I am a weekly reader and first time writer. I have been taking Acyclovir daily to treat herpes for a number of years and in that time have rarely had an outbreak. Recently the wife part of a cuckhold couple accused me of passing along the virus to her. We always used protection but she always also demanded receiving extensive oral first. Although there was no visible manifestation of the virus anywhere on my body, was it possible for me to infect her with my saliva by licking or kissing her along any of the access points? Would it even be possible for me to pass along the virus through precum when receiving oral?

I apologized profusely at the time and have not spoken with her again but it always seemed like someone else, other guys or the hubby, could have also been the culprit.

Shunned And Dumped

My response after the jump...



I would expect that someone who's had herpes for a number of years, has spoken to a doctor about his condition at least once (Acyclovir is available by prescription only), and is a weekly reader of mine would be a little more informed about herpes than you appear to be, SAD.

You don't have to have "visible manifestation" of the virus to pass it along. You can shed the virus—and infect others—without having any manifestations, a.k.a. herpes sores, and you remain potentially infectious even if you haven't had an outbreak in years. You can infect someone even when you're wearing a condom (although condoms cut the risk of transmission significantly), and you can certainly infect someone through unprotected oral sex (hello). And, yes, someone else could've given it to her, if she's been having sex with other people, and it's possible that she already had herpes but didn't have her first outbreak until after she had sex with you.

Now if you informed this woman that you had herpes before you had sex—and you did inform her, right? RIGHT?—then she doesn't really have grounds to be angry with you. When a fully-informed person—and she was fully informed, right? RIGHT?—consents to sex with someone who has disclosed that he has herpes—and you did disclose, right? RIGHT?—she accepts the risk of infection, however small the risk might be, whatever steps may have been taken to mitigate that risk.

She has every right to be bummed, of course, if she draws the short straw and winds up contracting herpes. But she doesn't have a right to be angry or make accusations... provided she was fully informed.

Which she was, right?


(Speaking of herpes: Episode 195 of the "Savage Lovecast"—featuring a visit Dr. Anna Kaminski of Planned Parenthood—includes great primer on herpes. We discuss the fact that herpes, in most cases, just isn't that big a deal.)