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How do scientists prove that hsv is not curable?


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I recently got diagnosed and searched everywhere about herpes. And everywhere says that hsv is not curable. says that there are no direct means to detect the virus but only through testing the antibodies to prove the virus’ existence.  It really confuses me because antibodies are forever for many curable deceases, which is why a lot of times healthy people inject vaccines (antibodies) to prevent infections. 

Why don’t they assume those who never have symptoms or recurrence are not virus carriers or get cured instead of saying the virus are still in their bodies without direct detection?  Am I missing something important?

Anyone has thoughts and like to explain? I just want to understand more. Thanks!

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exactly. okay they say it's a skin condition/disease but why does it stay it shows up in blood. I'm actually accepting the fact that I have it* I was recently diagnosed with hsv1. Drs doesnt care about it. I didn't get any information or medication. each Dr told me it wasn't anything to worryabout! but deep down inside I felt like something was wrong I know my body. but this is motivation for me to continue school and find a cure for herpes. 

 

your future scientist 

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18 hours ago, tomorrow said:

Why don’t they assume those who never have symptoms or recurrence are not virus carriers or get cured instead of saying the virus are still in their bodies without direct detection?  Am I missing something important?

Great question! Asymptomatic viral shedding tells us that even if there isn't an outbreak that virus still sheds from the original infection zone. In studies, people who have tested positive for herpes get regularly swabbed even when they aren't having active outbreaks and show that virus still sheds randomly. So it's quite misleading to assume that one is cured simply because there are no outbreaks. In fact, that's one of the main reasons why 80% of those who have herpes don't know that they have it. Either their outbreaks are so small that they get mistaken for ingrown hairs or something minor, or they don't get outbreaks at all and aren't aware that they can still pass the virus via viral shedding. 

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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2 hours ago, mr_hopp said:

Great question! Asymptomatic viral shedding tells us that even if there isn't an outbreak that virus still sheds from the original infection zone. In studies, people who have tested positive for herpes get regularly swabbed even when they aren't having active outbreaks and show that virus still sheds randomly. So it's quite misleading to assume that one is cured simply because there are no outbreaks. In fact, that's one of the main reasons why 80% of those who have herpes don't know that they have it. Either their outbreaks are so small that they get mistaken for ingrown hairs or something minor, or they don't get outbreaks at all and aren't aware that they can still pass the virus via viral shedding. 

Thanks for the info. I understand the theory of asymptotic viral shedding that H+ people without outbreak have virus shedding randomly. However, I don’t feel it’s convincing that they take “most” people represent “all”. I also read some study, in face, it shows that there are some people (<20%) showing no virus shedding, at least during their study period. Here is the interesting article that I learned.  https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/203/2/180/908022

Their statistics also show that the frequency of virus shedding and numbers detected are decreasing after time. It even shows that our race seems having big impact on the contagiousness as well, though they claimed that assumption is based on small samples and need further study.

Yes, 80% of H+ people that unnotice their status due to mild symptoms or misdiagnosed are more likely to spread the virus. That’s understandable. But, regarding those who show absolutely zero symptoms, or who stop getting outbreaks for many years, or again who are tested negative years after first positive diagnosis, it just seems easier (and avoid the possibility of “misleading” those diagnosed) to refer to virus shedding theory or say it’s incurable, so you must get wrong positive diagnosis before.

It just raises more questions to me about their hypothesis after seeing the statistics in those researches. 

 

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Hi @tomorrow and @mr_hopp

I have a similar question. My igg levels have gone from 6.83 to 1.19, yet I am still considered "positive". I don't understand how they can know for sure. I take valtrex daily, along with herbal supplements, so when my igg level drops below <.91, will I be considered "negative". I do believe the immune system can clear itself of viruses, so I don't know if the lowering igg levels have any correlation as to whether or not you are still "positive", or am no longer carrying the virus. It's all very frustrating. Thank you both for discussing this topic 

 

Janey

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How long do you think you had it? How long have you been taking valtrex? 

I don’t know if our immune system can clear the H virus or not. But I don’t believe it is 100% impossible. Science is based on hypothesis, specially on medical care, too many miracles happen beyond scientists’ understanding.  

My doctor who tested my herpes never infected her ex husband in 15 years marriage without protection or medicine, she had no symptoms. In her case, virus shedding seems not working.

I am curious what will be he result if you test with western blot. 

