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40+ years

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I found out I had hsv2 when I was pregnant with my second child who just turned 33 this month. My husband was also tested at that time and we found it was not the first case for either one of us. We figured we had it before we were married, no blame involved, and moved on. Looking back, I remembered a weekend camping and boating trip shortly after we were dating with a terrible "yeast infection" that became very painful. I attributed it to being in a wet bathing suit constantly that weekend but that was probably my first ob. We were lucky in that neither one of us had frequent obs and it was not an issue in our relationship. Sadly, my beautiful husband died suddenly 11 years ago. I had long forgotten about H. That is until I began dating a few years ago. Since I have not had any symptoms or outbreaks in many years I did not expect it to be the issue that it is. When I finally met a man who I wanted to be intimate with and told him about my history, he had a difficult time. We tried using condoms, but the fact that shedding can occur with no symptoms, and not always in areas protected by a condom, he was never comfortable (he is admittedly a hypochondriac). We are still close friends, and have tried dating on and off several times over the past three years, but always end of breaking it was off because he is so afraid of catching the virus. Then I feel totally rejected for months. If we decide to date him again, or I date anyone else for that matter, I think it might help if we went to talk to an expert together so he could get better educated about the reality of the virus rather than the hysteria of it. My few and far between outbreaks were only an annoyance. So my question is where is the best place that we could go for reliable, up to date information? OB? Planned parenthood (that seems silly since I'm in my 60s, LOL? Also, I did talk to my OB doc about suppression meds but she said if I'm not having any outbreaks there is no reason for it. Is that true? Wouldn't that lessen the frequency of shedding?

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@Wildrose I'm sorry to hear you've been going through this. Has your friend been tested himself? And does he know how prevalent the virus is in your age group? Does he know the majority of his dating prospects are likely HSV2+, as well? Does he know most people are unaware they are positive? If he already knows all this and he has tried multiple times to overcome his anxiety and just can't get comfortable, it sounds to me like you just have an incompatibility issue here. And because a small minority of people with HSV2 *do* have significant symptoms, I would hesitate to try to sell him on the idea that it's never a big deal. Sometimes it is.


The nurse practitioner at my gynecologist's office also discouraged me from taking antivirals for the same reason, no outbreaks. I then consulted my doctor who was willing to prescribe them. It didn't even occur to the nurse that I might want to take it to reduce transmission risk and reassure a partner that I was doing all I could to minimize likelihood of transmission. I explained to the doctor that the relationship I was in had just ended for that reason (anxiety about transmission risk) and I wanted to be able to reassure future partners and do my part in keeping them "safe" and he said okay but added that I really just shouldn't be with a guy like that because most adults are able to put the risk in perspective. Anyway, I take the antivirals now, and I will add that it did not eliminate the anxiety in the guy who was anxious about transmission, it only lessened it enough for us to go another round in the consideration/rejection cycle before I was truly convinced it will never work. At the very least, I now know how my body tolerates the antivirals (no side effects) so I know they are an option for me.

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Thanks for your response @Optimist. He has been tested twice and remains negative. I did not know it was prevalent in my age group. I think the fact that we share the same group of friends with a lot of common interests and activities makes it hard to avoid each other and difficult for us despite our incompatible issues. I realize it is easier for me to risk a familiar rejection than a new one, but am trying to move on. Based on your experience I will ask again about the antiviral meds.

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