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Suppressive therapy and herpes outbreaks?

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So I've have Herpes for 7 years. Within this time period I get an outbreak every month. In this past year it has gone down to every other month. My life has significantly changed in terms of the amount of stressors I take on and how I deal with them, yet I am still struggling.


My first experiences with medication were with Valtrex. I was prescribed to take it every time I got an outbreak, which was every month but I noticed the Valtrex did not help. So eventually I went without medication (at least 5 years).


Now I am taking acyclovair and I find that it works to take it when I get any symptoms. When I asked my doctor about suppressive therapy she said in order to get on it they needed to make sure I was really having herpes outbreaks.


It sounded reasonable enough. She gave me her card with her signature and wrote that I should be seen anytime without an appointment. It was simple I needed to see the doctor when I had an ob. So I got an ob but I was terrified and I didn't go. Then the next week I got what seemed like an outbreak. I made sure to call the office and after being told my doctor was booked they agreed to let me see her if I brought the card she signed. So I did this. Upon arrival three workers decided to question me and told me I could not be seen without an appointment. (As if having an outbreak isn't stressful enough) After arguing and showing the card to each new worker that came to see me one of the workers finally decided to ask the doctor. She of course let me in to be seen right away. Near tears and humiliated I finally got to see my doctor.


Wouldn't you know it, I wasn't having an ob, but a cyst. So had I gone in the week before I would have gotten the culture taken. I was informed I would need to go through this whole emotional process again, the next time I had an ob. every time I get an ob I question myself, am I ready to put myself through the stress and emotional draining it takes to argue with the staff to be seen, to feel the pain of an injection in my ob? How badly do I want or need this suppressive therapy?


So I guess my question is: Is there an easier way to get on suppressive therapy?

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That's sad that pockets of our medical profession (I say pockets because it was easy for me to get suppressive therapy) make us jump through hoops like that. Adds insult to injury in my opinion ... But if their logic is that the only reason you'd be taking suppressive therapy is to avoid actual outbreaks, they're wrong. Taking suppressive therapy lessens the likelihood of spreading it to partners by 50%! It lessens asymptomatic viral shedding by anywhere between 50-80%! Tell them that and maybe they'll listen. And if not, call around to other doctors until they do. I'm sorry you're going through such a rigamarole around this. I wish there could be more understanding and acceptance of this across the board. And it's happening. Slowly but surely. Unfortunately it seems that we are the ones who are meant to educate our medical professionals.

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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Sending you love and empathy! I haven't spoken to one medical professional where I live (in Manitoba) that has been educated about this....not even the ones working at STI clinics! And as a side note, because it's telling, I haven't been able to get an IgG test here either....even the largest lab in Manitoba doesn't have the ability to run the test (I specifically requested it and they couldn't give it to me). So we're swimming in the same river....xoxo Beckie

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Hi Adrial do you think suppression meds are best? I was diagnosed very recently and was given meds to take when I start to feel symptoms. My Dr said your body can become immune to the suppression

Meds? Oh and last thing I had a blood test to tell me if the virus was old or new. The results said old . Are you familiar with this test? I wish I new exactly when. But I know that's not possible. Anyway thanks for any info.


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Hey Noel! Have you had a chance to watch the video Adrial and Ashley did recently on herpes treatment options? They talk about suppressive therapy in that video quite a bit...maybe some food for thought for you while you're decision making around this.



As for the blood test, I'm not exactly sure which one you got, but if it said you've had herpes for a while, that means you probably have quite a few antibodies built up against the virus. That can certainly help to lessen the frequency and severity of outbreaks, which is great news! Hope that helps :) Beckie

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