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Flu-like still, w a i t i n g . . .


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After having a very painful break-up with someone I was engaged to for several years, six months later I started to date around (unsuccessfully) and had casual sex with two different partners -- one I had protected sex with and the other I did not. After several disappointments in dating (with those two men), I decided I was not likely going to find anyone that "got me" in the way my ex did and sort of gave up. Unexpectedly, in early July, I met someone with whom I had an actual mental and emotional connection -- someone who seemed like a really genuine person. After a couple of dates and feeling a stronger connection to him (remarkably, for me, without sex), I discovered a lesion on my labia and was diagnosed (after positive swab) for HSV-2 in the same week that I met this new man! So still no sex to date.

 

I had a really horrible first outbreak with a subsequent fungal infection. It has been over a month and I'm still feeling very flu-like. Aches, pains, swollen lymph nodes and *extreme* fatigue. The outbreak seems to have subsided, I cannot feel the bumps anymore but I could never see anything prior (it seems to be the "paper cut" type). I was put on Valtrex, 2 x a day for 10 days and then as soon as I stopped taking it, I felt like I had another outbreak so started again on the 2 x a day Valtrex prescription. Two weeks ago, I had a GYN appointment and doctor said she cannot see any outbreak but still the fungal infection was persisting so she gave me some Difulcan and asked me to come back to see her a month later. GYN doc suggested I take 1 x Valtrex a day for the next year as a suppressive as I had told her that I met someone with whom I think a relationship was developing.

 

So, here I am, a little over a month into all of this and I'm feeling a lot better mentally thanks to (h)opportunity forums! My relationship is developing and I disclosed about the HSV-2 and he didn't seem phased. He told me his best male friend and his wife have a relationship with it and several other people he knew had it. He thinks of it as more of a skin condition than something "nasty". I feel very lucky and he has continued to pursue me since I disclosed. We've had a lot of intimate moments in the last few weeks -- just heavy petting and exploring bodies, no penetration or rubbing of genitals. He has made an appointment to get a full STD panel done (I told him to make sure it included HSV).

 

So here is my question. When am I "clear" to have sex? I understand that a condom does not prevent H and so does he and he said he will wait until I am ready to have sex. He has mentioned several times in the heat of the moment about how he cannot wait until I am feeling better so that he can feel and taste me and I am wondering how long do we use barrier methods? Like, when we start having full-on sex, should I always use condoms? I'm just so new to this, I don't even know when I'm shedding or about to have an outbreak or...

 

Should I wait a year? Should I invest in dental dams and tell him to bring the condoms? I really would like to be fully intimate with him but I am still feeling flu-like which makes me think I'm still going through it (the fungal infection has seemed to have cleared). I do feel weird pin-point itches but all over -- not just in my genital region.

 

Any thoughts, suggestions, would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

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Hey MM!

 

I'm glad you're feeling a lot better mentally being a part of our community. :) Big hugs (and high fives) to you! :)

 

"When am I 'clear' to have sex?"

 

Good question. (And sounds like you're quite the patient one.) ;) I'm glad you're getting educated on all this. Really shows how much you care and want to keep your partner as safe as you can.

 

Ultimately, the answers to your questions are all the same: It's up to you and your partner how much risk he is willing to take. Have you read the handouts showing the % risk of passing herpes at any given time? Download them here: http://eepurl.com/b4IPP

 

For a man to get herpes (when there are no signs or symptoms of a herpes outbreak of course), it's a 1% chance with a barrier AND suppressive therapy, a 2% chance with a barrier OR suppressive therapy, a 4% chance of passing herpes with no protection or suppressive therapy. Whether you wait a year or not, the chance of passing herpes (speaking in % of risk) will remain more or less the same. Regardless of which path both of you choose to take together, keep an open line of communication. I would suggest for now using condoms and taking suppressive therapy at least until you start feeling better so that he has the highest form of protection available to him. If anything doesn't feel quite right down there, then let him know it and talk about it. And get creative! The best protection you got is communicating with your partner. And that's the foundation of intimacy and some raw, awesome, connected sex, too.

 

And to answer your other questions, here are some posts on oral sex with genital herpes (definitely watch the youtube video to see what the good Dr. Leone has to say about it):

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/1647/oral-sex-with-herpes-can-it-happen/p1

http://herpeslife.com/genital-hsv-1-herpes-and-oral-sex/

http://herpeslife.com/spreading-genital-herpes-hsv2-from-oral-sex

 

... and here's a video I made about how keeping your partner herpes free is SUPER sexy. :)

http://herpeslife.com/keeping-your-partner-herpes-free-can-be-super-sexy/

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Thanks so much, Adrial! I just watched your creek-side talk and really enjoyed the wisdom. I had seen the Dr. Leone video in its entirety, so it was good that you had it cued up to the section in regards to oral sex which I just re-watched.

 

So, from what I understand, there is a chance to transmit HSV-2 to mouth though a very small percentage and that we shouldn't engage in oral sex if there are lesions. This may sound like a strange question, but if I have HSV-2 and my new partner has HSV-1 (orally) and doesn't know that he has it, can he give me HSV-1 down there as well?

 

And for patience, eeeeep! It is wearing thin! Also, feeling like I have the flu all the time is getting old -- I am trying to take care of myself and keeping mentally positive!

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MissModular

 

if I have HSV-2 and my new partner has HSV-1 (orally) and doesn't know that he has it, can he give me HSV-1 down there as well?

 

Only 1% of all Oral herpes is H2 - so you are reasonably safe there... That is all in those handouts .... and yes, he *could* pass H1 to you via oral sex, tho some reports say if you have one you have a little bit of protection from the other ... but I wouldn't count on it. Have you been blood tested for 1??? It's always possible you have HSV1 and don't know it ;)

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