Q and A


HSV and HIV.

I am a HIV- woman dating a HIV+ guy. I have HSV-2 and he doesn”t. I take 500mg of Vaclovir daily, and in the 4 or so years I’ve had HSV, I’ve only ever had one outbreak (the initial outbreak). I also never get cold sores on my mouth.

We’re abstaining from sex at the moment as he’s just started ART a couple of months ago, and I’ve been really concerned about the risk of passing HSV on to him when we actually start being intimate. What are your thoughts/experiences with this? Would contracting HSV in his case cause an increase in his viral load after he becomes undetectable?


Thanks for getting in touch.

ARVs control a persons HIV, so a persons viral load and CD4 count. If your partner was infected with HSV-2, though not ideal, it wouldn’t cause their viral load to rebound, this is because the ARVs will be controlling their HIV.

Once your partners viral load becomes undetectable they’ll be no risk of infection to you, which is important because if you were to have an outbreak of HSV-2  the risk of infection for you would be higher.


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