Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   My partner's potential partner has herpes/HSV 1 and 2 (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55975)

Magdlyn 09-18-2013 06:23 PM

My partner's potential partner has herpes/HSV 1 and 2
 
Ginger has been IMing with Mischa for a couple years. They even started chatting before he and I met. She lives over 50 miles away. In the last year they started chatting more often and a couple months ago they finally met for the first time.

Before she came to his place, she told him she has herpes. At the time of their date, she had an open lesion on her lip. She had been getting these since she was a kid, and for most of her life thought little of it. "Don't all kids get cold sores?" was her attitude.

On their date, they didn't kiss. They did take their shirts off and have tit play. Kept their pants on and "dry humped."

Now, another 6 weeks or so have gone by and they have the opportunity for her to come visit again. In that time, she was tested and found to have HSV 1 and 2. She has never had any lesions anywhere but on her mouth. Ginger tells me she has been very upset about it, and he has spent time in IM, comforting her. But, they haven't specifically had the safer sex talk. He's been telling me he prefers to do that in person. Which is weird, because he spends a lot of time in chat, with me, with her, with any person/woman he likes or is attracted to.

But, it is what it is. So, she is coming to him tonight and "probably" going to spend the night, sleeping in his bed.

I am fluid bonded with him and with my gf miss pixi. I've been researching like mad today and sharing info with Ginger. Even if he prefers to talk to Mischa about safer sex in person, I darn well will do it in IM! So far he's been telling me he probably won't even kiss her, even if she is lesion free, as we know there can be asymptomatic shedding.

I know herpes is "just" a skin condition (I'm past childbearing age, my gf is infertile, and we aren't immunocompromised), but I understand it can be very painful, and frankly, I'm 58 and have enough health problems as it is. I really don't feel like adding one more.

Ginger, however, has many many food and airborne allergies, which are an immune system defect.

Ginger hasn't even asked her if she's on antivirals yet. I guess he will find out more tonight! I don't want to seem micromanaging, but this is MY sexual health, and potentially the sexual health of my gf as well, that we are talking about here. </mini rant>.

Most info online about transmission assumes monogamy, or serial monogamy at most. Things are different when one is poly and has very frequent sex! I'd say if you're having 15 minutes of sex with one person a week, it's much different, transmission-wise, than if you're having hours of sex a week with 2 or more partners.

Any input/stories/sharing welcome. I've read other threads here about STDs but wanted to start one with herpes in the title.

MsChristy 09-18-2013 06:53 PM

You are using the terms STD and HSV 1& 2 interchangeably, but the only place you mentioned her having a lesion ever was on her face/lip area. If that is indeed the case, then yes, they should be careful of kissing and of her giving him oral without protection when she has an outbreak (especially if it is seeping), but otherwise sexual activity should not be an issue.

Magdlyn 09-18-2013 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MsChristy (Post 231890)
You are using the terms STD and HSV 1& 2 interchangeably...

I don't believe I used the term STD at all.

edit, I did just at the end of the thread. I don't think all STDs are interchangeable.

Quote:

but the only place you mentioned her having a lesion ever was on her face/lip area.
Right. She's never had a lesion anywhere else. The HSV 2 diagnosis came as a complete and unpleasant surprise.

Quote:

If that is indeed the case, then yes, they should be careful of kissing and of her giving him oral without protection when she has an outbreak (especially if it is seeping), but otherwise sexual activity should not be an issue.
Well, I dunno. There can be asymptomatic shedding at any time, which can result in transmission. Taking antiviral meds and using a condom for oral or intercourse can reduce risk. Somewhere I read if the man wears a condom AND boxers during sex, to cover his balls and upper thighs, it can also help.

Ginger doesn't know yet if she has started taking daily antivirals.

MsChristy 09-18-2013 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magdlyn (Post 231895)
I don't believe I used the term STD at all.

You did indeed in your last sentence when you said that you have "read other threads on here about STD's." I just was unclear by that if you were insinuating that HSV was also and STD.

Quote:

Right. She's never had a lesion anywhere else. The HSV 2 diagnosis came as a complete and unpleasant surprise
It is unfortunate, but unfortunately anyone that is having recurrent mouth sores or recurrent lesions elsewhere should be tested.

Quote:

Well, I dunno. There can be asymptomatic shedding at any time, which can result in transmission. Taking antiviral meds and using a condom can reduce risk. Somewhere I read if the man wears a condom AND boxers during sex, to cover his balls and upper thighs, it can also help.
But if she doesn't have any lesions that would shed in her groin area, so risk of your partner developing a HSV outbreak on himself down there would be slim. Also, just the idea of a man having sex with boxers on sounds impractical. While I am all for safe sex, I feel as if you are viewing this as more of a risk during actual penetrative sex than it actually is.

