October 29, 2014 at 9:27 pm #1613AnxiousandAshamedSpectator
I am confused regarding antibodies. I understand that the more antibodies a person has, chances are they are HSV2 positive.
My questions (as stupid as they my sound) are as follows:
1. How are antibodies built up in the body?
2. Can a person build up antibodies over time, thus resulting in an HSV outbreak at any point?
3. Is there any such thing as really protecting yourself? If you had protected sex with women are have low antibodies, can all those build up and eventually make you HSV2 positive?
October 30, 2014 at 12:13 am #1615Terri WarrenKeymaster
When the immune system cells see the herpes virus in your system, they develop a very specific response to the virus. The antibody fits the virus perfectly; the antibody is made up of certain proteins specific to the herpes virus, kind of like a lock and key. Antibody in the case of herpes are not really protective, that is they don’t stop a person from having outbreaks, they just indicate that the person is infected. The level of the index value, which you are referring to level of antibody, have no indication about how many outbreaks a person will have in the future nor how infectious they are or anything else. The only concern we have about low antibodies (that is below 3.5) is that it could be a false positive and that a person is not really infected.
We know from doing vaccine studies that allowed people to develop high levels of antibody that antibodies are NOT effective in reducing the risk of transmission.
Does that help?
October 30, 2014 at 2:18 am #1619AnxiousandAshamedSpectator
Yes, thank you.
I’m sorry, I am just extremely worried and anxious about the encounter I had 8 days ago that I mentioned in another thread. I am really hoping I am not the one of a thousand who may have become infected. I see this as a very potentially life changing situation that I am not sure I can deal with. I know the anxiety and guilt of what I’ve done is most likely the root cause, however, it is so hard to ignore all of the little things I’m feeling and resist the urge to not call my doctor.
Also, the fact that my girlfriend of 4 years is leaving the state for new a job on Monday is adding the stress. We still live together, but decided to mutually end things about two months ago. It was quite messy at first, but after talking we’ve come to the realization that we can be civil. We wanted to have one last fun weekend together, which would have possibly included sex. Friday will be 10 days post exposure. Would you suggest against not having sex or are you comfortable saying I have not been infected based off a protected one time encounter?
Sorry for the long story, but I really feel like I have nobody else to talk to at this time.
October 30, 2014 at 2:23 pm #1625Terri WarrenKeymaster
I know you are anxious and worried but I stand by my opinion that a single condom protected encounter is extremely low risk for acquiring herpes. Would I be so bold as to tell you that you definitely have not been infected at this encounter? No. I just think it is very very unlikely that you were infected at this encounter. You need to make the call about the sexual weekend.
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