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Herpes facts?

edited March 2013 in Herpes question(s)
Hi. I'm 16 years old and I contracted genital HSV1 (and HPV genital warts) in november, I just found out I had it in january though. I still feel like I have very few answers, I don't remember getting a lot of information at the doctor's, I remember her saying that the HSV1 would not be transmitted if I avoid having sex when there's an outbreak and if I always wear a condom (or maybe it was the HPV, I really don't remember) but I've found information online that say differently so I really don't know what to believe. I just hate not knowing. And I don't even know the difference between genital HSV1 and genital HSV2. Why is it so hard to find facts about this? I don't get it. How have I had this for over two months, gone to the gyno plenty of times, and not know what the chances in percentages are of me transmitting HPV genital warts and genital HSV1 when using a condom and when there are no visible symptoms?

And when it comes to sex I really don't know what I can and can't do anymore. I had this for over a month without knowing and I had a very good sex life in that time, but now that I know I have this I feel like I won't be able to have normal sex anymore, like I'll always have to keep a hand sanitizer on my night stand in case the guy touches me down there without latex gloves. I know I won't be able to have sex when there are symptoms and that I'll always have to wear a condom, but then there are little things that I just have no idea if I will be able to do or not..Will I still be able to get fingered? Will I still be able to cuddle with the guy afterwards naked with my vag touching his thigh? Or will he immediately have to go to the bathroom and vigorously clean and scrub himself while I put my underpants back on.

I haven't had sex after I found out I had this and I really don't know what to expect and what I can and can't do.

And about the whole daily suppressants thing, I wasn't planning on doing that, but will I have to if I ever want to have sex again? It's just something I'm not that willing to do, I'm only 16, I don't know if I can make a commitment like that and I don't know, I can't really explain why I don't want to do that..but I just don't

Comments

  • Hi Stubborn,

    You've come to the right place. I'm happy that you've found this website, and are asking these questions. I'm with you on feeling frustrated that there isn't more information out there. Cool is though, that a lot of information is here. You've come to the right place.

    Here are 2 handouts that have a lot of useful information
    http://herpeslife.com/resources/

    Also, here's a blog with the explanations of HSV1 and HSV2
    http://herpeslife.com/hsv-1-hsv-2-types-of-herpes/

    As for your other questions, (which are great questions btw)

    It is possible for the herpes virus to spread when symptoms aren't visible. I found this information in another blog
    "Studies have shown that within the first few months of initial herpes exposure the rate of viral shedding is much higher than after the body has a chance to build up a tolerance to the herpes virus. Six months after the first herpes outbreak the viral shedding is said to occur around 5-10% of the time, depending on what study you read".

    It is still safe for someone to finger you, and then just have them wash their hands afterward or sanitize afterward. That's easy :)
    As for cuddling after sex.. I think it would be safest to cuddle with underwear on, just to be on the safe side, since the virus can be spread from skin to skin contact. I know it doesn't seem as intimate, but it certainly doesn't need to take away any of the intimate connection that you have with your partner. There is still the opportunity to be very close, both physically and mentally. I think that taking that extra step shows just how much you care about taking them into consideration.
    Like I said before, these are both really great questions, and I'm left wondering if other people have different opinions about them, which I'd be very open to hearing.

    When it comes to suppressants, it's not imperative that you take them. You can still have sex without them. Studies do show that meds decrease the risk of transmission, but it's not a requirement for you to take them. You have every right to make that decision for yourself.

    Sending love..
    I hope this helps.

    -Katie :)
    .
  • So if I were to cuddle after sex naked, what, would I give him herpes on his thigh?

    It just seems too unlikely to even worry about.. I don't want to go overboard with paranoia even though I want to be safe of course. It's just that if it was quite likely I'd think the doctor would've told me about it and that she would've told me more than just 'this isn't the end of the world, don't let this break you' and 'don't have sex when you have symptoms and always wear a condom' and 'after hpv genital wart treatment wait at least 10 days before you have sex so that the sore after the burning/poison heals'. Maybe I'm just being naive, but yeah..
  • Oh but thanks a lot for answering, really appreciate it and the links definitely helped :) sorry for being snarky!
  • edited March 2013
    Hi stubborn,

    Be cautious, but not paranoid. I agree. Here's the rundown on how to actually spread herpes: http://herpeslife.com/how-can-you-get-herpes/

    If you're just cuddling, the chances are so slim that you'd pass herpes that way. Unless you're doing some rough cuddling. ;) Herpes is passed from active herpes virus on the surface of your skin (either viral shedding or a visible outbreak) that makes its way through an abrasion or mucous membrane on the other person. So unless your partner has a cut on their thigh and you actively rub the spot where you have outbreaks on it, herpes won't spread wings and fly over to your partner. It just won't happen like that.

    Also, download these handouts so you can be up on the facts and figures:
    http://herpeslife.com/resources/
  • Thank God for that, I was going to say, cuddling without underwear is surely safe! Isn't fingering only risky if the person has cuts on their fingers?
  • Rene

    You wouldn't want them to touch their eyes and I would recommend they don't masturbate themselves if there is any chance you might be having an OB without at least a quick hand clean....

    That said, I have been in 2 relationships with guys who were H- and we never worried about it but I always took care of myself if I thought I *might* be having an OB...there were plenty of other erogenous areas they could play with while I did and it actually was fun to change things up a bit ;)
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