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Looking for the right tone and words for the herpes talk

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Hey mc41 ... If I understand you correctly, you slept with someone new and then immediately found out you already had genital herpes? If that's so, my suggestion is quite simplistic: Be honest about exactly that. Tell this person you didn't know and you just found out. You want to make sure they knew as soon as you knew. The sooner the better so it doesn't seem like you're trying to hide anything from them. If you didn't know, you didn't know. They can't hold that against you. I appreciate your integrity for wanting to disclose.

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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Mc41...I had to do the exact same thing and he was great about it...we stopped sex and stayed friends and he got blood tested three months later and was negative. We are still friends but decided (not because of Herpes) to stay at just that. Just be honest and do it as soon as possible as Hopp says...integrity is everything and this is your challenge to show it. Good luck, it will all be fine. x

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The very next day. I went to an immediate care facility and the doc looked at the sore, said, "yep, it's definitely herpes" and gave me a prescription for acyclivir. Then said to go to my primary care physician in 2-3 days, but I don't have one.


Also waiting for other std tests to come back. My mind has been racing for the past three days. Been reading an reading all this stuff and contemplating all the "what if"s.


The worst part is that I really like this woman and she seems to be falling for me. I want to disclose in person this weekend, but want test results first. It's been tough minimizing our conversations without seeming like I'm avoiding her. Not sure what to say either way.


This message board has been a godsend. I don't feel alone.

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have u had sores before? just be honest and tell her you didnt know, i tormented myself like that before, but turned out to be thursh. maybe she has it, ask clinic to do swab on the sores that will tell what type u have, i have hsv1 in genital area and only get one sore a year. i take acyclovir and lysine. good luck, i feel for you xx

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I didn't think so. A couple months ago I thought I hada little razor burn from grooming and it healed in a few days. Didn't blister or hurt much. Then last Sunday we had sex and after, it felt very tender in the same spot. By the next afternoon I was at the doctor. I didn't know but now feel like I should've.


Thanks again, everybody. Do you know of any other helpful websites or online groups like this?



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Hey I had the same thing...a small patch of 'heat rash' next to my tummy button and another on my tail bone. They wouldn't go away for a week and so went to the doctor, by that time I had the same tiny spots on my genital area. You couldn't have known 100% so don't beat youyrself up about it, you went to the doctor and did the right thing.

There are other sites but I have found this the most positive and its new and smaller, just seems more personal.

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hey MC41... try this blog: http://www.hsvblog.org/herpes-simplex-virus-hsv-101/


when I disclose, I like to direct the person to a place where they can read about HSV and not get paranoid. The blog is legit, all info is accurate, and the info is presented in a very positive way. This site here is #1 for peeps like us. This forum is truly a godsend. And h_opp's videos are valuable instruction. Stay in touch! and best of luck. C

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@Carlos - Thank you for sharing this link . Having herpes and struggling with it each day has become such a hassle . I've only read a few paragraphs on the site, and I'm already going to give this to the guy I'm seeing when I feel it's time to disclose to him .

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey CG, where have you heard this stat? I'm wary of giving any advice like that without a proper source. I just haven't heard that stat before. I always suggest safety over saying someone is perfectly safe. Any percentage above 0% means there's a chance. Not to make anyone paranoid, but just to be realistic. (Plus, I think when mc41 says "my girl" he means his girlfriend, not his child.) ;)

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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On page 11, there is a direct discussion of the question you pose,

which starts off by discussing the more common genital HSV-2:


"Transmission of HSV during periods of asymptomatic shedding has been

reported in several case studies,[11,12,19] but one of the first

studies systematically to examine asymptomatic shedding followed 27

women with recurrent genital herpes.[20] Asymptomatic shedding was

detected in 80% of those followed for more than 50 days and overall

the virus was shed asymptomatically on 1% of days.[20]


Another study found that 65% of women shed HSV on days without genital

lesions. Asymptomatic shedding occurred on a mean of 1.7% of days

sampled, although 11% of women with HSV-2 shed asymptomatically on

more than 5% of days (Figure 10).[21] In this study, using viral

culture to detect HSV, asymptomatic shedding accounted for 32% of the

total time when viral shedding was

observed. The majority of clinical and asymptomatic episodes of viral

shedding lasted for 1 day, but 25% lasted 2 or more consecutive



Figure 10 on page 12 seems to directly answer your question, showing

for a group of women, the percentage of days on which they had

asymptomatic shedding of virus for both HSV-1 and HSV-2.