Magdlyn 09-18-2013 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MsChristy (Post 231898)
You did indeed in your last sentence when you said that you have "read other threads on here about STD's." I just was unclear by that if you were insinuating that HSV was also an STD.

I edited. But yes, I do consider herpes to be a sexually transmitted disease. It can be spread by kissing, oral sex or intercourse.

Since Mischa got it as a kid, who knows.... a kiss from an uncle, a slobber from another toddler. Sharing a drink.


Quote:

But if she doesn't have any lesions that would shed in her groin area, so risk of your partner developing a HSV outbreak on himself down there would be slim.
My understanding is you don't need a lesion to shed. That is why it is called asymptomatic shedding.

Quote:

Also, just the idea of a man having sex with boxers on sounds impractical.
Huh, I dunno. I've had sex in a hurry with guys who left their underwear on and just took out their cock. It's not ideal, and I don't know if it's worth it to Ginger to have to do that with her.

Quote:

While I am all for safe sex, I feel as if you are viewing this as more of a risk during actual penetrative sex than it actually is.
It's a big deal when you're fluid bonded and poly. I may be overreacting. I just don't know if we need all this bother just for him to have a roll in the hay with her... I'd reconsider being fluid bonded with him if he does decide to fuck her. He's even told me he'd reconsider going back to condoms if I found a new partner... never mind testing results, so I don't want some kind of double standard.

Ginger LOVES kissing too though. Would he choose to kiss her over getting to kiss me and miss pixi? Is being with yet one more woman that important to him?

FTR, I am not dating any others now, for emotional reasons.

LovingRadiance 09-19-2013 07:06 AM

Mag-

1st) I say this as someone who has genital herpes (2) but not (1).


WHATEVER you decide is best for you-is perfectly acceptable. If exposure to this risk isn't acceptable to you-THAT IS OK!
Don't feel guilty over that (some people do, not saying you would, just covering bases).

That said,
Yes it can be asymptomatic, you can also have either 1 or 2 show up on mouth, genitals, OR ANY WHERE ELSE ON YOUR BODY.
AND
it's COMMON for people to NOT realize that is what it is.

I contracted 2 when I was 15. (so before I was sexually involved with Maca or GG).
We are all tested regularly.

They both test positive for 1 (both have had cold sores on their mouths periodically since childhood).

NEITHER of them test positive for 2. I have been fluid bonded with Maca for 15 years and with GG for... God I don't know.. the first time we had sex was 18 years ago I think...

Very robust, active sex life with Maca, more like.... 5-8 times a month with GG.

I also have never been on a daily regimen of the medication. I do take it the week prior to my period (because when I get a breakout-it tends to be same time as my period).

Painful... not necessarily. If you scratch, dig etc it can be. It becomes an open wound. (and it does itch, even before there is a sore). But-if you pay attention to your body, you notice the itching before there is ever a sore, take a pill a day or rub the cream on a couple times a day. It controls the itch and generally keeps it from every becoming a full blown sore.

If you want more info-you can always pm me. I dont know exactly what you might want to know. But I have been living with herpes for... well a long ass time. ;)

AND
I ABSOLUTELY support ANYONE who decides they don't want to risk it. TOTALLY unacceptable for someone to treat another person like they don't have that choice just because it's "common".

Drinking coffee is "normal" and "everyone does it". But I don't. I think it's nasty and disgusting and I don't drink it. ;)

Anneintherain 09-20-2013 12:16 AM

I know there have been a few posts on here, not too far in the past about HSV2 - I know its harder for a woman to give it to a man, there still seems to a a chance that having one or the other strain helps protect you somewhat from getting the other.

I have one partner who tested "indeterminate" with two western blot tests after getting a very low positive blood test (apparently at a range that often is a false positive for people) - if he is positive he likely got it from somebody who didn't tell him she had it until she'd been sleeping with him a couple weeks 25 years ago - he's never had a visible breakout. We are just left in limbo since the U of W can't give us a firm Yes/No on if he is positive or not. I also have two partners who stand by the fact that they will stop having a sexual relationship with me if I get it from him or elsewhere (have some feelings about that one...).

Except the above other relationships ending, I don't have any bad feelings about the potential to get it - with 1/5 men and 1/4 women being positive for HSV2, I am careful but know it's a risk. Personally I would see wanting to request a partner using antivirals they were having active outbreaks.

