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Valtrex worthwhile outside of existing relationship?

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Newly diagnosed with HSV-2 though it is likely an old infection. I am either asymptomatic or have such mild symptoms that I don't recognize them. Took a break to be alone after divorcing and then discovered my status after becoming sexually active again and doing a thorough STI screening. Doctor advised medication was not recommended or needed because I have no outbreaks, but I've been researching a lot online and see that Valtrex is likely to reduce risk of transmission in asymptomatic people. My questions revolve around this.


My current relationship is ending due to the HSV diagnosis. Though monogamous, it was based on a mutual desire for a casual and temporary dating and physical relationship, so even though the risk of transmission is small, it seems too great a risk when we already know we aren't in it for the long haul and my partner has anxiety around any risk at all.


I'm uncertain of how I'll proceed now in the dating world. I really don't feel ready for something with long-term potential, yet I don't want to be celibate for years either. Given how few people are aware of their positive status, I would think H+ dating sites would be quite limiting. I've decided I'm no longer comfortable with the hookup friendly dating app I was previously using because the timeline for disclosure would be challenging. I'm leaning toward maybe using an app that is more dating than hookup oriented and then being willing to expand my mind to allow potential short-term partners to choose for themselves whether they are comfortable with the risk. I know from friends there are people who are comfortable with the risk, even when they know there is no long-term potential.


I'm wondering if it would make sense for me to ask to go on daily Valtex so that I would already be lower risk if an opportunity arises. Or would it make more sense to get a prescription for Valtrex and keep it in a drawer until I'm sure I'm embarking on an ongoing thing, even if it's casual, and then start taking it daily? Maybe it's too much to imagine I could maintain both a little spontaneity and maximum protection from risk. Is there a downside to talking daily Valtrex if I don't need it to control symptoms and don't yet have a new sex partner?


Sorry for rambling. I'm on a bit of a roller coaster right now. Any feedback or support would be greatly appreciated. I'm glad to have found this community.

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Well, I think of you're wanting to have casual relationships, I think getting on suppressive therapy is worth it, because it adds an extra comfort for the H negative partner and added w condoms, there is only a 1% chance if transmitting it. This will help w some taking the risk. We have plenty on here who continue w casual sex w their H status.

.may I ask the type of test you were given and what the values were? Whjw people are asymptomatic and test positive, there can be a chance of a false positive, so lets try to rule that out.


You can wait to take it, until you think you're going to have a casual relationship, but you need to be on it for two weeks before sex, to build up and be fully effective in your system.

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Thanks, 2Legit2Quit.


It was an IgG test and I was told the value was >5 (and negative for HSV-1). I did ask if it was worthwhile to take a second test to confirm and I was told a false negative is extremely unlikely given the >5 value. I may go ahead and retest anyway, simply because I am making so many life changes as a result of this diagnosis, but my expectation is that I will again test positive.

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2Legit2Quit - Thank you for the feedback. I'm sorry to hear about your situation and admire your willingness to support people like me while you're dealing with more severe symptoms yourself. I've read that outbreaks can lessen over time. I hope that will be true for you.

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Hahahah! Actually I think helping others, helped me to heal. Plus I am able to relate to those who anomalies w thwir symptoms and have autoimmune issues, as most are not in our boat.


I'm used to it by now... It's annoying, but I had to learn to accept my new normal or I'd go insane.


@fyrefenyx those numbers are for female to male yes. W meds OR condoms, 2%

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Just a little info on the whole casual dating thing:


Like anything else, your attitude will be a big factor in your outcomes. So if you are worried about being "rejected", and you bring that into the space (even before you disclose) odds are higher you will be rejected. If you can approach this time (your post-divorce journey to finding yourself again) as a time to learn and grow, casual dating *could* be a powerful part of that growth.


The bottom line is that you have to get to your core that rejection isn't about YOU. AND... there are a bazillion things someone might "reject" you for - many before you get past the first date - and odds are you are unaware of what it was that they "rejected" you for.


People "reject" potential dates/lovers for all kinds of things:


Weight, Race, Height, Age, Looks, HAIR FREAKING COLOR (like, really???), Financial Status, Ethnic issues (I dated a Black guy once who I realized lived a life that I wouldn't fit in with... perfectly nice guy and great friends, but I felt like a White Chocolate Drop in a bag of Hershey's Kisses...LOL), Political Affiliations, Personality, Children (I won't date anyone with non-adult kids now), etc etc etc...


So this little virus is just something else that people may CHOOSE to not date you over.... but like everything else in the list above, there are plenty who will love you WITH your viral hitchhiker. When you can get that to your core, you will start to find your true power in dating.


