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cemented3033

Lots of questions! :)

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cemented3033

These are just a couple of questions I was curious about while browsing the forums. It's a few things I've wondered that I haven't found what I consider to be 'definitive' answers for yet! If anyone can answer them, kudos! :)

1) I remember reading that some people never develop antibodies for HSV. Does that mean that flare-ups will be more severe/last longer since they have no antibodies to fight them? Could they be asymptomatic?

2) If you contract HSV1 and 2 in the same area of your body, what does that mean for outbreaks, etc? Simply more? Is there a discernible difference between them (just visually and without a viral culture) so you know what one you're having?

3) Do you breakout in the same exact spot all the time? For example, if your initial outbreak was at the right corner of your mouth, how often could you expect an outbreak at that corner as opposed to the center of your lips? How about either buttock or thigh?

4) If both you and your partner have HSV1 from the same source, what are the odds of transferring it to another part of your or your partner's body? How much of a difference do antibodies make in ACTUAL transference?

5) Can herpes live on a bar of soap? If so, approximately how long?

6) I see a lot of questions about "clothed" play on other sites, and answers saying how you "can't" get herpes that way. I've also seen sites that suggest not using "natural" condoms because the virus can transfer through them (as opposed to latex, which it cannot pass through). So the question is... CAN you get herpes through clothes? How about genital fluids that seep through or to the surface?

7) Where does the initial outbreak generally occur? At the exact site of infection? For instance, on the cheek from a kiss (as opposed to the mouth or eye)? Or does the virus go for the nerve first, incubate and then emerge wherever it pleases in the region of infection?

Thanks a lot for reading, just some random questions! If you can only answer one or two, or none, that's cool too! Feel free to post your own! :D

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RealisticGal
These are just a couple of questions I was curious about while browsing the forums. It's a few things I've wondered that I haven't found what I consider to be 'definitive' answers for yet! If anyone can answer them, kudos! :)

  • This may not be what you are looking for, as in "definitive" answers. I think a lot of your questions are in areas that cannot, in all practicality, have definitive answers. Nevertheless, I will share some of my own theories, some things I've read, and a few wild ass educated guesses.

1) I remember reading that some people never develop antibodies for HSV. Does that mean that flare-ups will be more severe/last longer since they have no antibodies to fight them? Could they be asymptomatic?

  • Good question. I would say that the first suggestion would make sense. If your body's immune system has not built a good level of antibodies, it is unlikely it can do a good job of fighting against recurrences. However, there seems to me no way to prove the second scenario, so I doubt anyone anyone could answer that. I mean, think about it. If a person tests negative on blood tests, and has never had any symptoms whatsoever, what would make you think that person has herpes at all?

2) If you contract HSV1 and 2 in the same area of your body, what does that mean for outbreaks, etc? Simply more? Is there a discernible difference between them (just visually and without a viral culture) so you know what one you're having?

  • I sort of find it doubtful that much research has been done on this possibility. I could be wrong. But as far as the lesions caused by the two strands looking any different --- no, I don't think so. I don't believe there is any way on this green earth that a person could look at a sore and say "that is HSV1" or "that is HSV2." Problem is, the symptoms and appearances DO seem to differ greatly from person to person.

3) Do you breakout in the same exact spot all the time? For example, if your initial outbreak was at the right corner of your mouth, how often could you expect an outbreak at that corner as opposed to the center of your lips? How about either buttock or thigh?

  • Not necessarily. I've read stories here from folks who always get their outbreaks in the same spot, while others report that they may move around and pop up in new and exciting locations each time.

4) If both you and your partner have HSV1 from the same source, what are the odds of transferring it to another part of your or your partner's body? How much of a difference do antibodies make in ACTUAL transference?

  • As with all other things herpes related, I would theorize that this varies greatly from person to person.

5) Can herpes live on a bar of soap? If so, approximately how long?

