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Where Does Viral Shedding Occur with HSV 2?

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I have been dating someone who has HSV 1 and HSV 2. I am HSV 1+ and HSV 2-. My question is where does viral shedding occur when someone is no t having an OB? For example, she has OB's on upper buttock area and inner thigh. Does she only shed the virus where she get sores? Or does she shed everywhere including the vaginal area?


I am just curious because everywhere I have read is that it is transmitted to other partners through sexual intercourse.... So I am trying to evaluate the possibilities of catching it even with a condom on I don't feel like it will provide protection when she is having OB's in those areas.

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Hey, I don't know if I am the right person to answer this question, and some others might pipe up... but I believe that during an active outbreak, viral shedding would be everywhere in the genital region. 'I think' when there is no outbreak, then it's minimized but still possible anywhere in the genital area again, but most likely where outbreaks typically occur. I don't know if there is a clear-cut distinction otherwise... I think there is a lot of assumption and variances since everyone's body will respond differently. But again, consider the risk, no matter what, even if you were rubbing up all over it, is very very low.

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@PositivelyBeautiful thanks for the information. I think I was able to find my answer by doing some research. It said that even though breakouts are in that area or on the thigh that doesn't mean shedding is not happening in the genital area, and to keep in mind that it is in the nerve. Since that nerve is going from the genital area to the area of the OB, then it is likely that they are shedding in the genital area as well.


If more people can shine some light as well it is much appreciated, because I am always open to getting more information to help educate myself on this virus. :)

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Hello and Welcome!


You are right to assume that a condom won't protect you from getting herpes because of the location of her OB's (though it would at least keep you from getting it on the penis if you *did* get exposed.) The main time of shedding is during an OB (it's shedding on steroids basically) ... and of course the majority of the risk would be in that immediate area. It's *possible* she could be shedding anywhere when not having an OB but the main area of concern would be where she has the OB's.


Some simple precautions to reduce your risk is to never have sex if either of you has any kind of cuts/skin breakage. Shaving and waxing can cause an OB so best if she does that on "non-sex" days if possible. And find other ways to be intimate (it's one of the "bonus features" of having Herpes!) We had a great discussion about it in the link below :)




http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/5807/list-the-ways-to-protect-my-partner-from-getting-herpes-hsv2 Safe alternatives to sex


And wash off after sex... especially if you got particularly rough .. rough sex can cause microtears that allow the virus in so washing off afterwards *may* help reduce your risks...

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Viral shedding will occur in the area where you have your OB's and the immediate area that is innervated by the nerve that's affected/"housing" the virus ... so if you have H, say, up by the tailbone, it will likely shed in an area a couple inches around the OB ... BUT the amound shed in the general area will be a lot less than where the actual OB is... but in this case it's unlikely it would shed on the genitals/labia/etc ;)

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