Anyway, HSV2 is one of the reasons I don't engage in casual sex since I like the partners I have and would like to keep them in my life, and don't really want my partners to (especially since two of them would ya know, stop having sex with me if I got it - I'd be bothered if they gave it to me after saying that) since condoms don't protect totally against it (90% per incident I think I remember? eh, the other threads have much more detailed stats). Hmm, not so sure this was helpful, its one of those days.

idealist 09-20-2013 02:22 AM

My doctor told me recently that sometimes herpes will just go away in around 10 years. I've also been living with Herpes 2 for a while and it's not really that big of a deal for me. I've never taken any pills, but I use a cream which shortens the time of an outbreak.

I have a heterosexual female friend that has recently been diagnosed with HIV- now that is some bad ass stuff, but even so- she's on the medication and feeling good. Her doctor said (as long as she takes the medication) she will live a normal life and she isn't having any side effects from the drugs. STD's aren't what they used to be when I was in my 20's.

Cancer is the thing to be scared of and it isn't even contagious so there is nothing you can do about it.

JaneQSmythe 09-20-2013 03:09 AM

Thoughts on HSV-1
 
Been giving this some thought - we've had a number of conversations over the past few years re: disclosure/risk etc. and it did come up recently with a potential partner of Dude's (in kind of an oblique way*).

I have had cold sores since I was a kid. When I have an outbreak or feel like one might be coming on I don't kiss, perform oral sex, or share food/beverages. I take anti-virals, it goes away. Between times I don't think about it.

MrS says that he thinks he may have had a few cold sores in his life - perhaps pre-dating meeting me. Has never really given it any thought and I don't recall him ever having one.

When I started fooling around with Dude he knew that I got cold sores and all of the above. He swears he never had one before (even though his mom used to get them) but 6-8 months into our relationship he had an outbreak.

In North American the majority of adults (>50%) test sero-positive for HSV-1 but many people don't know that they have been exposed to the virus and, as mentioned, there is asymptomatic shedding. So anyone who is willing to kiss relative strangers (as I am) is taking a risk there. To me this is a given risk of kissing (like catching a cold or strep throat).

I have never felt the need to "disclose" the fact that I sometimes get cold-sores to people before I kiss them (although this is one of the things that I am re-thinking). I would, however, disclose this to someone before performing oral sex (as I think that the risk of contracting genital herpes - whether from HSV-1 or HSV-2 is generally a much bigger deal for most people).

While periodic outbreaks of oral HSV-1 are not generally a medical indication for suppressive anti-virals I have been considering whether I would/should take them out of consideration for potential partners/metamours/random kissing strangers now that we are "actively" branching out? Hmmm...

JaneQ

*Dude has been chatting with this woman and seeing her socially but things hadn't gotten to the "sex talk" point yet. There was a moment, during one social encounter, where a kiss would have been appropriate/may have been expected. He refrained as I was just getting over a cold sore and he didn't know if, having kissed me shortly before the outbreak increased the risk of him passing it to her. He later explained it to her (as well as our general guidelines - no kissing/oral/sharing food/beverages when symptomatic) and she was fine with that.

Magdlyn 09-20-2013 11:16 AM

Thanks for your replies, everyone! I've been obsessively reading threads here and herpes sites all over the web.

So Ginger had his 2nd date with Mischa and even though she spent the night, they kept their pants on and didn't kiss again. Turns out the lesion she had on their last date was the first one she had in 2 years.

He also found out that she's recently broken up with 2 partners and one potential. The potential was a married guy and he called it off as soon as she told him her recent HSV 1 and 2 diagnosis. The other 2 breakups were not due to her herpes. But one of these guys, R, had been diagnosed with HSV 2 recently, and that is why she got tested for it. Of course, she doesn't know if he passed it to her or if she picked it up along the way.

He hadn't had a flareup in years, but had one while they were together and I guess finally had himself tested for the first time.

So, Mischa was kind of a mess the other night with Ginger, crying over her recent breakups and her diagnosis. She'd gotten a scrip for an antiviral but hasn't started taking it yet. Her doc recommended taking it if she feels a flareup coming on. She didn't discuss taking it daily to lessen asymptomatic shedding. Since there is a risk of transmission even without a lesion coming on, if it were me, I'd be taking them daily if I was dating new people.

So, Ginger and I are due for having STD screens. We've both had STD tests before but found out they don't necessarily test you for either HSV 1 or 2 unless you tell them you are at risk. My gf miss pixi, however, has always insisted on a full panel of tests and has never been positive for HSV of either kind. If I test pos for either will I begin antivirals to protect her? If Ginger tests positive for either, will he start taking antivirals to protect us, while he gets the green light to have sex with Mischa? I've never had any lesions, neither has he.

miss pixi told me she thinks many insurance co's will only cover a small amount of the antivirals, not cover a daily dose. If this is the case, taking it daily for any of us will probably be out of the question! I'm not spending hundreds of $ out of pocket to cut a 2% chance of transmission to 1%.


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:40 AM.