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lovebug

cure? vaccine? or self-test?

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lovebug

Do I really want a cure? I'm not sure...

The way I see it, there are two groups of people when it comes to the herp. Actually, make that three groups of people:

1. The first live in fear that they're going to catch herpes. We know that only 10% of those infected (20-30% of the general population) know they actually carry this virus. Which means that close to 20% live in fear that they're going to catch a virus they already carry!

2. The second have it and suffer from the virus. From everything I've read, this is a small minority. Probably those who've just been infected? I remember that this sucked for me the first couple of years. Maybe an even smaller minority suffer recurrent outbreaks after years of having this. Again speaking from personal experience (I'm more susceptible to an OB when I'm stressed and thinking about the herp - duh: it lies dormant in our nerve cells!), I often wonder what those statistics would be like if the herp was not seen as such a taboo subject: I'm willing to bet that a good majority of those suffering from recurrent outbreaks would see those OBs diminish. And I'm no doctor, but it seems to me that any potential cure or vaccine needs to take into consideration the symbiotic relationship between HSV and nerve cells. To a large extent, this is such a mental virus...

3. The third have it, have had it a while, and hardly ever think about it... except when they have to have "the talk." How many of you out there have actually felt tingles come on as you're stressing out about that uncomfortable moment where you have to face a potential partner?

Unless I was part of the small minority who suffer recurrent outbreaks, why in the hell would I want to be cured of this, only to live in fear that I get re-infected again, because I get together with some other asymptomatic bloke who's unaware he's a carrier? Admittedly, now that I know much more about this virus, we hope that would not happen again. Still though. See: I'd much rather live in a world where herpes is seen like chicken pox: you either have it because you have the real deal, or you have some attenuated version because you got the vaccine.

Which makes me wonder: I guess a "cure" would be more profitable to pharmaceuticals than a "vaccine," since theoretically, one could take the cure more than once, whereas the vaccine would only be used once by those who don't have this virus.

You know what I would like to see, more than a vaccine or a cure - and something which seems reasonably easy to manufacture? I would like some kind of self-administered test that would quickly tell me if my virus is active or not. How many of you out there are like me: I hardly have clinical OBs (an OB I can see) anymore: I'd say maybe one a year, and that's IF I'm stressing out about telling a potential partner. What I do get - or at least, what I *think* I get, are all subclinical strange nerve tingles. Sometimes in the back of my buttocks, sometimes in my groin area. From start to finish, I'd say the tingles last 2-3 days. Depends. Longer if I'm stressing about telling a potential partner (I start focusing on these symptoms: "is this subclinical herpes... Is this tingle herpes?"); shorter if I can connect the strange feeling to some recent tight fitting clothing. We all are different, and our subclinical/asymptomatic symptoms are different from person to person. I find that it's this uncertainty about the asymptomatic/subclinical symptoms that make this virus so freaky to those who don't have it. Wouldn't it be nice, at least until a vaccine does come about (I don't think we'll see that for another 10 years, IF it ever comes about), to be able to just test yourself and know that your virus is not active. I'm thinking something like what my father used to do to test his blood sugar levels: a quick little pin-prick on your finger, run it through some gizmo/gadget doo-whap, and Ta-Dah! Come to find out that the strange tingle in your groin is NOT an indicator that your herp is active, but that weird tingle in your lower back right before or after your period IS. That would be Awesome. It would be a way to learn how your body acts and reacts to various stress factors, would put your mind and your partner's (or potential partner's) mind at ease, and would certainly do something to curb the growing hysteria over what, for most people who carry this virus, is not a huge deal. Hell, a common cold makes me feel worse....

Thoughts? Is there anything like this in the works?

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curecomingverysoon

i could be perfectly happy with this virus if i knew that i would never pass it along to another individual.

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notamused

yeah i've been thinking similar thoughts. it really is less bother than a cold, which everyone carries.. and so yes i kind of wish it was a given that everyone just had it.

since i found out i have what i'm pretty sure is hsv 2, i also realised looking back at previous symptoms that i'm pretty sure my first boyfriend gave me hsv 1! and it never ever would have occurred to me that that was what it was/never caused me any stress. i would have happily carried on not knowing. but now i KNOW i have hsv 2 and think about it so much...yes i'm pretty sure this can't be helping the outbreaks.

i had a crazy idea the other day, which wouldnt be a viable solution at all, but i was wondering if someone infected themselves in a really unimportant place like say their ankle (or something), would they then be protected against genital and oral? crazy i know, but perhaps it would be worth having a recurrent wound in one place and be protected from getting it in a place you really dont want it?

just throwing ideas out there..

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NeedToKnow

I don't think a self test for shedding would work or be accurate. I think there will always be a chance to spread it, so I bet a company couldn't market it.

The other thing is when they talk about shedding, does that mean just more viruses on on the skin that usually? I mean is there always a tiny amount of live viruses on the skin, but at other times there is a lot more? Like some level over which we would say someone is shedding?

i had a crazy idea the other day, which wouldnt be a viable solution at all, but i was wondering if someone infected themselves in a really unimportant place like say their ankle (or something), would they then be protected against genital and oral? crazy i know, but perhaps it would be worth having a recurrent wound in one place and be protected from getting it in a place you really dont want it?

just throwing ideas out there..

I've thought about this too! What if people got inoculated by infecting them in their little toe and wrapping it up so they don't spread it, then once their body built up antibodies they couldn't get genital or oral. The outbreaks would probably not recur because the toe is a less preferred area. It would be like getting genital HSV-1 that usually recurs less frequently.

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notamused

rudimentary yes, but while we have no cure/vaccine, i'm not hearing any better ideas!

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