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How was your first time without condoms after the infection?

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I use condoms and anti-virals to protect my partner but we'd like to stop using condoms in some point the future, maybe after the first year of infection (as it is often said that you shed less frequently by then, because your inmune system has understood how to better attack the virus).

I am afraid of doing it.

For those of you who took that step, how was your first time? How to prepare psychologically for that situation?

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Hi! Great idea to be on antivirals if you're thinking about not using a condom, as that's an awesome extra protection against transmission. The rates vary from male-to-female transmission or female-to-male, and same-sex transmission I don't think the study has been published quite yet. It all depends on what exactly is going on when you're having sex. It's hard to get an exact number because the way the virus sheds and how it is received by an uninfected person. For example, female-to-male transmission is considered less "risk" of transmission because males have significantly less exposed mucous membranes during intercourse that come into contact with possibly infected fluids. I hope that makes sense. Antivirals in general help this scenario by limiting/cutting down on the amount of shedding that happens.

Personally, as soon as I my current partner (male) and I (female) had a disclosure talk, we decided on unprotected sex. While condoms help, they do not completely cut the risk of HSV transmission, and together we made the choice that if we were both ok with the risk in the first place, then we would rather have unprotected sex anyway. While it would be great to minimize risk as much as possible, as long as your partner is ok with it, and you have both agreed and consented and all questions are answered, then you don't have to feel guilty about possibly giving them H. 

I've been with my partner for over a year now and we lead a very... active sex life. Like very very active. And we've never used condoms, ever. At his last checkup, he was clear for HSV-1 and HSV-2. He's never gotten oral cold sores, and has never had any symptoms or signs of HSV-2 in the genital area. 

Good luck!!

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Hi @gracie thanks! It is reassuring to know other people's experiences and positive outlook. I often think that giving away the condom is like an herpes sentence for your partner, which isn't necessary the case.

As long as you monitor yourself, do it when having a strong inmune system (I recently had a flu and my herpes re-appeared slightly), take the anti-virals daily, and take a shower after/before (and avoid things like razor-shaving both for you and your partner), and maybe using some lub to avoid direct friction, then you are doing everything you can to keep the virus at bay.

However I'm very risk-averse and I'm unsure about it.

Thank you!

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