March 10, 2015 at 4:49 pm #5458
I found out a little over a week ago via blood test that I am positive for HSV-2. My partner with whom I’ve been having unprotected sex for three months tested negative. My igg score was high and my doctor said I may have had this for awhile. I just left a marriage before my current partner, almost eight months ago, that was my most recent sexual encounter before my current relationship. My ex-husband and I were together for six years. I am thus far asymptomatic, I believe, although now I run through my head over every little illness, sore throat, or what I thought was a cut from shaving and wonder. I have two primary questions. First, for the man I’m seeing. He seems curious about the possibility of continuing the relationship, inspired by stories of discordant couples who’ve been together for years without transmission. I need more info for him on his risks if we continue seeing each other and having unprotected sex. I have started Valtrex once a day. I’ve also read through the handbook. I really want to be with this person but care about him a lot and am so terrified of infecting him. I want to have the most informed discussion possible so can either accept the risks or choose to protect himself. Second, I have been on a low hormone birth control pill for 10 years, no periods. I have read tons about link between outbreaks and menstrual cycle and strongly believe my lack of symptoms is connected to the pill and hormones. This is terrifying me. I am very fearful that going off the pill will trigger outbreaks. I’ve read a lot of blogs where women have experienced this, going from no outbreaks to outbreaks either going on or off the pill. But I want to have children. Can you give me any information on link between hormones, the pill, and symptoms? Encouraging information welcome but I want to truth.
I guess I’d also like to know… The fear, I’ve learned, is not having the disease. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s telling someone you want to be with and having them reject you because of it. Can you give me any info on whether new vaccines and drugs will be released in coming years, anticipated release dates, etc., that would allow discordant couples to have normal sex lives without fear of transmission?
March 11, 2015 at 1:34 am #5469
It has not been my experience as a clinician that stopping birth control pills has resulted in changing outbreak patterns but I too have hear that, though I have not actually seen it.
In terms of transmission – if you are on Valtrex, you avoid sex during outbreaks (which you aren’t having), use condoms irregularly and have sex about twice a week, the risk of him getting HSV 2 from you is about a 2% chance per year – that is, if 100 uninfected men had sex one on one with 100 infected women with the above circumstances, about 2 men in 100 would become infected. If you double the amount of sex per week, then it is about 4 men.
I would encourage you both to continue to talk about this. Many discordant couples stay that way for years and do not transmit and have terrific lives.
New treatment vaccines are in clinical trials now – these may end up being useful for prevention as well. I would expect perhaps 5 years before release of those treatment vaccines.
What was your index value on your antibody test?
March 11, 2015 at 4:04 pm #5497
My score was greater than 5, so I don’t know the exact number, but my research has indicated this is not in the range where false positive is a consideration. My gynecologist also confirmed this. I wish I could talk to more women who had to go through outbreaks stopping the pill because I’m so worried but there is very little information out there on this.
About the vaccines… I’ve been researching a clinical trial I could participate in but the only one here requires active symptoms and the other I know of requires travel to Australia. Would the vaccine they hope to release innoculate only uninfected or some of the ones I’ve seen could also be effective for those that are already infected? Either would be great, but with the vaccine you think will be released, which do you think it will be? Is there any way to get the vaccine before release without being part of a trial? It’s sad to hear 5 years because I’m 29 and hoping to convince someone to start a life and have children with me and I can’t imagine that’s going to be very easy now given the risk of transmission and no vaccine.
One other question. I know a woman who had a terrible initial outbreak and then about 3-4 years of outbreaks every few months, and then the outbreaks stopped and she started just getting a rash on her legs. She hasn’t had an outbreak in a year and isn’t taking any meds. This story gives me hope that even if I did start having symptoms it wouldn’t be forever. How common is it that people’s symptoms disappear over time like this?
Thank you for all the support and feedback you provide people. It’s so hard to go through this and your services are truly an asset for those of us that are going through it. Most of it is fear of the uncertain and your answers make things a little less unknown.
March 11, 2015 at 4:11 pm #5498
Yes, it sounds like your index value is high enough not to warrant confirmation.
With most vaccine trials, you can’t drop into town get a vaccine and leave. Our subjects have to be seen within 24 hours for any outbreaks, for example, all during a year long study, and they have to come in every couple of weeks to drop off swabs and have blood draws. It is quite a commitment, in other words, and not something you could do through a visit some place. It is not possible to get the vaccine before it is released, at least not the US one.
If you are worried about stopping the pill and having outbreaks, you can take the Valtrex at least until you are pregnant and some OB’s prescribe it now all through pregnancy but that will vary from person to person.
March 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm #5506
Well I would be very interested in participating in any trials on the west coast. That is feasible for me I live in Northern California. If there is anything I could do to participate through your clinic please let me know I would want to do that. Have your volunteers seen much success? I’ve searched for other trials near me but I haven’t found any.
Last question. I apologize I know I’m asking a lot and this is my last follow up. I just am trying to assuage my fears of outbreaks. What kind of success do you see with Valtrex? Are most people able to seriously reduce or completely inhibit outbreaks?
March 11, 2015 at 6:52 pm #5507
More specifically, do you commonly see people with recurrent outbreaks who are able to stop having significant outbreaks using the meds?
March 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm #5508
I think there might be a trial site in the bay area but I’m not certain about that. And there are no trials enrolling right now. I would suggest you look at clinicaltrials.gov for the latest.
Our volunteers have seen success, yes, they have.
Valtrex or acyclovir are very very helpful, yes! The reduce outbreaks and shedding by about 70-80% depending upon the trials.
Yes, this is your final question. If you have more please feel free to renew your subscription.
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