and I was letting my anxiety get to me. I decided to proceed with a 4th anal encounter the following morning.


I was sure it was in my head earlier but afterwards, I am not so sure. I’m now worried that I may have transmitted this virus to my partner and I don’t know what to do.


What is the likelihood of that scenario given all of the information I’ve divulged?This is my worst fear and now my head is in a loop.


As far as I know, my partner has never had HSV1 or HSV2.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
3 months ago
The sensations that you had don't sound herpetic to me. 
Do you know that almost half the population has HSV 1 infection?  They do, it's so common, I have it, my husband has it, two of our children have it, one of my grandchildren has it, just very very common.  So you've never had a cold sore on your lip, what about something in the nose that might be painful or oozy?  Does that ring any bells?
Oral infection is more common but you could also have this genitally - we cannot know the location of your infection without a lesion to swab somewhere.  I think it is reasonable to assume that you have this orally.  And if you do happen to have it genitally, HSV 1 is not often active there and I have yet to see someone who has intercourse only (vaginal or anal) that has transmitted this to someone else. 
So your partner had not been tested for HSV 2?  I hope you are absolutely using condoms with this partner, for all sexually transmitted infection.

Terri
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3 months ago

Thank you for answering my question. No I don’t believe I’ve experienced any of the nasal symptoms that you describe. 


It is also good to hear that my symptoms don’t sound herpetic. I was hoping that they were possibly psychosomatic, in nature. Ever since being diagnosed I’m afraid every little bump I get or tingle I feel is HSV.


I’m hoping that the low transmission risk that you describe along with continued condom use and my use of daily valtrex is enough to have prevented transmission if I even have gHSV1. 


I understand that HSV is common but I don’t want to be directly responsible for transmitting. I’ve been trying really hard to prevent this. I also take daily lysine pills. I know people are on the fence with its efficacy but hey, why not? If there is something more I could be doing, please let me know.


I also hope this doesn’t count as a follow up question because I might think of one later on. Thanks again Terri.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
3 months ago
It is so common once someone is diagnosed with herpes to think that every little bump or twinge MUST be herpes, but most often, it isn't.  It's OK to take Lysine in reasonable amounts but no science has shown sure positive results.  But again, why not?
I'm sorry, but this does count as a follow up question but you still have one more!

Terri
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