 

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Hi @tomorrow,

My earliest date of infection could only have been July 20th of this year, and the latest date was August 4th. I know this because I was with two different guy during that time. Both were exes of mine. I was intimate on August 4th, and woke up with a sore two days later. I've read the time for the initial outbreak is 2 to 20 days. The man I was with on July 20 th and August 4th has slept with "at least" 100 women. He has not been tested yet, but I would find it difficult to believe he isn't a carrier. There was one other on July 23rd. For reasons to complicated to go into, I've not contacted him, and do not plan too. The one from the 23rd and 4th finally got tested the other day and will let me know what it says. I do not see how on earth he can be negative with those kind of numbers...That being said, let's say it was the 20th of July. It's too soon for a western blot test. I did not stop taking Valtrex before the test, and I won't. I've seen an infectious disease doctor and immunologist, and they both agree I should not stop taking it for at least a year. I don't want to chance another outbreak just to see what the igg will do. I've read conflicting information about Valtrex and lab work. If antibodies are for life, I don't see how Valtrex would reduce that number? I think my "viral load" must be so low that my body isn't producing antibodies for it, although  I know antibodies do fluctuate depending what is going on in the body. I will say I was on a very high dose steroid when I got my last result (due to a neck injury). I was fully expecting it to be high, and I had a small sore that I suspected to be herpetic, given the fact I have read prednisone can cause outbreak. Negative viral culture and the 1.19 igg! I was so happy. I can't stop doing anything that I'm doing, because I don't want to give the virus a chance to multiply. I'm building my immune system (which thankfully is already in great shape), with vitamin C, vitamin D, and since echinacea. The oilve leaf and monolaurin is supposed to kill the virus as well. I know that none of these are miracle cures, I've just read a lot about how much they have helped. I also read an article that stated you may be able to "wake up" the dormant hsv 2, in order to kill it will antivirals. Maybe the prednisone did just that. I have a follow up with an infectious disease doctor mid month. I will share any lab results I get. I also pray daily, multiple times a day. I will get a western blot at the six month date as well. 

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@Jane M

Valtrex as well as other similar medicine is stopping virus reduplicate.  While your antibodies are killing existing virus and medicine stops new virus, surely the number of virus in your body reduces, hence the antibodies decreases.  I think that's why doctors recommend to stop taking anti-virus medicine at least a week before you do blood test, which makes a lot of sense to me.

I also think it's good that you have been taken care immediately.  It is said that the early treatment can significantly reduce the outbreaks.  I somewhat hope/believe It may cure some people though everywhere says it's incurable. Hope you can bring us the miracle.

I personally never got any treatment since my infection which I believe it was at least 10 years ago, from my cheating boyfriend. I never head of "herpes" until this September. I started to taking medicine as soon as I got diagnosed,  though I don't really need it because my symptoms are very mild and infrequent.   I plan to take the medicine for a year then stop and see how it will look like. 

 

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I find this perspective very interesting. Theoretically there are always virus remnants hidden on some thousands (maybe tens of thousands, I don't know) of nerve cells (neurons) specially on the sacral ganglia (at least for HSV-2).

Those virus, under certain conditions, awake, reproduce, and travel to the site of infection or nearby, in a kind of "reversal trip".

The fact that they hide in neurons deceive our inmune system, that thinks (correctly, in a way) that neurons are "sacred" and can't be investigated / killed. That is how the virus sneaks the inmune system's controls.

When the virus is out in the wild can be killed, but not when it's hidden.

This is what I understood so far, but why not? It should be a way to make the virus to quit the neurons 100% and then do an "ambush" on it and kill every instance. Our it could be a way to "inspect" every neuron and kill the infected ones.

It HAS TO be a way.

Cheers and let's keep writing on this thread please.

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@happyman_adventurous

Thank you for sharing. Your explanation is very clear. I understand that it is difficult for drugs or antibodies to kill the virus if they hide in ganglia.  When scientists talk viral shedding or outbreak, it seems like the virus reduplicate themselves first then travel to the skin surface along their favorite nerve route. (Hopefully I understand correctly...)   When I read about this, I was wondering why not all virus travel?  Are they really so smart and keep some at "homebase" for future revival?  Is that possible for some people, all virus get out of their home and get killed?  or is it possible for those new infection who got instant treatment that the virus got killed before they find the ganglia first time?

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@tomorrow @happyman_adventurous

I am grateful for conversations such as this while I come to terms with this. I am not saying I'm "cured", but if people can be cured of hepatitis C and HIV, there is no way there can't be a way to cure this. I am 2 months into this and have come to a much better place than before. I just don't want to stop taking the valacyclovir because I've already had an outbreak and am under a tremendous amount of stress. I'm not going to poke the sleeping bear so to speak. The western blot will be the end all, and I will happily share it. At this moment, I love seeing those numbers decline so rapidly and I love feeling whole again. This really broke my spirit. I am also struggling with the disclosure. I have a casual sex partner that I have been with twice since being diagnosed. I could not bring myself to tell him, I told him I may have been "exposed".  I know this is a lie and I know it is wrong, but my infectious disease doctor said in a casual relationship with valtrex and condoms, I did not need to disclose as the rate of transmission was so low. My hand to God the physician told me this. I do feel very frustrated that people with hsv 1 don't have to disclose , and that 80% of the people with hsv 2 can happily run around not knowing they have it and continue to transmit (or not). I am really struggling with this and the whole "ethics" of it. I care deeply for the man I have been with since and do not want to infect him. I am struggling with all of this and doing the best I can. I've stopped him from performing oral sex on me as well. I told him I don't feel comfortable until I know for sure...again, I know this is a lie. I am sorry for it and it conflicts with my moral compass. I still have bad days with this and I am human. There is a lot of debate on disclosure. Also, what do you guys think about the person I believe infected me??? I've read so many stats on this...do you guys think there is any way a guy who has been with at least 100 women could NOT be infected??? I think this is not possible, and he has dragged his feet to get tested. 

