Herpes | American Sexual Health Association
My question is: if we both already have herpes 1 & 2 can we a) re-infect As long as the relationship is monogamous, both partners have the. Based on my internet research I diagnosed myself with herpes - and At the time I thought it was an insect bite, but it stayed for a couple of weeks and I after I called that I had herpes and I had to contact all my sexual partners. My immune system was so weak that I was getting sores every two weeks. Before you start having sex with a new partner, there are some questions Chlamydia · Symptoms · Herpes · HPV · Gonorrhea · Causes & Risk Your own personal sex ed quiz is a useful tool when beginning any new sexual relationship . These questions can help both you and your new partner protect.
Following are some of the basic facts about herpes that might be important points to tell a partner. There is a lot of information about herpes. Have educational materials on hand for your partner to read.
Living (and dating) with herpes
Be prepared to answer their questions. The absence of symptoms does not mean a person has not got genital herpes. Herpes simplex virus HSV most often shows up as small blisters or sores on either the mouth cold sore or fever blisters or the genitals. HSV can be passed on when one person has the herpes virus present on the skin and another person makes direct skin-to-skin contact with live herpes virus.
The herpes virus is likely to be present on the skin from the first sign of prodrome tingling or itching where the outbreak usually occurs until the sores have completely healed and new skin is present. There are likely to be certain days when active herpes virus might be on the skin even though there are no obvious signs or symptoms. Since they have not been diagnosed, they are unaware that they may be contagious from time to time. There is effective oral antiviral treatment for people with problematic genital herpes.
Preparing to tell your Partner What you say and how you say it is going to depend on your own personal style. Your attitude will influence how this news is received.
Psychologists have observed that people tend to behave the way you expect them to behave, and expecting rejection increases the chances of an unhappy outcome. How long should you know someone before you tell them?
Allow the relationship to develop a little. There are good and bad times to bring up the topic of herpes. Talking just prior to love-making is not a good idea either. The discussion could take place anywhere you feel safe and comfortable.
Some people turn off the TV, take the phone off the hook, and broach the subject over a quiet dinner at home. Others prefer a more open place, like walking in the park, so that their partner will feel free to go home afterwards to mull things over.
This allows both people to work off a little nervous energy at the same time. Try to be natural and spontaneous. If you find yourself whispering, mumbling, or looking at the floor, stop for a moment and try to speak calmly and clearly.
Look your partner in the face. Your delivery affects your message. They are not intended to be regarded as scripts. Have you ever had a cold sore? The reason I ask is that cold sores are caused by a type of virus. I have the virus.
Only instead of getting a cold sore on my mouth, I get one in my genital area. Can we talk now? Last year, I found out that I had contracted genital herpes. This is not a confession or a lecture, simply the sharing of information between two people. Avoid negative words and keep the dialogue simple and factual: Could we talk about what this means for us? You might even be surprised to learn that your partner has been equally concerned about telling you that they have genital herpes or another sexual infection.
In fact, the probability of this is reasonably high, given the statistics on HSV. Realistic and unrealistic expectations People may just need a little time to assimilate the information. This is where having good written information helps. Consider giving them reading material or referring them to a Sexual Health Centre, the Herpes Helpline 11 12 13 or the herpes website www. Whatever the reaction, try to be flexible. Remember that it took you time to adjust as well.
Negative reactions are often no more than the result of misinformation. It takes a lot more than the occasional aggravation of herpes to destroy a sound relationship. Some people react negatively no matter what you say or how you say it. Others might focus more energy on herpes than on the relationship. These people are the exception, not the rule.
This is not a reflection on you. You are not responsible for their reaction. If your partner is unable to accept the facts about herpes, encourage him or her to speak with a medical expert or counsellor.
The majority of people will react well. They will respect the trust you demonstrate in sharing a personal confidence with them. With the proper approach and information, herpes can be put into perspective: Regarding the relationship overall, know that you can have the same level of intimacy and sexual activity that any couple can. It is true that in an intimate sexual relationship with a person who has herpes oral or genitalthe risk of contracting herpes will not be zero, but while there is a possibility of contracting herpes this is a possibility for any sexually active person.
And the person may unwittingly already have been exposed to the herpes virus in a previous relationship. All relationships face challenges, most far tougher than herpes. Good relationships stand and fall on far more important issues — including communication, respect and trust.
Whether or not this relationship works out, you have enlightened someone with your education and experience about herpes, correcting some of the myths about herpes that cause so much harm.
You have removed the shroud of silence that makes it so difficult for others to speak. And you have confronted a personal issue in your life with courage and consideration. What it means for Partners Your partner has genital herpes. Your support is very important in helping you and your partner to understand what this means. When your partner goes back to the doctor, you may wish to go too, so that you can find out more about the herpes infection. In the meantime, here are answers to some questions you may have.
