[Question #7701] New GF HSV2

 
1 months ago
Hello.  I am a 51 yo male carrying genital hsv-1 for 3 years.  During that time, I have had 2 episodes located on the perineum.  That's my situation.   However, I come to you today because I started dating a 50 yo woman that I really like...  She confessed to me that she carried hsv-2 but waited a few months to tell me.  We never had vaginal sex during that time so I have had no exposure.  She has carried hsv-2 since she was 22 years old, so for 27 years.  She was married for 15 years and her husband never got it.  Then dated a man for 7 years and he never got it.  She said she has an outbreak about once a year and is always located in the perineum.  She has never taken a suppressant ans still hasn't managed to pass it on in 22 years of sexual activity with 2 men.   Are those men just lucky or after 27 years, even though she has an annual outbreak, does the virus shed very infrequently?  If she was on a suppressant, it would reduce the shedding more - but please look into your crystal ball and tell me what's going on here.   I really like this woman and if possible, I would like to have a healthy relationship with her.   Thank you.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
1 months ago
Good for you for seeking out more information on your partner's herpes. 
To know for certain that her husband or other partner didn't get herpes, they would need to have been antibody tested.  About 80% of people who are diagnosed with HSV 2 by antibody test, would say they don't have it.  So unless her partners were actually tested, there is no way to know that they were not infected.
I am assuming you know that you have HSV 1 genital infection by having a lesion swab tested and typed?
Because she has had herpes for a long time, she may indeed be shedding virus less often than someone who is more recently infected.  Even though she has infrequent outbreaks, she is shedding virus between outbreaks, almost certainly. 
To reduce the risk of transmission to you,  she should consider taking an antiviral daily.  Condoms would also reduce transmission for sure but that's your call, between the two of you.

Terri
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18 days ago
knowing all of this...    with me being HSV-1 positive in the genital region for 3 years.   I am taking a suppressant daily...  I have heard it is very hard to transmit genital to genital.   How true is that?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
18 days ago
A person who has HSV 2 will almost never ever acquire HSV 1 subsequent to having HSV 2.  So you are not a risk to her.
And you are not much of a risk to anyone else 1) because you have HSV 1 genitally which is quite inactive and 2) because you are on suppression.

Terri

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