 

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@Jane M

HIV is not curable though. Far from it actually.

 I read somewhere on internet saying vaccine for Hsv 2 is on phase 2 test. Hopefully it can get solved in next 5-10 years.

Regarding your man, I think no one can tell for sure if he is negative or not unless he gets tested. But with common logical thinking,  he is highly suspicious. If he could sleep with your without condom, he might have slept with many the same way. Since he has so many sex partners, he has put himself into high risks to contract STD, especially if those women also have a lot of sex partners too. And he could have contracted oral hsv 2 too, which is possible as well.  

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@tomorrow

 

Google Ray Anthony Brown...first man cured of HIV. there have been 6 since him. I was really stunned when I read this. 

 

As far as he goes, yes he has had admittedly had a lot of unprotected sex and I think, life yourself, he has been infected for a while. I'm not angry at him. I do not think he did this intentionally, I am just frustrated that he has been so hesitant to get tested. He said "I can do the math". I am working on moving past this and "curing" myself....or giving it my best shot. I think you being 10 years in, probably have a low viral count anyway. That is the advantage of time with this virus. I'm glad you have done well with it. I am also grateful for the lessons I have learned from genital herpes. I'm learning there a lot worse things that could happen. I am in healthcare, and on any given day the patients I've seen with HIV, Aids, terminal cancer etc, would trade places with us in a heartbeat! Have to find what I can be grateful for!!! 💜

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@Jane M

thanks for the information about this first cured HIV patient. It’s really a miracle! Though I think it’s not the cure we generally talking about. Maybe that’s why scientists still refer hiv is incurable. 

I think you are right. Compared to those who have hiv or cancers or else, herpes is really minor. Being positive and pray the cure can come! Or at least pray for future vaccines!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know that many of you don’t think we should hold out for a cure or better treatment but I have to be honest at times that is the only thing that keeps me going.

My body can’t manage this virus, even when I take antivirals and I can’t imagine living the rest of my life like this. I feel like I’ll never be able to enjoy life again whilst I have symptoms ever day. It’s heartbreaking and I just don’t know what to do anymore. 

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  • 4 months later...
On 10/2/2018 at 7:43 PM, Jane M said:

@tomorrow @happyman_adventurous

I am grateful for conversations such as this while I come to terms with this. I am not saying I'm "cured", but if people can be cured of hepatitis C and HIV, there is no way there can't be a way to cure this. I am 2 months into this and have come to a much better place than before. I just don't want to stop taking the valacyclovir because I've already had an outbreak and am under a tremendous amount of stress. I'm not going to poke the sleeping bear so to speak. The western blot will be the end all, and I will happily share it. At this moment, I love seeing those numbers decline so rapidly and I love feeling whole again. This really broke my spirit. I am also struggling with the disclosure. I have a casual sex partner that I have been with twice since being diagnosed. I could not bring myself to tell him, I told him I may have been "exposed".  I know this is a lie and I know it is wrong, but my infectious disease doctor said in a casual relationship with valtrex and condoms, I did not need to disclose as the rate of transmission was so low. My hand to God the physician told me this. I do feel very frustrated that people with hsv 1 don't have to disclose , and that 80% of the people with hsv 2 can happily run around not knowing they have it and continue to transmit (or not). I am really struggling with this and the whole "ethics" of it. I care deeply for the man I have been with since and do not want to infect him. I am struggling with all of this and doing the best I can. I've stopped him from performing oral sex on me as well. I told him I don't feel comfortable until I know for sure...again, I know this is a lie. I am sorry for it and it conflicts with my moral compass. I still have bad days with this and I am human. There is a lot of debate on disclosure. Also, what do you guys think about the person I believe infected me??? I've read so many stats on this...do you guys think there is any way a guy who has been with at least 100 women could NOT be infected??? I think this is not possible, and he has dragged his feet to get tested. 

 

wow you took these thoughts out of my head... I did the same.. told my ex "i think ive been exposed I need to retest" but we ended up not working anyway. the ethics part fucks me up bc technically me taking my antivirals, and all precautions makes me less of a threat than the next 1/5 girls they sleep with next... Becasue of assymptomic carriers and people who are careless. 

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This thread gave me hope with or without vaccines, and showed me there are ways around it transmission wise. also helped me feel better about my ethical stand point bc I feel this forum is always HUGE on always disclosing but my gyno also said that I shouldnt have to with casual sex and anti virals and other pracautions as they have more of a chance gettinig it from someone else. Idont wanna go around lying anymore and i need to work on that self acceptance but this always encourages me to get there, bc this type of talk proves how minor this issue is and how possible it can be to manage. LETS FIND THE CURE..... or just the self love that overpowers the virus all in all 

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