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Symptoms only occurring in isolated area. Does this mean that it is the only contagious area?

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Hey guys,

I contracted genital HSV2 around a year ago during a one night stand due to my condom splitting at the tip.  Only the Head of my penis was directly exposed and my symptoms occur exclusively on the head also! 

I get mild symptoms (one or two blisters only and/or red marks), however quite frequently and I take Valtrex suppresively because of said frequency (HIV negative btw). I dont get blisters while on Valtrex however I do sometimes get what look like the red marks that come before a sore.

So my questions are:

Is the fact that only the head was exposed to the virus the reason why I’ve only ever had any form of symptoms in that exact area?;

Is it likely because of this I may only be cable of spreading the virus with contact from true “penis head” area or would my whole pelvic region shed the virus also?; 

Am I likely still contagious when a red dot/mark shows up even when I’m in suppressive therapy?; and

what are my chances of passing it to a partner if I avoid sex during an outbreak (obviously), wear condoms and remain on suppressive therapy? I know this information’s out there but the studies are hard for me to understand and a lot of the articles are quite vague or conflicting in regards to chances of transmition. 

Thanks in advance!



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If you want to see some charts and graphs about your chances of transmission, you can find them here on the main site. Your chances to transmit to a woman while using daily antivirals, condoms, and not having sex during an outbreak are around 2.5% per year of a sexual relationship. Those numbers also refer to couples who have been together for a couple years. If you got it a year ago, you are less infectious now than you were a year ago. The first year is the worst. It will slowly go down for ten years, but even then you will still be infectious. Bad news: you can shed the virus every where in your "boxer" area, even if you only have out breaks on your penis. So use the antivirals and use condoms. 


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Everyone is different in how their virus appears and reacts with their immune system. Fortunately, the two strands of the HSV virus are very prone to localize to their preferred areas ( HSV 1 preferring the oral cavities including the mouth and lips, while HSV 2 preferring the vaginal, penis, anal and thigh area.) While it is possible to contract each of the virus to the opposing areas, the are localized to the one they prefer.


Now, while the virus is localized to their specific areas, they are not particular to staying in one spot, such as the head of the penis. Shedding occurs all the time with this particular virus, most contagious during an outbreak. However, you can significantly cut your chances of infecting a partner by using a condom. It is also, according to some research, cut in half again with suppressive therapy. As for the red dots, the suppressive therapy is not meant to completely diminish your outbreaks, they are meant to suppress your symptoms such as blisters, itching, burning during urination, etc. You can still take the suppressive therapy and have a mild outbreak. It is always important to practice safe sex and inform any sexual partners of your infection, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.


Best of luck to you! I hope I was able to explain things a bit better.

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