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Asymptomatic herpes viral shedding

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So it's been almost 2 months since I got herpes. I'm not on suppressive therapy, but I do take lysine and different vitamins daily. I've read all sorts of stuff about H, but I never found an answer to the following question. Maybe it will sound a bit stupid though :) In some percentage of time there's asymptomatic viral shedding, I'm aware of that. If H-free person is infected through asymptomatic shedding, does she/he gets an OB in 2-12 days right away or does the virus "sleep" and a person outbreaks when immune system is low/is under stress, etc.?

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Hi Stamatia,


It doesn't matter whether it's contracted during asymptomatic viral shedding or during an active outbreak. Those are all factors of host's immune system. Men and women shed at different rates, and we all shed differently. While not on suppressives, you can shed between 5-25% of the time. More so during the first couple of years of infection, and it gradually tapers off after that. It's tricky to track, and hard to detect, so scientists don't really know how much we virally enhanced folks are shedding.


If an H- person contracts it, their immune system is what matters and determines whether there will be an OB or not. In some, it sleeps forever and they never know. In fact, 80% of people who have H don't know because they have no outward symptoms, or symptoms that are not easily recognized as being H specific and so mild that they're brushed off as other conditions.


Yes, the immune system being low can cause an OB. And, there are no stupid questions on this forum. We're all here to learn and grow.



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Hey Stamatia,


You should relax. 1, you have HSV1 genitally. That means that you'll shed about 1% of the time. When HSV1 and HSV2 are "out of their element" they tend to be rather quiet. 2, HSV1 is very, very, very common. The likelihood is that whomever you war intimate with will already have it orally. That means that it will be impossible to transfer it to them genitally. The only exception to that is if they are recently infected with HSV1 and haven't built up the antibodies to it yet.


Unless you're one of the unlucky few that HSV1 causes problems for genitally, I don't think many doctors would recommend you go on supressive therapy.

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Hi guys! After reading through this discussion, I am a little confused. HerryTheHerp, are you saying if someone has HSV1 it's impossible to transfer HSV2 to them? Just to make sure I have my facts straight, HSV1 is located from the waist up and HSV2 is located from the waist down, correct? I take supressive daily therapy because I read it reduces the risks of passing the H by 50%, why would someone choose not to take this route? Are there side effects that I may be unaware of?

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No, you're misunderstanding. If you have HSV1, it's harder to transfer anywhere on a partner's body who also has HSV1. That can only happen if your partner's infection is recent and they don't have the antibodies built up yet.


Now, say your partner has HSV1, and you have HSV2. Can you transmit HSV2 to them? Yes, absolutely. HSV1 and HSV2 can be located below the waist, and HSV1 and HSV2 can be located in the mouth. There is some anecdotal evidence that having HSV1 provides some protection from acquiring HSV2, but as someone with both, I don't buy that theory.


That said, HSV1 is normally in the mouth, and HSV2 is normally below the waist. When HSV1 is below the waist, it's out of it's "zone" and tends to be rather quiet. The same with HSV2 when it's in the mouth. If you have HSV1 in the genital area, or HSV2 in the mouth, it's estimated these shed about 1% of the time. If you have HSV2 in the genitals, or HSV1 in the mouth, it's estimated at 5-25% of the time. So, there's a big difference.


Suppressive therapy does reduce the risk of transmission considerably for both HSV1 and 2. However, I have not met a doctor yet that prescribes suppressive therapy for HSV1 unless it is acting abnormally and causing frequent and severe outbreaks. It's just not something doctors are terribly concerned with as almost 70% of America has HSV1.


Side effects vary. Some people have none, others have everything from fatigue to stomach cramps.


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One other thing... 50% of the NEW cases of Genital Herpes are HSV1 .. so your friends with Cold Sores need to understand that Oral Sex can pass it on to their partners genitals if they are shedding/having an OB.


gingaru... these handouts and ebook have a lot of good info for you:






Disclosure e-book:


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Did you know that when you French kiss you can transfer between 500-600 different species of bacteria between you and your partner. Did you know there are close to 20 billion, that's right, 20 billion teeny tiny bacteria living in your mouth at any given moment?


Of course, no sane person wants to give HSV to someone. No one wants to give someone a cold or flu, either. That's why you take steps to protect your partner. I think everyone in this forum would feel guilty if it happened, but in the end, if it happens within a committed relationship where disclosure, love, and compassion are in the equation, well, it's a part of life. I've gotten yeast infections from a girlfriend. It happens, but it didn't change the way I felt about her. Both are just skin conditions.


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What Herry said was right. I mean, the only way we can guarantee that we will never give anyone anything is to live in a bubble....


If you have a cold, you wash your hands and don't sneeze into them. You tell your friends that you have a cold when you are around them so they understnad when you decline to give them a hug. If they are worried about getting a cold they will stay distant ... but it is their choice...


Same for Herpes.... we all do our best, disclose, take the drugs, whatever to keep our partners safe. They make an informed choice to be with us. Guilt infers that you did something with INTENTION ...


I get it, you don't want to pass this on. But don't live in a bubble my friend. Let people make their decisions about being with you... just let them know when they run a risk of getting something (colds, herpes, whatever) and then let THEM be in control of their risk tolerance :)



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