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Something Thats Been Bugging Me...

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I know this has probably been repeated MILLIONS of times, but can someone please tell me HOW herpes are spread...i mean, can it be spread in other ways than being sexual? Because I've read by kissing..and if that's the case..then i could have possibly caught this by kissing a family member??? Sorry if I sound stupid, but I'm still trying to know the facts about this..

And another thing that bugs me, why is it that when people go in for blood tests to see if they have it, its possible to come out negative? Isn't that ridiculous?? If that's the case, my thought about this is "TO HELL WITH IT" everyone in the world is gonna catch something someday! :mad:

Sorry if i'm sounding...ridiculous..but seriously:rolleyes:

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Okay, I think you need a little crash course.

By adulthood, 80-90% of Americans are infected with HSV-1. It is typically spread through kissing or near mouth contact open sores, although HSV-1 oral sheds on 18% of days. However increasingly (because people are having more oral sex than ever before), HSV-1 is showing up on people's genitals, and subsequently getting transferred from one set of genitals to another. Some people think that you can get it through sharing utensils/cups with someone with a cold sore but this is unproven/dubious.

Approximately 20% of Americans are infected with HSV-2. It is typically spread through genital contact (any region in the boxer shorts area has been proven to shed however). One is most infectious when one has lesions but HSV-2 sheds genitally up to 25% of the time (more in the first years of infection). Rarely, one can become infected orally, either by kissing someone who has it orally (very very rare) or through oral sex (rare).

A few cases are transmitted through open sores on hands making contract with infected sores, this is called herpes whitlow -- this can be HSV-1 or HSV-2. HSV-2 can occasion be transferred to one's eyes to cause kerastitis but the majority of kerastitis is caused by HSV-1.

An iGG serological blood test is highly accurate and will tell you whether you are positive for HSV-1 or HSV-2. A person can take up to three months to seroconvert from negative to positive though, so you need to go back and check to see if you're infected up until then. Biokits (for HSV-2) and Western Blots are considered ways to verify a diagnosis.

Almost everyone gets HSV-1. The way it's spreading, by 2025, 45% of Americans will be infected by HSV-2 because most people (up to 90%) have no idea that they are infected.

I think that covers it...

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Hi Novagirl,

The links to the right of this forum page have a ton of information. Read them all and you will have a better understanding of everything hsv. ;)

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I think people often get confused about the percentages of person's with Oral HSV1. It's actually about 50% by the time they reach the teen years and 80% above the age of 55 so we older folks seem to be at a disadvantage here.

Some people also question whether it can be transmitted through utensils cups, lip balms, etc. but even the Quest Diagnostics website says to avoid sharing these things to reduce the chances of infection. It is often a question on a new patient form when you go to the dentist so I am inclined to believe this is possible. I also read about research in killing the virus in dental equipment and it was still able to detect the virus even beyond 24 hours. What it did not say was whether it was still viable.

I think it would be wise to avoid sharing objects if there is even the smallest chance of spreading it, for more reasons than just HSV. Have you seen the new commercials about contracting meningitis?

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  • The Hive is Thriving!

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    • MikeHerp
      The prophylactic vaccine trial by GSK took 8 years and they were still not done with it.  That's because it takes time to see whether it works--it's a matter of many people having sex over time and that just takes a lot of time.   A shedding study is quicker, so therapeutic vaccines are quicker to test.  5-6 years I think.  Note that there was a study conducted last year that showed that there's a high correlation between shedding and outbreaks, suggesting that it might not even be necessary to track outbreaks, measuring shedding may be enough. It's unclear what they would be proving in case of a gene editing technique.  I think shedding would be a part of it.  But what else, if anything, I don't know. Anyway, it doesn't necessarily have to take a long time like the GSK prophylactic trials.  
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