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HSV-2 positive new potential partner, a bit paranoid..

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Hello everyone! Apologies that this may be a bit long. I just really need some support. I was hoping I could get an opinion on this interaction I had a few days ago. For background, I am HSV-1 orally positive, like so many people. Last herpes test in Nov, HSV-2 negative. 

The other day, I got intimate with a potential new partner. What was very upsetting is that they told me as we were already getting intimate that they were HSV-2 positive, but had never had an outbreak to their knowledge. The trustworthiness is a whole other topic, so I just have a few questions, and I'd say I'm mainly looking for some validation of my thought process and, also, some reassurance I hope🙂

There was (fairly brief) receptive oral sex (I am a male) from the HSV-2 positive person -- I did not perform it on them. Other than that, there was some mutual masturbation, and genital/anal fingering (but to the very best of my recollection, I did not touch myself afterwards. And not long after, I washed my hands). Adequate lubrication was certainly used. There was zero penetrative/insertive sex, genitally. No anal nor vaginal sex or genital-to-genital contact whatsoever. 

Basically, I am extremely worried, and I am hoping I could get some opinions on whether this one solitary instance was really risky, or if I can relax until I ultimately get my routine STI test? Essentially, my questions are: 

- I've done some research, and I know Terri Warren's resources say that fingering and mutual masturbation are not considered high risk at all. I assume that means I don't have to worry much about the fingering thing?

- re: the Oral contact. Terri Warren's herpes handbook (on page 16-17) provides shedding rates, and it says Oral HSV-2 is by far the least active type of herpes. What I gather from that is that when there is no active outbreak, the risk is very low. That being said: it is overwhelmingly likely that a positive HSV-2 test is genital-based, in which case, the HSV-2 positive person performing oral sex briefly is no risk, right? Additionally, I followed up with them and they assured me their mouth felt completely and entirely normal. Even if they were one of the very rare cases of oral HSV-2, and statistically it's unlikely, am I correct to assume that absent of an active outbreak, the odds of transmission because of how inactive and low shedding rates it has asymptomatically, it was not super high risk? Basically, do I have much to worry about here?

Thank you to everyone who reads this and I appreciate any and all input! 

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Sorry for the late reply. 

I hope you are doing okay! 

First, I am so sorry that this person did not tell you about their H until you were already getting intimate. That must have placed you in a very awkward position, and of course it isn't fair to disclose something to someone when their true feelings about a subject could be clouded by feelings of intimacy, serotonin, and adrenaline. So, it may be good for you to advocate for yourself an sit down with this person and let them know they should disclose things at appropriate times when you aren't placed in an uncomfortable position, and you can express you wish they would have told you sooner so you could have time to think and be prepared or do research if it made you feel more safe. 

Also, has this person ever had symptoms (tingling, itching, burning, redness, etc) in their genital region or oral region associated to HSV? That could help narrow it down to where the person may have it. However, if they are asymptomatic, which it seems like they are, then they most likley have not had any symptoms, not just no sores but also no itching, burning, tingling, etc.  

Second, to answer your questions:

If this person has never had an outbreak and they are unsure of where they have HSV-2, it means they are very likely asymptomatic (they do not have sores when their virus is shedding). This means it is hard to tell when the person is shedding the virus. Even if they were shedding the virus, you could have potentially contracted it orally if you preformed oral sex, but you did not do that. You touched their area, but contracting HSV on the hands is rare because the skin on our hands is thick and does not have mucous membranes (where HSV likes to go). You also said you did not touch yourself, so that helps reduce the risk of transmission as well. You played it safe and that's great! 

As you said, oral HSV-2 is rare, so it is unlikely the person had it. 

I hope this helps! Feel free to reach out with any other questions. Monitor yourself for any symptoms or changes, and hang in there! ❤️ 





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