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Herpes in my throat- what’s safe now?

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I have had a terrible journey with this diagnosis since I don’t have health insurance and have only been able to see doctors who “aren’t comfortable with an official diagnosis because it’s rare”. I haven’t gotten any straight answers on herpes esophageal. But what I have researched and the evidence of it in my body seems to line up. 

I do test positive for HSV1, but I have never had any sores on the outside of my mouth or cheeks. Just in the back of my throat. Aciclovir clears up the patches and lesions that appear during the three outbreaks I have had. 


but all of this and no answers has just left me with a ton of questions. 

do I take an antiviral medication everyday? Am I safe to kiss when I’m not having an outbreak? What about oral sex? 


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Hey there @Chelsjonap,

Understanding herpes and transmission can feel a bit daunting and confusing, especially when you're dealing with throat herpes. It's pretty rare to find HSV-1 settling down in the throat—this virus usually likes to hang around the mouth (aka "cold sores"). There's not a ton of clear-cut science on how often or easily throat herpes can be passed along, unfortunately, so we're a bit in the dark around the data. For most people who get throat herpes that I've heard of, it's also quite rare for there to be many recurrences, especially after the body's immune system has built up antibodies to keep it under control.

So should you take meds? Even though we don't know the specific shedding rate of throat herpes, taking daily antivirals can cut down whatever that risk is by about 50% because it reduces the amount of asymptomatic viral shedding. As for the safety of kissing or oral fun when you're not having an outbreak, well, it's a bit of a grey area given the rarity of your situation. But generally, avoiding close contact during outbreaks is key, and when you're feeling fine, those antivirals and your immune system are working hard together to keep things under wraps.

This content 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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