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Protecting Partners from Contracting Herpes

People always want to know what they can do to keep their partners from contracting herpes. Folks are sometimes worried that their sex life will never be the same again. So, what I've decided to do is to offer up a collection of stories and advice from people that would like to send them to me to post on this page so others can see what they might consider doing in order to keep their partners safe.

Please keep in mind that those that shared their input are basing what they've shared on their own personal experiences along with stuff they have read either in a book or on the Internet. If you want to verify information that you find about herpes you are going to have to do your own research and decide for yourself. The advice or experiences that you read on this site should never ever take the place of the advice or research that your own personal doctor can share with you. If you would like to share what you have done to protect your partner please send your paragraph to me and I will post it ASAP.

What do I think people can do to protect their partners? For starters, I think knowing each other's STD status would be a good thing. Make a date to go and get tested together if you'd like. Always be open and upfront with your partner before you have sex. I think if both parties are aware of their status they will be better able to make decisions on how to proceed with their sex life. Yes, you can have a fulfilling sex life and that can include oral sex if that is what you like.

When we were dating I was on suppressive therapy. I'm a big fan of suppressive therapy because it was clinically proven in the fall of 2003 to reduce transmission by 50%. Suppressive therapy also cuts down on asymptomatic shedding by about 95%. At least that is what I have always been told by the herpes "experts." In any case, we also used condoms in addition to suppressive therapy. At the time we wanted to do everything that we could to keep him from contracting herpes simplex virus type-2 from me.

As the relationship progressed into marriage we decided together that it was time to throw the condoms out the window and stop the suppressive therapy to see where my body was at with all this herpes stuff. You see, I had been on suppressive therapy for two years and we both agreed it was time to see if I would get an outbreak right away OR maybe a little later on. When I stopped suppressive therapy it was a whopping nine months before I got an outbreak that I could actually see or feel.

At first I was a little worried about throwing the condoms out the window and stopping the suppressive therapy. I did not what the man that I love to contract HSV-2 from me. However, my husband sat me down and made me realize that it's not all up to me. He made it very clear that if taking a little blue pill meant that he got to keep me in his life - then so be it. He also made me see that it takes two to make a relationship and that I'm not the only one that gets to decide how we are to proceed with our sex life. Six years later we are going strong and there is NOTHING that we don't do in the bedroom because of herpes. ~Yoshi2me

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 months.  I had the talk about 3 weeks into it.  He wigged out at first but quickly realized he didn't want to lose me, so he started trying to become educated. It is still a work in progress and he still isn't 100% comfortable quite yet.  So we have agreed to take the following precautions:

1)  me on daily Valtrex
2)  condoms all the time for now
3)  no oral sex on me, he isn't quite comfortable thinking he isn't at risk, sucks for me but I'm ok with it
4)  abstain completely (even with condom use) if I think an outbreak is coming on - thankfully I haven't had an outbreak 3+ years and for sure not since he and I started dating so that hasn't been an issue.

I am completely aware of and in tune with my body and have always been able to identify when an outbreak is coming.  He trusts me to be honest and upfront with him if I think one is coming so that we can then abstain to lower his risk. ~Lori



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