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Ask Family Physician Your Own Question

Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12599
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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i have been diagnosed with genital herpes. if that ...

Customer Question

i have been diagnosed with genital herpes. if that isn''t devastating enough my boyfriend chooses to take unknown risks with other females but won''t take the chance with me even though I''ve never had a symptom or out-beak. Condoms are ALWAYS used also.My question is where is he taking the greatest risk, being with me and being as careful as possible or being with other girls that he doesn''t know what they could have?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Terry replied 6 years ago.

Hello,

I tend to think that you have answered your own question. Of course the risk lies in the exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms should always be used. If there are no genital herpes lesions present then the risk is not there. Having multiple sex partners increases the tisk of exposure to any STD and then there is the risk of passing it back and forth to sex partners.. You probably should re-think your relationship with your boyfriend, if YOU don't want to take the risk of exposure. I am glad to hear that you are very aware of your situation, and I wish you the best!

Let me know if you would like to talk further.

Terry

Terry, Nurse, RN, BSN
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 693
Experience: Adult/ Respiratory/ Neonatal ICU, Pediatric/Adolescent Care, Geriatrics, Patient/Parent Counseling
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
but i've heard and read so much about being able to transfer herpes when there are no signs or symptoms. u said lesions have to be present. what about when they say you shed the disease certain days out of the year? i'm so confused.Please help
Expert:  Terry replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

Take a look at the website below for full information.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/STDFact-herpes.htm

It is free to reply.

Sincerely,

Terry

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
that website only proves what i already know without the specifics of small details.you said if there are no lesions if can't be spread.the website says its possible with no signs or symptoms.and that you may get your first out break years down the road.i need to know the percentage risk or something for spreading herpes while using a condom if there has never been an out break.i don't mean to be difficult really. i just can't find the answers. everybody's website has differences. i need more detail. do you know where i could get that? i don't mind paying. im desperate to save my sanity and my sex life
Expert:  Terry replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

I will do some more research and will post back later on. Once you have been exposed to herpes, your body develops the antibodies and you will always test positive even if you never had symptoms. It stays dormant in your body and therefore can appear at any time.

Terry

Expert:  Family Physician replied 6 years ago.
I'm sorry, the information that the other expert provided to you is indeed NOT correct.

Herpes may indeed be transmitted when there are no symptoms. Using condoms on a regular basis significantly reduces the risk, but does not completely eliminate the risk.

There is a medication (Valtrex) approved and proved effective at reducing the risk of herpes transmission when taken daily.

The consistent use of condoms AND the daily use of Valtrex would reduce the risk of transmission to a VERY slim chance.

To answer your other question; since most patients actually do not know that they have herpes, the chance of contacting herpes (or another STD) from another partner is as great or greater than contacting herpes from you IF you are taking proper precautions.

YOU NEED TO BE AWARE - since he is sleeping with other women, that you also would be at risk of contacting something from him (including HIV).
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12599
Experience: Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
Family Physician and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
but why would you take a medication that you don't have any symptoms of? true, i don't know how long i've carried this around with me, i assume for at least a year, but other than the test saying the antibodies are indeed there i wouldn't believe i had it. if i was re-exposed to genital herpes would it change my status of no never having an out-breaks? i guess i would be maybe concerned that taking a medication that i might not need triggering something and cause me to start having out-breaks. why fix it if it isn't broke..if i've never had an out-break what are the chances of spreading it? they only talk about reducing the risk between out-breaks.
Expert:  Family Physician replied 6 years ago.
Once someone has herpes, they have the infection for life. There is NO cure, only treatments that may reduce the chance of outbreaks and reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to others.

The risk of transmission of herpes is present even when there are no lesions present. It is really unclear if the risk is that much higher on days that there is an outbreak.
Does Frequency of Genital Herpes Recurrences Predict Risk of Transmission? Further Analysis of the Valacyclovir Transmission Study

Studies have clearly shown that daily use of Valtrex by the herpes positive partner can have a significant effect on reducing the risk of herpes transmission.


In this particular study - monogomous couples (one with herpes and one without) were followed for 8 months. The risk of transfer of herpes was 3.6% (and 1.9% in the group on the medication)
Once-daily valacyclovir to reduce the risk of transmission of genital herpes

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