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hi again Terri, one last post I think….
trying to wrap my head around all of this…
1) I test positive for HSV-2
2) to the best of my knowledge I have never had any outbreak/symptoms (or so minor I did not notice and
I’m pretty aware) which means based on statistics that it is most likely genital HSV-2 (vs oral HSV-2)
and at this point there really is not a practical way to know this for sure
3) to the best of my ability to get tested I am negative for HSV-1 and now since I already have
HSV-2 it is very unlikely that I will ever acquire HSV-1 at this point
4) given my sexual history when I was younger and the prevalence of HSV-1 in general, it is quite
possible I have been positive for HSV-2 for quite some time and just never knew because I had no
symptoms and did not specifically get tested until relatively recently
5) I still have some anxiety around infecting any potential new partner even if I have done “the talk”
and allowed them to choose…
In your book in the chapter on transmission there is a question about whether a long-term partner will
always eventually get infected. Your response says that there is some belief that uninfected people in
LTR with positive partners develop an immune response that may protect them…Has this theory been
tested or proved/disproved or abandoned? How would this show up in the uninfected partner?…presumably
not as antibodies in a blood test…
thanks for all your help/answers
I was able to find a copy of your book at my local library and read it over the weekend and it has
raised some more questions for me.
Both my original test (Captia IgG) and the WB test results showed me negative for HSV-1 and positive
for HSV-2. Does this mean I for sure do not have HSV-1?
I am positive for HSV-2 antibodies but have never had any physical symptoms that I am aware of.
Is there any practical way to know for sure if I have genital or oral HSV-2?…wishful thinking on my
part …with the much lower recurrence and shedding rate of oral HSV-2 the transmission risk to a
new partner is significantly lower…even before suppression meds
Do I understand correctly that already having HSV-2 basically blocks me from getting HSV-1 oral or genital?
as I mentioned in my original post, I do not believe I have ever been tested for herpes until my most recent
set of tests. I have had only 4 partners in the last 25 years but before that I had several so my total number
of lifetime partners is roughly 20 that I have had intercourse with and maybe another 1/2 dozen that I both gave
and received oral. Given this history and the statistics in your book and prevalence of HSV-1 in the population
I am almost surprised that I don’t have HSV-1…..it makes me think that I might have had my HSV-2 for quite
awhile…blocking any HSV-1 infection….does this seem plausible?…
I’m also 54 now and most of my activity was in the 1980’s so maybe the HSV-1 prevalence was less than?
I am not in a situation that requires this at the moment but I plan to see my GP to get a prescription
for suppression dosage of acyclovir so that I have it available….and I should plan for a 5 day “lead time”
for suppression dosage to take full effect, right?
After I got my first “positive” result…and before I realized there was such a thing as low positive I
informed my previous partners that I still know how to contact…which is only a 1/2 dozen or so…As far
as I know I have not infected anyone else but I also don’t know for sure that they all got tested… I
think some people find it easier not to know…because once you know….at least in my case…I also
feel like I need to disclose so any new potential partner can choose for themselves
I have had one new relationship since I first learned of my positive result and I bumbled my way thru a
version of “the talk” once it was clear we were both quite interested and before we got too far…
interestingly enough, after she did some research I think she was more OK with it than I was….I
found it difficult to just relax and enjoy and be playful while we were engaging sexually….which
was a noticeable shift for me…so I need to do some more “attitude adjustment” on myself.
I purchased another set of questions….
I did read your handbook earlier but will re-visit that.
In my last question from previous post I was trying to ask about the risk of HSV2(genital) transmission from me
to a partner who is giving me oral so she would get an HSV2 oral infection….that is, I am the receiver of
oral, not the giver…
you said – developing symptom recognition skills is important
I understand that, also know my body pretty well and I am either asymptomatic or the symptoms are VERY subtle.
Any more advice on what I can watch for?
I got the WB test done and received the results about a week ago.
HSV-1 negative for antibody
HSV-2 positive for antibody
Not what I was hoping for, but what I have been mentally preparing for.
I do have a few things I would like to ask for my remaining post.
For my own understanding,
When you talk about 10% transmission rate for unprotected intercourse (with no viral suppression meds)
does this mean the typical person is shedding 36 days a year and infection transmission is close to 100%?….
or are they shedding more frequently and the infection transmission rate is (50%, 25%, ??%)?
Do you have any advice on how early in a relationship to bring this up?
– there is clearly no point in bringing it up if I meet someone once that
I am not interested in but it also doesn’t feel right to hide it too long
from someone if we are both pretty interested….and for me there is some
risk of rejection at that point
Besides antivirals and condoms, are there other things either or both partners can do to reduce the
likelihood of transmission?… and no, abstinence is not really an option…LOL
in particular, I was wondering about things like
– supplements for immune system
– avoiding contact when either partner is feeling sick
chance of transmission is somewhat higher (10% vs 2-4%?) in male to female than female
to male, correct?
I want to double check one of my earlier statements in a previous post…
I said – HSV-2 is almost always genital so kissing and manual stimulation and oral both directions are ok
Your response was – Correct again.
So the risk of me transmitting HSV-2 (genital) to a partner from receiving unprotected oral is almost zero?
thank you terri,
I can’t think of anything else major to ask right now so will wait until after I get the WB results
so I should contact your clinic during normal business hours to make arrangements for a western blot ?
thank you for the reference to the Johnson UofW study, the medical discussion is too technical for me to
completely follow but I think you answered my main question in your previous response. One followup
question I do have is if I still test positive, what are the normal recommended dosages for
shedding suppression for both acyclovir and/or valtrex? (since I don’t have outbreaks)
if I still test positive, I guess I am still wondering if there is any way to determine how long
ago I acquired it….and trying to understand if there is enough difference in 1 yr vs 3 yr vs 5 yr vs
even longer ago that the shedding would have decreased enough to have any real impact on lowering the
transmission risk….I do understand that the risk does not go to zero….and maybe there isn’t really
much difference between 1% risk and 2% risk…
if I still test positive, is there any practical way outside of a lab environment to determine when I am
if I still test positive, are there other medical conditions that a potential new partner of mine could have that
would put them more at risk of any more serious complications if they did get infected?
thank you for all this site information and your informed responses