What is Genital Herpes? Genital herpes is a common infection generally transmitted through sexual contact.
Get the facts about Herpes in relationships
It is caused by one of two members of a family of viruses which also include the viruses causing chickenpox and shingles, and glandular fever.
Usually, genital herpes is caused by infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 HSV-2and studies suggest that in some countries, one in five people are infected with this virus.
Genital herpes, for most people, is an occasionally recurrent, sometimes painful condition for which effective treatment is now available. Anyone who is sexually active is at risk of catching genital herpes, regardless of their gender, race or social class. How has my Partner caught Genital Herpes? Genital herpes can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected blister or sore, usually through sexual contact.
It can also be transmitted when there are no symptoms present. HSV-2 infection is usually passed on during vaginal or anal sex. HSV-1 is usually transmitted by oral sex mouth to genital contact. If your partner has only just been diagnosed as having genital herpes, this does not necessarily mean that he or she has been unfaithful to you, or sexually promiscuous in the past.
Your partner may have caught genital herpes from you. So it is very easy for you to have unwittingly transmitted the infection to your partner.
The symptoms of the infection vary greatly between individuals — it might be totally unnoticeable in you, but cause severe blistering in your partner. Since the genital herpes virus can be transmitted through oral sex as well as vaginal sex, it is also possible that your partner caught the virus from a cold sore on your mouth or face. Alternatively, your partner may have contracted the herpes virus from a previous sexual partner, perhaps even several years ago.
The herpes virus can remain inactive in the body for long periods, so this may be the first time it has caused symptoms. What are the symptoms of Genital Herpes? If your partner is having a first episode of genital herpes, he or she is likely to feel generally unwell and have fever, headache, and general bone and muscle aches, as well as irritation in the genitals.
This may last for several days, during or after which reddened areas may appear on the genitals. These may develop into painful blisters.
The blisters then burst, generally to leave sores which gradually heal, usually without scarring. The severity of this first herpes episode varies between individuals, but for some people it may be severe and last for up to three weeks if not treated.
These symptoms should quickly resolve with treatment. The doctor should have given your partner a course of antiviral treatment. This is an effective medicine which, although it does not cure genital herpes, can speed recovery and reduce the severity of the herpes episode.
There are also other steps which your partner can take to relieve the pain of genital herpes.
However, for many people who have genital herpes, the physical symptoms are far outweighed by the emotional stress relating to the diagnosis. There are many misconceptions about genital herpes, including the belief that it is associated with promiscuity, and these have given it a reputation which may cause your partner to feel angry and shocked by the diagnosis.
Anxiety, guilt, loss of assertiveness and fear of rejection are also common emotions. Your support can be very important in helping your partner to deal with these feelings and to minimise the effect of genital herpes on his or her life. How do I know if I have Genital Herpes? Until recently, diagnosis could only be made by clinical symptoms and swabs from an active herpes episode. However, there are commercially available blood tests becoming available which can distinguish between herpes simplex virus type 1 HSV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 HSV-2 antibodies.
The time taken to develop antibodies is usually two to six weeks after infection, but can be up to six months. It is also important to know that false positives and false negatives are common in these tests.
Because of the limitations of a blood test to diagnose herpes, it is recommended you discuss the implications of the test with someone who has experience with them. If you think you might be showing signs of the infection, consult your doctor. Do the symptoms of Genital Herpes return? The symptoms of genital herpes may reappear from time to time. This is because once the herpes virus is acquired, it stays permanently in the body.
Most of the time it remains inactive, but every so often it may reactivate and cause another outbreak.
Each individual is different — some people never have a recurrence; others may have recurrences several times a year. However, recurrent outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first herpes episode.
Hello! I have a couple questions about HSV. My girlfriend | SmartSexResource
Certain events or situations can trigger recurrences, and you may be able to help your partner avoid or reduce the trigger factors, which may include stress at work or home, fatigue, ill health, loss of sleep, friction due to sexual intercourse, and menstruation in women.
If your partner has frequent or severe episodes of genital herpes, or if the recurrent outbreaks are causing a lot of anxiety for your partner, then he or she may benefit from suppressive therapy taking oral antiviral tablets continuouslywhich prevents or reduces recurrences.
What can we do to reduce my chances of getting the Herpes infection? If you take the necessary precautions, the chances of getting the herpes virus from your partner are reduced. Genital herpes does not mean abstinence from sex or a reduced enjoyment of sex. The continued use of condoms in a long-term relationship is a personal decision that only the couple can make. Most find that as the importance of the HSV infection in their relationship is seen in perspective, that condom use becomes less relevant if this is the only reason condoms are being used.
