Post # 1
OK – this is an odd post for me.
I am 52 and likely older than your mothers. I married a wonderful 60 year old man, and we are coming up on our 1st anniversary.
This morning we were going to make love when he sheepishly confessed that he had contracted genital herpes back in college (…ummmmm…that would be 1969 for those of you keeping track). He currently has one blister on his butt.
We have been together for about 5 years now. He says he had not had an outbreak during our entire relationship so never told me he had contracted herpes 40 yaers ago. He was too embarrassed.
I am not at all angry at him. I am also not afraid of the “disease” – its just a cold sore in a private place. I can’t get pregnant anymore, so not worried about passing herpes to a baby. So this is no biggy. But as this issue is new to me, I am hoping some of you bees can help.
1. We don’t use condoms and we don’t want to. As a 60 year old man on certain meds, he has “a hard time staying hard” even on viagra, and a condom won’t reliably stay put. So if I want to try to avoid getting herpes, is there really any way to do that?
2. Since I have had unprotected sex with him for about five years, should I assume I have contracted the virus anyway?
3. Do men shed the virus even when they have no visible blisters?
4. So how awful would it be for me to have an outbreak. I know the first one can be bad – but after that?
Post # 3
I’m in PA school, not a physician assistant yet, but I can tell you what I know.
1. Prophylaxis medications + condoms is the best way not to spread the virus.
2. The virus can still spread without an outbreak, so you may have the virus in your body. The incubation period is couple days to about two weeks… so maybe you do not. You should have your obgyn test for HSV.
3. Viral shedding can occur without blisters. Prophylaxis meds usually keep the viral load low.
4. The first outbreak like you said will be painful. 50% of people will have a 2nd outbreak within the next year. Typically the recurrent outbreaks are not as painful, less blisters and resolve quicker. In general, VIRAL infections, HSV reoccur more often if you are immunosuppressed.
Post # 4
@sonomagal: I don’t have answers to your other questions, but I do think it is reasonably likely that you have contracted it by now. I would get tested just so you know whether its something you still need to worry about catching, or if you need to learn more about what to expect for you you do contract it. Personally, I think that if you have not gotten it yet, you are still pretty likely to contract it in the future. From what I remember from health class, you can have it and have no symptoms for long periods of time. Also you’re not older than my mother :).
Post # 5
You can contract it even without blisters but the odds are lower. I would avoid any sexual contact with him while he has an active lesion.
This link should help: http://www.webmd.com/genital-herpes/guide/partner-faq
I worked as a women’s health nurse and had patients with lesions and they can be very painful. I would avoid it if I could if I were you. If you are careful, you may never get a lesion.