Dear Ms. Harm Reduction,
About six months ago I had my first ever genital herpes outbreak. I am a cis female and a full service provider. I don’t do bareback, but I do still continue to work. I am on herbal suppressive therapy (lysine, other immune boosters and stress management) and haven’t had an outbreak since the first one. I know it’s controversial, but I love my job and I don’t want to do any other type of work. I just want to know how to be as safe as possible. Also how big of a risk is this? Am I totally fucked up for working? For the record I would never work during an outbreak, but outside of that, is it ok? I was also wondering if internal condoms (female condoms) offer more protection because they cover external surface area?
Sexy Or Risky? Escort
Ms. Harm Reduction is told that herpes is the hardest STD for anyone to work with, including medical health professionals. And no one wants to think of themselves as a fella’-infecting gash. Ms. Harm Reduction consulted with her cousin, Ms. Practical Sexual Health Solutions (yes, damnit, we’re a strangely named family—Pops was a bit off his rocker when he christened us!) to give you the best dope on the problem.
Apparently, while it’s easy enough to treat herpes during an acute episode, it’s what happens after you face the music that’s difficult. One out of two things can happen: either the virus stays dormant or it doesn’t.
It seems like you’ve already taken the first step towards harm reduction with your herbal suppressive therapy. Your current course of action really forces the virus to stay dormant. Hot diggity dog, Ms. Harm Reduction is all the way behind you, honey! She condones your efforts and encourages you to continue on this course.
Here’s what my cousin told me to get old geezer me up to speed on herpes:
Herpes is a common sexually transmissible infection with one in eight people who have the virus that can cause genital herpes. Many people don’t even know that they even have the virus as it can take weeks, even years, before symptoms occur. Not only this, but during sexual health checks doctors will generally skip testing for herpes unless there is visible signs of an outbreak. This is because testing for the virus is difficult when not suffering from an episode – the doctor must interpret the level of antibodies, immunoglobulins and white cell markers in the blood for both HSV1 and HSV2. Fighting a cold and battling an episode can be hard to differentiate during this process, not only that but when the virus is dormant it’s virtually impossible to detect. To avoid declaring a false-positive or a false-negative, and to save on a costly test, and since the virus is traditionally contracted by direct contact (through a sore, blister, ulcer or skin split), doctors opt out of testing for herpes unless requested otherwise.
However, direct contact isn’t the only way the virus can spread. Sometimes the virus can be contracted between episodes (when there is no sores, ulcers, skin splits or blisters visible) during viral shedding.
But never fear, for Ms. Harm Reduction is here.
It is typically okay for hussies with the herpes simplex virus to work – it just takes a bit of tact. Typically, laws (where legislation relates to us gold digging broads and boys, as is the case Down Under) allow sex workers to work with herpes except during an episode, according to the Sex Work Act of 1994 in Victoria, Australia, for example.
For harm reduction to work you need to keep that darned virus in a dormant state. Your herbal suppressive therapy will keep on keeping an outbreak from occurring, but there are other things a resourceful harlot like yourself can do to maintain your health and immunity levels. For example, Ms. Harm Reduction is told seeing an acupuncturist or chiropractor (for recommended maintenance care every 4-6 weeks), plus a healthy diet and exercise can make sure you’re in tip-top shape. (Sure, most of us gals and fellas don’t have health insurance, but there are many more progressive alternative health practitioners that offer group sessions for free or a very low fee.) Even if the virus tries its no good best to flare up, your immune system will give it what for before it even has a chance to resurface.
To go with this tactic, you also, as the Bard says, need to know thyself, darling. Say the virus trickled past your clever defenses—it will most times show symptoms before an outbreak even occurs. If you keep a smart eye out, you can detect these symptoms. For example, flu-like symptoms may occur, or your puss may feel itchy, tingly, painful or swollen. Try to remember what happened before your first outbreak, because your gorgeous bod will normally react in a similar sequence of events. Try to think in retrospect: have you had a big night at a bash or gone on a bender, are you worrying your little head about something, are you otherwise ill, have you been slacking with your preventive measures? If you tick any of these boxes, you know your suspicions may be well-founded.
If you suspect an episode is on the verge of occurring, stop taking those calls and shut up your boudoir, pop some anti-viral medication, and increase your herbal suppressive therapy to add new fangled helpful and herby things like vitamin C or astragalus. This will make sure that the virus will be knocked out before an outbreak even happens. If you learn to distinguish the sniffles, from a UTI, from thrush, from an actual episode well enough, you can put a kibosh on outbreaks without even stopping your hustle. This literally means you have not endangered anyone’s health, dear, no fooling. You only need to stop working for a few days when you’re just not quite sure to allow your body the chance to recuperate should it be under attack.
With faithful use of jimmy hats—er, condoms—which is the best protection for herpes, there’s only a very small chance of spreading the virus. Those female condoms Ms. Harm Reduction keeps hearing about can also offer an extra layer of protection, but unfortunately, honeys, this isn’t too practical. During vaginal or anal sex the female condom will prevent skin-to-skin contact, which is how the virus spreads, however, during oral sex the dam, Ms. Harm Reduction reckons, won’t be any fun for either party. Condoms are your best bet—with the use of lubrication. Keeping everything nice and wet reduces the risk of trauma to the skin of your puss or his johnson (or his puss and your johnson, or any variation thereof) which has been shown to reduce the spread of herpes.
Ms. Harm Reduction thanks you for your question and hopes she’s been of help. Also, remember, stress is always in the mix when events like this occur, so cooling it and pampering your beautiful self sometimes will not only ensure good health but also greater quality of life. Ms. Harm Reduction wishes you luck and happy hooking!