However, most couples choose to avoid genital skin-to-skin contact during an active episode of herpes because this is when the herpes virus is most readily transmitted. This period includes the time from when your partner first has warning signs of an outbreak, such as a tingling or burning in the genitals, until the last of the sores has healed. Also, sexual activity prolongs the healing of the episode.
Herpes transmission risk is increased if there are any breaks in the skin. For example, if you have thrush or small abrasions from sexual intercourse, often due to insufficient lubrication. It can be helpful to use a lubricant specifically for sexual intercourse and avoid sex if you have thrush. Sexual lubricant is helpful right at the start of sexual activity. Sores in other areas — such as the buttocks and thighs — can be just as contagious as those in the genital area, and care should be taken to avoid direct contact with such sores during sex.
At other times, there is still a small risk of transmitting the herpes infection through a process known as asymptomatic shedding, even if your partner is showing no signs of genital herpes. This risk can be reduced significantly if a person with herpes takes suppressive oral antiviral treatment. This may explain your story because weve only known how to do specific tests for HSV-1 and HSV-2 for the past few years.
HSV-2 infections are what people are usually thinking about when they talk about genital herpes. It is usually passed between people by sexual contact.
Some people, however, get genital herpes outbreaks, often several times each year. Genital warts are usually caused by human papilloma viruses HPV. There are more than types of these viruses, but only two of these types cause most cases of genital warts. Although we are still learning more about HPV infections, most people with genital warts get over them without any complications. Now as a female of 54 I have unfortunately given it to my dating partner of one year. He is very concerned about several things: We think I gave it to him because after four years of my being daily medication, my new doctor told me to quit taking it and just take it in the event of an outbreak.
A month later my partner contracted it from me and had a herpes outbreak 2. Do we always have to use condoms or can we re-infect each other and cause outbreaks? How about oral sex? Can we never have oral sex without the worry of transmitting it to one another? But the medication must be taken every day. Although you may have given him genital herpes, it is possible that he was asymptomatically infected before he met you or even while you were having sex with him a while ago, and only now has he become symptomatic and had his first outbreak.
I was in a serious relationship for two years with this guy but out of anger I let another guy perform oral sex on me. Do I have an STD? Does this sound like herpes? Trying to figure out what symptoms mean can really make people nervous, because some of the symptoms of herpes and other STDs seem the same.
This makes it all the more important that you visit a health care provider if you think you have an STD. You may want to ask for a herpes culture test if you have any open sores or bumps on your genitalia. Some providers may be able to do a blood test to see if you have herpes. Other tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, or even a yeast infection, could help you understand your symptoms, get the right treatment, and help put your mind at ease.
While it is possible to get genital herpes from oral, vaginal, and anal sex, the only way to know for sure is to get tested for herpes and other STDs. Getting everything checked out can also be a good time to plan how to be safe and healthy the next time you have any kind of sex. Is it a law to tell him or just a moral issue? If he wears a condom is it necessary to tell him that you have herpes, or is it ok to discuss before unprotected sex?
You should discuss herpes with a new sex partner. Doing so not only shows them respect, it gives you both the chance to talk about sexual health and ways to protect yourselves. Telling a partner can be difficult, I understand. First, have you come to terms yourself with having herpes? How well informed are you? Know the basic steps to reduce the risk to your partner.
Know the facts about herpes? You want to feel confident and knowledgeable before you can explain the infection to someone else. Keep these points in mind: No sex during outbreaks. Daily therapy with an antiviral medication, Valtrex, has shown to reduce transmission rates by about half. Discuss this with your health care provider to see what they might recommend for you. My doctor has advised me to monitor how often I get outbreaks before determining if I should go on a daily medication or just take it when I feel an outbreak coming on.
Although I trust my doctor, I keep reading different things on line. My partner is a little uncertain and nervous and I am trying to reassure him, but I need some reassurance myself! The specific course of herpes treatment depends on the individual. For those with few or very mild outbreaks, treatment may not be needed at all.
For others, taking an antiviral medication during an outbreak can shorten the duration of symptoms and speed healing. Your doctor could test a sample from a sore during an outbreak, or could obtain a blood test for HSV-2 between outbreaks.
Others would find it very difficult to take a medication every day unless the outbreaks were quite frequent. Discussing the results can help both you and your partner have a better understanding of your choices for treatment and prevention. While HSV is most contagious during outbreaks, the virus can be transmitted even with no symptoms present. In addition to reducing the number of outbreaks, daily suppressive therapy with an HSV antiviral drug can reduce the risk of transmission to a partner significantly.
My doctor said it could been a few different things, but the test for herpes came back positive for HSV I asked my partner if he had ever had symptoms.