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I don’t want to take medicine forever

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I tested positive for hsv2 2 days ago and my main concern is having to take medicine for the rest of my life and I’m only 22… Like I don’t mine taking it during an outbreak of course but I do not want to take it every day, every week , etc. since I’ve only known for 2 days I don’t know if I’m going to end up with a lot of outbreaks but I hope not! If I don’t is it still necessary to take medication? And if you don’t have an outbreak can you still give someone hsv2 

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I understand this is a scary and overwhelming time.  Having the correct information and understanding HSV will hopefully make you feel less overwhelmed. 

So HSV2 generally likes to stay in the genital region.  Its really rare to get HSV2 orally.  So kissing, sharing cups with your kids or anything like that is extremely uncommon to pass on to someone else since it stays below the belt.  HSV2 spreads when their is general skin to skin contact with the infected area.  Did you have an outbreak or did you test positive on a blood test?  If you have not had an outbreak then you could be asymptomatic. 

Medication is completely up to you.  I have genital HSV1 and I have only had one outbreak.  I took the Valtrex during the outbreak but have not taken it since.  If you do take the medication, it can lower the change of viral shedding.  You can pass HSV 1 and 2 at any point because of asymptomatic viral shedding but the percentages of shedding the virus is quite low to begin with.  So using condoms and taking the medication lowers those numbers even more.  

This page is a great source of information.  2/3 of the population has HSV so its really more common than people think. 

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Hey there,

I second what @AlliKat12 shared. Understanding the facts about HSV can help to ease the overwhelming feelings that often come with a diagnosis. 

HSV-2, which you've tested positive for, usually prefers the genital area. Getting HSV-2 orally is really rare (only 1-2% of all oral herpes cases are HSV-2, the rest are HSV-1), so sharing cups or kissing won't spread it since the virus tends to stay below the waistline. It typically spreads only through skin-to-skin sexual contact (think friction, grinding) with the infected area.

Medication is a personal choice. I have both genital HSV-2 and oral HSV-1, and to keep my wife safe (she hasn't gotten herpes yet for the 9 years we've been together, and we have a 6-year-old), I take daily suppressive therapy (Acyclovir), which is very well-tolerated. I just take it with my other vitamins every day. If you do choose medication, it can reduce the chances of viral shedding by about half. Keep in mind that you can still pass on both HSV-1 and HSV-2 during asymptomatic viral shedding, but the odds are relatively low (see the handouts and e-book for all the data). Using condoms and medication further decrease those already small chances. (Female to male transmission = 4%/yr without condom and meds; 2%/yr with either condom or meds; 1%/yr with condom and meds).

It's absolutely a myth that herpes is rare — most of the world has some form of herpes, as @AlliKat12 shared (you'd be in the extreme minority if you didn't have herpes!). So you're certainly not alone. Hang in there!

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Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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