I tell people all the time, Herpes is your Wingman. It will help you to find our who your REAL friends are and will help you CHOOSE better friends and partners in the future.




So - about the Casual Dating thing. I'm going to post some links from people who have been very successful in their causal dating escapades. The thing is, once you have established with someone that you are both interested in a casual relationship, you really *should* follow that immediately with the STD talk (whether you have Herpes or not!). You need to establish that you are both responsible enough to have gotten tested, and IMO you should SEE each other's tests (because, as you have learned, H is not on the regular tests, which proves how little most people know about testing and thus IMO you can't trust that they know exactly what's on or not on their results). This is for YOUR safety... we certainly don't need *another* STD, now do we? LOL ....


Yes, that may be a little awkward but if you approach it that YOU are invested in THEM being comfortable with your status, and then say something to the effect of "I showed you mine, now you show me yours" (Ie, make it funny), you have a better chance of them understanding where you are coming from. And really, you want to be with someone who is "Casual Dating Smart" - ie, who goes into each relationship informed and who does what they can to protect themselves while understanding that shit happens and they are actually better off with someone who is H+ and informed than someone who *thinks* they are H- and is clueless :)


Now, you don't *have* to do that and to be honest, most don't. Most take the other person's word about their testing and results. That's your call. But IMO Herpes is a good reality check about STD's to remind you that YOU have to be responsible for YOUR sexual health. And if you just keep it light and fun while using this to create trust and transparency (which should be integral even in a casual dating situation) it shouldn't be an issue for the guys who are not the "germaphobes" (as your last guy was). You are more likely to find a partner who appreciates your honesty because they will know that whatever ground rules you set up for that relationship, you will be trustworthy within that agreement, and THAT is huge!


As for Valtrex - it's your call about whether you go on them now or when you have a potential partner in the headlights. If you know that you won't have sex on the first date, and you can hold off for 10 days, then I'd just go on them within the relationship. If you feel your hormones may get the better of you, and you are more likely to disclose closer to the sexual act (ie, some in the casual dating world don't tell until they are removing clothes ... ) then get on them and stay on them. If you are a "monogamous casual dater" then waiting should be fine :)


These links may help you to see that you CAN have casual sex with Herpes. To be honest, anyone that is dating casually *should* be aware that they have a markedly increased chance of getting a STD simply because most people are truly clueless about their status OR they will lie because of the stigma... so the fact that they are with someone who is being responsible about their sexual health *should* make them realize they are, in a way, SAFER with you....and in dating casually, they just plain will ALWAYS be at risk of a STD.


http://projectaccept.org/who-gets-hsv/ (this is a good link to send to anyone who is on the fence as a reality check)


http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-relationships/dating-with-herpes Ella





http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/70/herpes-disclosure-and-casual-sex general discussion




https://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/7106/two-totally-separate-success-stories (casual sex)


http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2056/semi-success-i-dont-know-just-read-it thiisgoingtobeok (Casual Sex Successful Disclosure)


http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/3271/first-disclosure-was-a-success-i-can-breathe-now- Rogue1313 (casual friend)


http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/3368/my-one-night-wonder Casual sex Willow




Herpes as a relationship filter Adrial


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Here's the thing about casual sex and herpes..


Most people don't know, but they are probably already doing it if they have a casual sex lifestyle. Either they have herpes and are unaware, or they've had sex with someone who has herpes already.. those are the odds.


Kissing, blow-jobs, eating out? HSV 1

HSV 2 is at 1/4 in some places in the country. NYC comes to mind and New Orleans is another area high in Herpes.. both kinds of places are known for rampant casual sex.


It's Vday- Valentines/Valtrex . I've been on Valtrex since September and I don't notice any issues really. I also do casual sex. I get rejected because of herpes sometimes, but it's "casual" sex which it's not a big deal, and there are many many more fish in the sea.


With meds and condoms, it is HIGHLY unlikely you are going to transmit if you aren't having an outbreak. Most herpes is transmitted by people who don't know they have it, so they aren't taking meds and might not be using condoms.


It's the same chance of dying in a car accident but people do that anyway:



Here are some risk scales for other things in life: http://www.riskcomm.com/visualaids/riskscale/datasources.php



Check this out


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@wcsDancer2010 - Thanks very much for all the great info. I'll check out all the links. I think part of it will be getting comfortable with someone else taking that risk rather than choosing for them that they shouldn't take the risk. I can envision being comfortable in cases where I know the person is not a generally anxious person and they are aware of how much or how little I'm emotionally invested in them. If those conditions are met and there's something in it for them, whether an ongoing hookup thing or maybe more limited but fulfilling some sort of fantasy that makes the risk worthwhile, then I think I could feel comfortable with it.


