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acyclovir + HSV1+ no condom= risk?


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Hey all,


I've been taking it really slow with this great guy and disclosed my status to him a few days ago. He didn't bat an eye...I was stunned! We had some drinks and went back to his place and ended up having sex. Now, I'm on antiviral therapy but we didn't stop to put on a condom. Unfortunately it was a mixture of the heat of the moment and alcohol.


I find myself really regretting that we didn't use one. If I infect him, I don't know if I could forgive myself. I infected somebody else before when I wasn't on antivirals, and the guilt was overwhelming. That happened the same year I was infected by my "giver" AND I wasn't on medication.


4-5 years later I am on antivirals. No reoccurrences since the initial outbreak. I know the risk is low but I am so worried. If he calls/texts me and says he isn't feeling well, I might just panic.



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Well, for one, you have disclosed and he has accepted you and your situation. I assume you told him the risks. So knowing that if he didn't put on a condom, you need to respect that he made that choice and took that risk. Sure, alcohol was involved, but again, he's an adult and you need to understand that he is at least as much responsible for what happened as you are. So please don't take it all on your shoulders.


Now - for the risk. Your past experience (having given it to someone) was in the first year (when your body hasn't got it under control) and you were not on the meds, so the risk was a LOT higher as you will shed a lot more in that first year.


HSV1 sheds about 1/3 as much as HSV2.


Female-Male transmission with H2 is about 5% so that would take your risk down to about 1-2% without anti-virals ... the meds reduce the risk by at least 50% so now you are at .5-1% risk ... ie: you have a better chance of getting pregnant on birth contol ;)


So - I wouldn't sweat it ... really. I have H2, and I've had 2 relationships (3 yrs each) one where I used meds, the other I didn't (his choice) and no condom with either ... and I never passed it on. One of the main things that reduces transmission is KNOWLEDGE ... knowing the risks and what your prodromes are and what you can do to protect a partner. The vast majority of new cases are from people who are unknowingly H+ who are shedding asymptomatically. You have had it long enough to know your signs, and you are on meds. So I'm pretty sure your man will be just fine :)



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I basically told him fear of transmission should be a non-issue because the risk is so low. I wish I could follow my own advice! I think it's the fear of having transmitted it in the past....ugh! I did tell him the risk is significantly reduced by antivirals (about ~50%) and condoms (about ~50%). Honestly after I disclosed I asked him if he had any questions and he said he had none. I felt like it was going to be way more of a discussion, but he just said it wasn't a problem for him. Haha....not at all what I was expecting!!!


Wow....never passed it on! That's incredible! Thanks for sharing....makes me feel loads better. :)

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There are many discordant couples (one H+ one H-) who never pass it on ... again, education/knowledge/self awareness are the keys to reducing transmission.... there's always going to be a risk, but you get in your car every day, yet you know you could die in an accident, right? If you live life, you live with risk every day.... BUT, it's the only way to LIVE ;)



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