› Forums › Herpes Questions › just want to know for sure › Reply To: just want to know for sure
– I have tested positive for HSV-2 antibodies which means that I carry the virus in my body.
If the positive is a true positive then yes, you carry virus in your body. You are in the low positive range and need confirmatory testing by western blot.
– HSV-2 is basically a skin disease that some people get very painful symptoms from that
can appear periodically and normally decrease over time
– Health experts estimate 20-25% of the adult sexually active population may have HSV-2 and
most of these adults don’t even know as they have never been tested and they either don’t have
symptoms or their symptoms are minor enough they haven’t taken any action.
Correct again. The actual number is 16% of people in the US ages 14-49 have HSV 2 infection.
– Even though I have never had physical symptoms there is still some risk that I can pass this
on to a partner thru a process called “shedding”.
That’s correct Most new infections are believed to be transmitted from people who show no symptoms at the time they transmit.
– I can take antiviral medications to reduce the shedding and we can use condoms to reduce the
risk down even more to maybe (2%?) but there is always some chance.
– HSV-2 is almost always genital so kissing and manual stimulation and oral both directions are ok
– there is no known vaccine or “cure” today
And correct again, though there are vaccines in the works.
as far as the available antiviral medicines go,
is there any significant difference in shedding suppression between acyclovir and valtrex?
NO. There is a nice study by Christine Johnson out of the University of Washington that looks at this specific question. You can Google it.
I think I also read some claim that shedding decreases over time so being able to narrow down
when I acquired the virus could be useful information
– is this decrease real?
– is the decrease significant enough to matter?
Well, if there is still shedding there is still a chance for transmission. Even people with zero symptoms shed, so that’s a tough question in terms of what you really do with the answer.
You seem well informed and well read about herpes. Now all you need is a western blot.
You have two more questions, feel free to follow up.