The guy I was with is not a germaphobe and was very flexible with many other things that could be deal breakers for a lot of people. Neither of us was comfortable with this risk given the temporary nature of our relationship. We were in different life stages and knew from the beginning it would be temporary for that reason, so while we'd become very close, it seemed like the right choice to end the relationship. It was going to end at some point anyway.


I actually took some time alone after divorcing. More than a year. My hesitation to get serious is more about my current parenting responsibilities. That has to be my priority for a while. That doesn't mean I want to be celibate for years, however.


Regarding testing, I am hesitant to ask anyone to test if they are not having symptoms. I still have very mixed feelings about choosing to test myself. Had I know that more than half of single women my age are infected with HSV2 and only 10% of them know it, and that the health care focus is on relieving symptoms vs. reducing transmission rates, I might not have tested in the first place. I go back and forth on this and hopefully will come to accept it eventually. Maybe because I have no idea when or from whom I contracted it, my anger and frustration is being misdirected to the testing aspect. Maybe I just needed a target for my anger as a normal part of the grief process. Time will tell.


@hippyherpy - Thanks for your comments. Yes, I now understand how very many people are infected and how many of them don't know it and that condoms don't fully protect from certain STIs, so casual sex has more risk in that regard than I previously understood. I also noticed a big difference with what I presume is your generation and my generation. When I was much younger, we all used condoms. The main concern was HIV. I was surprised to find that the guys I met after divorcing, probably of your generation, were willing to use condoms but also tended to want to rely on intermittent testing as an alternative to using condoms.



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Regarding testing, I am hesitant to ask anyone to test if they are not having symptoms. I still have very mixed feelings about choosing to test myself. Had I know that more than half of single women my age are infected with HSV2 and only 10% of them know it, and that the health care focus is on relieving symptoms vs. reducing transmission rates, I might not have tested in the first place. I go back and forth on this and hopefully will come to accept it eventually. Maybe because I have no idea when or from whom I contracted it, my anger and frustration is being misdirected to the testing aspect. Maybe I just needed a target for my anger as a normal part of the grief process. Time will tell.



Here's how I see testing: without it, we have silence. Which feeds the ignorance. Which feeds the stigma. And of course it feeds the spread of the virus.


AND, the LAST thing someone wants is to learn they have Herpes when they get a phone call from some poor frantic soul saying "Hey, I'm at the Dr's, and they tell me I have Herpes, and I likely got it from you." .... that diagnosis is FAR harder on both the recipient AND the giver.


My observations are that *most* who get it from someone they knew had it tend to accept it a LOT faster ... not that they don't go through some anger or frustration (esp if they have bad OB's) ... BUT most will accept that they took the risk and lost the odds. Just as if the person takes part in some high risk sport ... they get hurt, it sucks, but they knew the risk and they accept the consequences.


So I will always encourage people to get tested. AND, get EDUCATED. Because THAT is where we will kill the stigma and thus reduce the pain and stigma that comes with the diagnosis ....


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@WCSDancer2010 I understand your point of view and I actually would prefer for HSV tests to be included in general STI screenings on a large scale for many of the reasons you outlined. Just yesterday I spoke with a friend who was sure she must not have it because she has had STI screenings, not knowing HSV is not standard, and this person is my age and single, so her odds are actually about 50/50 for HSV-2 based strictly on demographics.


My frustration is in having this knowledge while the vast majority of my peers do not. It's hard to be in the minority who are are aware when I could easily have remained in the blissfully ignorant vast majority (as I was for god knows how long). I also fear the possibility that any partner I disclose to will likely assume I was the person who spread this to them if they test positive in the future, simply because I had the knowledge to tell them I'm positive when many of their H+ sex partners did not. I acknowledge this is a selfish perspective and I hope it will change over time as I come to accept this. I do recognize it is better for my future partners that I have this knowledge. But being in this head space right now makes it hard for me to imagine encouraging someone else to voluntarily put themselves in the painful place I'm in right now. I hope that makes sense.

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@2Legit2Quit - Yes, but again I would be placing them in the position I'm in now. I don't want to burn you out going in circles about this, but my point is that I am still conflicted about the choice I made to test and still feeling the emotional burden of the outcome and therefore can't imagine asking another asymptomatic person to test. But maybe that will change in time with distance and perspective.

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@2Legit2Quit - Thank you for the encouragement. I appreciate it. I know it will get better. I tend to feel things very deeply and dwell for a while and analyze every little thing and then I typically rebound very powerfully and move on. So I know it will get better with time, but this part really sucks.

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