The authors go on to compare shedding in HSV-1 and HSV-2 on pages 12-13:


"The frequency of asymptomatic shedding of HSV from genital sites is

significantly lower in women who have acquired HSV-1 compared with

women who acquired HSV-2 or both HSV-1 and HSV-2. Koelle et al(1992)

demonstrated in a prospective study that the frequency of asymptomatic

shedding detected by culture was more common during the first 12

months after first-episode genital HSV-2 infection (3.3?4.3% of days)

than in the 12 months after first-episode HSV-1 infection (1.2% of

days [Table 4]).[22]"


On page 13, an additional study is cited that gives a frequency of

asymptomatic shedding on 1.7% of days (women) for HSV-1:


"Another study has documented culture-proven asymptomatic shedding on

2.0% of days in women with genital HSV-2 and 0.7% of days in a cohort

of women with genital HSV-1.21 The rate of asymptomatic shedding was

similar in HSV-2 seropositive women and those who were seropositive

for both HSV-1 and -2."


These results are based on viral cultures. More recent data from PCR

(polymerase chain reaction) show that these rates are likely even

higher, but more work is needed to determine the clinical significance

of these findings. You can read more on pages 13-14 in the above








Interestingly, there is less data available for asymptomatic shedding in men:


"There are much less data on the frequency and pattern of asymptomatic

shedding in men despite the fact that the efficacy of transmission

appears to be greater from men to women.[18,28] The evidence available

suggests that asymptomatic shedding is similar in men and women, being

documented from the urethra, urine and normally appearing penile

skin.[29,30] HSV has also been isolated in the semen in the absence of

discernible lesions.[31,32] The rate of asymptomatic shedding in men

is about 2.2% and the penile skin is the most common site of

asymptomatic reactivation.[33] Asymptomatic shedding in men also

shows clustering and can occur before and after a symptomatic




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The actual study results from the University of washington:


Frequency of Subclinical Shedding of HSV


Of the 110 women, 56 (51 percent) had at least one day of subclinical reactivation of HSV. Subclinical shedding of HSV was identified in 36 of the 65 women with HSV-2 infection (55 percent), 16 of the 31 with both HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection (52 percent), and 4 of the 14 with HSV-1 infection alone (29 percent). Overall, subclinical shedding was documented on 2.0 percent of the days in women with genital HSV-2 and 0.7 percent of the days in those with genital HSV-1 (Table 1). Among the women, shedding occurred on 0 to 35 percent of days sampled (Fig. 1). The rate of detection of subclinical reactivation reflected the number of days on which samples were obtained. Sixty-three percent of the women who provided specimens for up to 60 days without having lesions never had subclinical shedding, as compared with 39 percent of the women who provided samples for more than 60 days. Table 2 shows the rates of subclinical shedding for 64 women who provided samples for at least 60 days. The 60-day duration of sampling was selected to eliminate both falsely low and falsely high rates of shedding due to short periods of sampling. Thirty-five of 54 HSV-2–seropositive women (65 percent) had subclinical shedding during a median sampling period of 106 days (range, 61 to 425), whereas 19 women (35 percent) did not have viral shedding despite a median sampling period of 97 days (range, 63 to 307). Eleven percent had shedding on more than 5 percent of the days on which samples were obtained. The rate of subclinical shedding was similar in the HSV-2–seropositive women and those who were seropositive for both HSV-1 and HSV-2.


Virologic Characteristics of Subclinical Shedding


Subclinical shedding occurred on 32 percent of the total days when viral shedding was detected. Of the 128 episodes of subclinical shedding, 96 (75 percent) lasted for one day, 18 (14 percent) for two days, 7 (5.5 percent) for three days, and 7 (5.5 percent) for four or more days. The durations of clinically recognized and unrecognized episodes of viral shedding are shown in Table 3. Analysis of the data with use of an alternative definition, according to which days without culture results were treated as positive, revealed a similar pattern; 70 percent of the episodes of unrecognized shedding of HSV lasted one day, 15 percent two days, 4 percent three days, and 11 percent four days or longer. Subclinical shedding occurred at all the anatomical sites sampled. The rates of isolation of HSV from cultures of samples obtained on days when genital lesions were absent were 0.7 percent for the vulva, 0.7 percent for the cervix, and 1.1 percent for the rectum. Nineteen of 56 women who had subclinical shedding (34 percent) shed the virus from more than one site on the same day. The HSV subtype was the same on all days on which HSV was isolated from more than one site. Shedding from more than one site occurred on 32 of 186 culture-positive days (17 percent). The most common sites of dual shedding were the vulva and cervix, which accounted for 19 days. Other episodes of shedding from multiple sites involved the vulva and rectum (nine days), the cervix and rectum (two days), or all three sites (two days).

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Thank you, CG! This is exactly the kind of information sourcing I love! Much appreciated bro! :)

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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