January 11, 2016 at 1:24 pm #11380humanimalParticipant
I recently tested positive twice for HSV2 using an Igg antibodies test, my number being 10.89 and negative for HSV1. My wife, whom I have been monogamous with for 15+ years tested negative for HSV2, and positive for HSV1.
Over the last 15years or so I have had a recurring cold sore on my nose (left lower part of nostril) and figured it was just that- a hsv1 sore like so many have. I also starting maybe 10 or so years ago, got occasional single sore spots on my lower left back, above my waistline. I never put together that this could be HSV until now as I have never had any outbreak sites on my genitals or buttocks. The source of my HSV is unknown to me at this point. I have not treated it with mediaction, only cold sore supplements etc, until now.
My questions have to do with shedding and transmission. My wife and I have not used protection for the past 15 years, and she has not become infected. How is this possible? Do I shed the virus from my back, and nose but possible not penis? Also, I know it is rare to have a facial site for HSV2, but as I have tested twice negative for HSV1, could it be possible that this is were I acquired it, and it moved to my back?
This new knowledge of the test results threw us a bit, and we are wondering how to proceed. Is it likely she will become infected if we continue to not use protection (I have started Valtrex episodically)?
Is it possible that she is a carrier of this even if she has not had any outbreaks nor is testing positive for it?
Does her positive HSV1 status have anything to do with her not acquiring HSV2?
Also, do I need to worry about the outbreak sites moving from my nose and mid back to my genitals, or does it generally stay isolated?
Also, by using valtrex, does this decrease the effectiveness my body has to fight it off naturally? Or does the virus become immune to Valtrex at any point if I choose to go on suppressive therapy?
January 12, 2016 at 7:03 am #11387Terri WarrenKeymaster
This is not as uncommon a situation as you might think.
While the antibody test is very good for HSV 2, it misses about 1 in 4 HSV 1 infections. So it is certainly possible that you are infected with HSV 1 in your nose and the antibody test didn’t pick it up. The next time you get a sore in your nose, you could ask your health care provider to swab test it to see what it is. The best swab test is PCR, not culture.
We can’t be certain, but the recurring sore spots on your back could certainly be herpes. Again, it would be good to have those swab tested if they return. At your index value, it is extremely unlikely that this is a false positive. If these spots are HSV 2, that means that the virus can be shed from the genitals as well as the back and this can happen when you do and when you don’t have symptoms. Whether you are actually shedding or not genitally, we can’t know, but statistically, it is likely that you do shed from time to time from the genitals.
Taking Valtrex does not reduce your body’s ability to deal with this infection. And resistance is very rare and occurs with equal frequency in people who have taken suppression and those who have not. Taking daily therapy will reduce the risk of infecting her but I think the risk of infected her at this point is low. Most transmission occurs in the first three months of a sexual relationship and the rate decreases after that. And it appears that negative long term partners of people who have HSV 2 develop some sort of natural immune protection. It is not complete protection but it appears to reduce the likelihood of becoming infected.
May 30, 2016 at 9:50 pm #13692humanimalParticipant
Thanks for the great info Terri,
I have started valtrex (lowest doesage once daily) and have had great success with controlling outbreaks both on my nose and back.
I am wondering if it is possible, if i am only having outbreaks on my nose and back, to “catch” herpes on my genitals, or start having outbreaks there as a result of having sex with a HSV2 positive partner? Or, am i immune to catching it in other sites because I am positive already?
Also, can my outbreak sites change? They have been the same over the past 15 years, an I have not had any genital outbreaks- can that change?
June 2, 2016 at 2:04 pm #13712Terri WarrenKeymaster
If what is on your back is indeed herpes, then it is extremely likely that you are also infected genitally – that back area is likely innervated by the same nerve group that supplies the genitals – you are just breaking out in a different location. And yes, you can start having genital outbreaks or buttocks or thigh in the future. It can certainly change location.
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