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Just found out and need advice!!!

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Last week I came down with what I thought was the flu. High fever, headache, body aches, chills, etc. A couple of days later I started noticing the sores on my genitals and inner thighs. Told my partner and we went to the doctor yesterday. She feels certain I have herpes as I have slot of lesions. Swabbed and awaiting typing. My partner and I had made love several times 2 days before it started. I'm very concerned that I exposed him to this. I started on antiviral yesterday. The doctor was very reassuring that this is something that can be managed, but I was surprised that she doesn't think we need to use condoms. She said we could have normal sex as long as I'm not having an outbreak. Could this be because my partner has already been exposed now? I could really use some advice about living with herpes since this is my new reality.

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As I say to everyone, basically you have a skin rash-- it's just not that big a deal. That said, it's better not to have a skin rash, than to have one. So it's good that you want to protect your partner from acquiring this nuisance virus.


You can still pass on the virus with sexual contact even without an outbreak. But your male partner has one thing going for him: The virus is most easily passed through broken skin or areas where there is no skin (like the inside of your vagina). For a man, the penis is obviously covered in skin, and assuming that this skin has no cuts, it is somewhat harder to pass the virus through this skin. But, it absolutely *can* happen.


If you take antivirals, the risk of passing the virus goes down even further. Antivirals decrease the natural shedding of virus particles, so this helps reduce the likelihood of transmission even further. But again, it absolutely *can* still happen, albeit with lower probability.


At the end of the day, it depends on everyone's tolerance for risk. Do you need to reduce his risk to 1%? What about 10% over a year? If 0% is the only tolerance level you can afford, then sorry to say that abstinence is your only recourse. The good news is, herpes is a nuisance skin rash; nobody's life ends if the virus get transmitted. But still, life without herpes is preferable to life with herpes.


Good luck!

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Many health care providers (including the nurse practitioner who gave me my own diagnosis) are not well informed about herpes and don't know about asymptomatic shedding. The virus can still be transmitted even if there is no outbreak and from potentially any area in the boxer shorts region (that's why condoms don't offer 100% protection). The unfortunate part is that none of us know when asymtomatic shedding occurs. With HSV2, estimates are about 20% of the time (less for genital HSV1).


Transmission is always a possibility, but it's not guaranteed. I was married for 15 years, unaware that I had herpes all that time (acquired before we met), and my ex tested negative when I found out a year after the divorce. Anything is possible. One day at a time! {hugs}

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What HikingGirl said.


Heck, my doc was pretty solid with my info. The other doc I went to, out of panic, to get a whole slate of STD's done, rolled her eyes when I said I had HSV1vs HSV2, and she said it is all herpes.


**eye bulge emoji**

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Thanks for your responses. I keep kicking myself and have a great deal of guilt for bringing this into my partners life before I knew I had herpes. He's been wonderful, but I keep wondering if he has any regrets about my package deal. Been very tearful as I try to learn more and come to grips with this diagnosis. It put me out of commission for a week with very high fever and I'm in a great deal of pain. Not looking forward to a future with lots of outbreaks.

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IDK the facts, but I do recall reading that HSV1 genitally is less likely to reoccur than HSV2. Shedding is lower as well. I recently acquired HSV1 oral. I've been trying to inform myself as best as possible.


Don't quote me, but my understanding is that gHSV1 is preferable to gHSV2.

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