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New partner has herpes - love some nitty gritty advice

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I have recently met a guy I knew and fancied many years ago. On our 2nd date he revealed he got herpes 30 years ago. Obviously spun me out a bit. He said he hasn’t had an ob in years. In that time I imagine he’s had a few partners including getting married and having 2 children. That relationship is over. Anyway I really like him and have been getting myself up to speed, but can’t seem to find the info I’m after. 
I need specifics on what we can and can’t do sexwise. Do I wash my hands after touching his penis (bowl of soapy water near the bed?😳)

- yes I fully intend to have some questions ready - any that I should ask? I want to be imaginatively intimate as possible for him and me to be comfortable and for me not to get herpes. 
don’t hesitate- lay it all out for me. 

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Hi, Friend!

I hope you are well! It is so wonderful that you met this person and you are connecting! It is also so wonderful he was honest with you about his H. That shows he respects you, and that's great. 

No, you don't need to scrub your hands after you touch his penis. You really only would need to if he has an outbreak or is experiencing prodrome symptoms (symptoms that someone feels that lets them know they are virally shedding and could transmit the virus to their partner/another).  But, typically people do not engage in intimacy with their area with HSV when they experience symptoms/prodrome, so you wouldn't be touching him there anyways, so you need not worry! 🙂 

First, you can ask him about the game plan for how to communicate about it.

You can ask that he let you know if he feels any prodrome symptoms before an outbreak, and abstain from touching that area if he gets any prodrome symptoms. You can also ask him if he takes suppressive medication (he most likely doesn't because he hasn't had an outbreak in so long). Also, as a general rule of thumb, you can ask him to get tested in a general STI panel, and you can get one too, to make sure you are both in good health standing! 🙂 

I hope this helps! Reach out with any other questions. 



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Thank you for your response…now when you say getting tested in a general STI panel - I can understand that for me, but would you elaborate what this means for him? Wouldn’t he be positive regardless or are there levels of it?

I want to be as intimate and imaginative as possible and at the same time be safe. 

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Hi! Great question. 

So a regular STI panel doesn't actually test for herpes. I was saying you should both get tested in general for other STIs since you both would be new sexual partners to one another (and it's good to get tested before having a new partner!).

Herpes can only be detected in a culture swab (swabbing a sore) or in blood, and even then there are testing errors. Basically, herpes is NOT part of a regular STI check, which typically only screens for bacterial gonorrhea and Chlamydia. 

I hope this answers your question. 


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