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I currently am single and a mom of two great kids(15,7). I have some questions that I cant quite find answer to and was hoping some veterans can give me some insight. FYI, I've been HSV2 positive since mid October 2017 and take valacyclovir 500 mg twice daily. First out break 3 days post exposure was not pleasant. Was very swollen, sore, about 5 lesions, issues urinating and lasted about 10 days. Have NOT had sex since I was infected.


1. I've only had an initial outbreak. When another outbreak, if it happens, is the tingling constant prior to? Not sure if I am being hyper sensitive but I feel more twinges, tingling that last just a few moments and am not sure if that means something. Shedding? Or am I nut? I never had a cold sore so I don't know what that is like.


2. Summer can't get here fast enough to get out of this cold weather. I typically wear a bikini when we go swimming and my daughter(7) loves to sit on my lap while we bask in the sun drying off. Am I putting her at risk by allowing her to sit on my lap like that? since it is skin to skin contact? Should I put a towel between us?


3. Another crazy thought. So I always wash my hands after using the bathroom but when I am even just putting on clothing and hand rubs up against the outside of my thighs, hips, are there risks to getting herpes on my hands? Paranoid me, immediately washes my hands afterwards. I am really scared of Herpes whitlow.


4. If herpes whitlow would happen, would that site then be forever infected even after it heals? For instance could it be shedding in that place once it's healed and infect someone else?


5. Is it true that self/auto inoculation only can occur with the initial outbreak? And after the first outbreak, the rest of your body outside of the normal areas where an outbreak can occur, are immune?


6. Lastly...my daughter loves to sleep and cuddle with me. Prior to this, I slept in a t-shirt and panties. Now I'm wearing pants all the time when I sleep just in case she sneaks into bed with me at night. Worried that one of her wild feet will land on me in the middle of the night and will somehow infect her.


I am just trying to arm myself with knowledge, so I can hopefully feel like insane about it all. I would love to be in a relationship at some point and I'm sure I will have even more questions. Right now, I just want to do my best to protect my children and people I am close with.


Thank you for any clarity and reading my crazy thoughts. Seriously, I know how crazy they seem.

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You need *sexual* (as in genital to genital or oral to genital) contact for transmission between people. Transmission to other parts of your body is very uncommon, and usually happens with the first outbreak. By all means, wash your hands if you’re touching an active lesion. Otherwise, I wouldn’t lose a lot of sleep over it.


Terri Warren, an expert in herpes, has a great handbook here:



I’m also a huge fan of her book, which goes into a lot more detail but it still very easy to read. I’m afraid I can’t answer the rest of your questions—not just because I’m not an expert and it’s hard to remember every intricacy and statistic—but also because there’s just a lot of uncertainty with herpes and guarantees are hard to come by.

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