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Can my partner contract Herpes from me? History of genital herpes. Test to detect levels of virus?

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Oncologist
Practicing since : 2002
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I am a 49 year old female, 142 lbs, in good health. I was diagnosed with genital herpes about 12 years ago. My last outbreak was 9/10 years ago. I take Valtrex, 500 mg, every day since my last outbreak. I had unprotected sex and my male partner and I are concerned if he can contract the herpes virus. I was told as long as I was on the preventative Valtrex and have no out break we are fine? Is this true? We had intercourse and oral sex. We want to know what his chances are of getting the genital herpes virus? We wanted to know if there is a test I can take to see where my levels are. Also how long would he have to wait to be tested, if needed.
Posted Sun, 22 Apr 2012 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
 
 
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later
Hello and thank you for submitting your question.

Your question is a very good one and I will try to provide you with some good information and recommendations regarding your concerns.

The symptoms. For patients who take medications like Valtrex the likelihood of transmission is decreased significantly. I caution you however to know that the possibility of transmission is decreased it is not completely eliminated.

An obvious question would be what are the chances of transmitting the virus if I have no symptoms and if I take Valtrex. The chances are regarded as generally 1%.

I would suggest that your partner has a screening evaluation performed to test for the herpes simplex virus type I and type II. Then from there if he is positive or negative it can guide any additional testing. As you know very well the herpes simplex virus is a virus which can be controlled. It does not really cause significant problems for most patients were able to get treatment or prophylaxis.

I would advise that your partner can get tested in about two or three days at which time it will be clear if he has a history of the virus or if he has developed the virus from recent exposure. I would say that the likelihood that he developed it from the recent exposure which you describe is very very low.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.

Sincerely,

Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Can my partner contract Herpes from me? History of genital herpes. Test to detect levels of virus? 3 hours later
If my partner is clear of the virus can we have safe sex. Is using a condom for intercourse the answer. What about oral sex performed on me? Can I transmit the virus this way? Can I have safe oral sex?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 11 hours later
Hello and thank you for the follow up question.

If your question is can my partner pick up the herpes virus if we have a safe intercourse. The answer is yes. There is no 100% way to prevent the transmission of this virus even with the use of a condom.

Oral sex while relatively safe is still no guarantee that the virus will not be transmitted. I need you to understand that this virus can be transmitted at any time even with no symptoms.

Again the fact that you are taking Valtrex significantly diminishes the likelihood that this will happen but there is never any guarantee.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you found my response to be clear and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.

Sincerely,

Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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