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This topic contains 21 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  ekoorb9 1 year, 7 months ago.

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  • #106470
    MintMilano
    MintMilano
    Moderator

    Hi @nurse_nettie, I was having a conversation with a friend about herpes – it’s such a confusing and misunderstood STI, and I was wondering if you could help clarify something for me.

    If someone has herpes (HSV-2, the kind that isn’t mostly responsible for mouth cold sores) but is taking daily medication to suppress it, does this make them less likely to pass it on in times when they have no symptoms? I know the medication can reduce symptoms but I find it unclear as to whether it reduces the asymptomatic viral shedding too? Is it more or less than someone with herpes but who has never had symptoms? Can someone who has never had symptoms still pass on herpes through shedding?

    I’m mainly asking for the context of a relationship where a couple might want to stop using condoms to be more intimate. If someone is taking daily suppression treatment, are they less likely to pass on the virus during those times with no symptoms? Or does the treatment only really effect the severity of symptoms when they do show?

    I know thats weirdly specific but every time I think I understand how herpes works, a spanner always gets thrown in the works!

    #111709
    Purple
    Purple
    Moderator

    Hi @mintmilano antivirals reduce symptoms and asymptomatic viral shedding, definitely.  
    This factsheet might help you out:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0hVGf4WeXNIbF9NMk1XODRjMWs/view

    #111710
    Nurse_Nettie
    Nurse_Nettie
    Keymaster

    HI @mintmilano, @jessica is right, taking antivirals every day (AKA suppressive therapy) reduces both symptoms & viral shedding even when there are no symptoms present.

    Thanks for sharing that pamphlet, @jessica! Do you know who produces it, what website it comes from?
     

    #111711
    MintMilano
    MintMilano
    Moderator

    @nurse_nettie @jessica thanks for that! Such a comprehensive fact sheet!

    #111712
    Purple
    Purple
    Moderator

    Hi @nurse_nettie, I know the info comes from HerpesLife.com. It’s such an informative and wonderful fact sheet. 

    #111713

    HoneyPot
    Moderator

    I have a herpes question as well! If someone has a cold sore, and passes it to another person via kissing, can they keep passing it back and forth?

    #111714
    Nurse_Nettie
    Nurse_Nettie
    Keymaster

    @honeypot Good question, the answer is no. Once you have cold sores (usually caused by herpes type 1) you can’t be re-infected with same virus. It stays in your body for life & kissing someone who has it already won’t affect you at all!

    #111715

    HoneyPot
    Moderator

    Ah! Thanks for that! So you can’t cause an outbreak in someone who already has it?

    #111716
    MintMilano
    MintMilano
    Moderator

    @honeypot yeah I’m pretty sure once you’ve got the virus it’s dependant on your body as to when it has outbreaks?

    I have another hypothetical herpes though – if you have one strain (HSV-1 or HSV-2) on a site on your body, is it possible to get both on the same part of your body? Like if you had cold sores from HSV-1 and gave oral sex to someone who had genital herpes from HSV-2, could you potentially get HSV-2 on your mouth as well? Or vice versa getting HSV-1 on your genitals if you already had HSV-2?

    #111717

    HoneyPot
    Moderator

    There is so much misinformation about herpes and I am definitely not as informed as I’d like to be on this! I will probably have more questions too hahah Thanks @mintmilano and @nurse_nettie !

    #111718

    RoseHill
    Participant

    I agree @honeypot ! Its actually the most common STI and most people don’t know anything about it! 
    I have a few friends who have contracted type 1 on their genitals from a sexual encounter at some point and had no idea! 
    They felt a lot better about it once they learned that its actually really common.

    #111719
    tea
    tea
    Moderator

    @mintmilano That’s an interesting question! I wonder that myself too (I have HSV-1 so a big concern for me)! I generally just avoid any contact when I have an outbreak though because it’s not pleasant for anyone getting all up in my business while that’s going on. This article might help clear up a few things though. Any thoughts on this @nurse_nettie?

    #111720

    HoneyPot
    Moderator

    HAHAH I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS FOLKS
    If someone has a cold sore, and they kiss a part of someones body that is not the mouth or genitals, can it still be passed on?

    #111721
    Nurse_Nettie
    Nurse_Nettie
    Keymaster

    Ok folks, lots of good questions about herpes! I’ll try to cover them all here 🙂

    @honeypot that’s right: you can’t cause herpes symptoms in someone who already has it. The frequency & severity of your symptoms depends on your own immune system & nothing else. 

    @mintmilano Yes, it’s possible to get both herpes type 1 & herpes type 2 on the same body part. For example, you could have both types on the mouth. You can also get one type on the mouth and the other on the genitals. BUT, you’re unlikely to get one type on both the mouth and the genitals (so if you have herpes type 1 on the mouth, you’re protected from getting herpes type 1 on the genitals). 

    @tea that’s an interesting article, thanks for sharing! I like that it spells out that most people with herpes type 1 or type 2 don’t get any symptoms! That important fact is rarely mentioned in herpes info for some reason! I like that it challenges the idea that herpes type 2 is the “bad one,” but it might overstate the dangers of type 1 in the process. Remember 70% or more of us have herpes type 1 & complications are very, very rare.

    @honeypot Herpes only very rarely affects other parts of the body besides the mouth or genitals. The skin is a great barrier to most infections. It’s the mucous membranes of the mouth & genitals that are the pathway for most STIs. If you have a cold sore on the mouth it can be easily passed to someone else mouth through kissing or to genitals through oral sex.

    #111722

    HoneyPot
    Moderator

    Thanks so much @nurse_nettie ! That was very informative and very needed! I feel much more informed now :smiley:

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