  • This is a funny question (to me). In the presence of oxygen, the herpes virus does not survive long. If you are concerned, my suggestion would be to make sure to rub the bar for a while with your hands (assuming they are not infected) after using it anywhere that might have viral particles. That seems to me as though it would wash them down the drain along with the upper few layers of soap, leaving behind a "clean" soap surface. But really, I think it is highly unlikely to begin with.

6) I see a lot of questions about "clothed" play on other sites, and answers saying how you "can't" get herpes that way. I've also seen sites that suggest not using "natural" condoms because the virus can transfer through them (as opposed to latex, which it cannot pass through). So the question is... CAN you get herpes through clothes? How about genital fluids that seep through or to the surface?

  • I've heard a lot of folks talk about the idea of having sex while wearing a condom and boxer shorts or briefs. I've always theorized that it still might be possible for viral particles suspended in bodily fluids to move through the fabric and contact the other person's skin. But I would say the chances are very low.

7) Where does the initial outbreak generally occur? At the exact site of infection? For instance, on the cheek from a kiss (as opposed to the mouth or eye)? Or does the virus go for the nerve first, incubate and then emerge wherever it pleases in the region of infection?

  • I don't believe there is any conclusive evidence that primary outbreaks occur at the precise location that viral particles entered the body during exposure. I mean, think about it --- how on earth would anyone be able to prove that? Do you know of anyone who knows where the virus entered their body when they got infected? If a person knew at the time they were being exposed, and exactly where on their body it was happening, why would they do it!?!?!

Thanks a lot for reading, just some random questions! If you can only answer one or two, or none, that's cool too! Feel free to post your own! :D

  • Just to reiterate, these are mostly just my own WAG type ramblings. Take care... :wavey:

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schmack

Let me give you my take without reading RGs answers and then we can compare :).

1) I remember reading that some people never develop antibodies for HSV. Does that mean that flare-ups will be more severe/last longer since they have no antibodies to fight them? Could they be asymptomatic?

I'm not aware of anything showing that some people don't develop antibodies at all. Some people won't develop the particular small subsection of the antibodies that the tests look for so they won't test positive. But that doesn't mean they are defenseless, just that the test is imperfect. I imagine immunocompromised people develop the fewest antibodies and suffer the most outbreaks as a result.

2) If you contract HSV1 and 2 in the same area of your body, what does that mean for outbreaks, etc? Simply more? Is there a discernible difference between them (just visually and without a viral culture) so you know what one you're having?

No studies so we have to guess on this one. We do know that if you have a higher percentage of latently infected cells, you have more outbreaks. So I would guess that people who somehow get double infected in one location like this would also have more outbreaks. I'm not sure if the two infections would somehow interact with each other or not, I doubt it. Don't think there is a visual difference between outbreaks of one or the other, although if its genital you would expect the vast majority to be from hsv2 and if oral, hsv1.

3) Do you breakout in the same exact spot all the time? For example, if your initial outbreak was at the right corner of your mouth, how often could you expect an outbreak at that corner as opposed to the center of your lips? How about either buttock or thigh?

You are most likely to have recurrences in the exact spot of your innoculation followed by other areas of skin served by the same nerve group followed by areas of skin served by a nerve group nearby on the spinal cord followed by areas of skin served by more distant nerve groups. Looking at a dermatome map gives you some idea gives you some idea where to expect outbreaks. You mostly get outbreaks close to previous ones, just keep in mind that close in a nerve group sense does not always mean close in a physical sense (ie, much of the buttox and genitals are served by the same nerves).

4) If both you and your partner have HSV1 from the same source, what are the odds of transferring it to another part of your or your partner's body? How much of a difference do antibodies make in ACTUAL transference?

If you have hsv1 for a while, the antibodies should make a huge difference in preventing you from getting hsv1 in another location. The fact that the source of hsv1 is the same (and thus it is the same strain) probably makes little or no difference. Both autoinnoculation and transfer from your partner should be very rare once you have the antibodies.

5) Can herpes live on a bar of soap? If so, approximately how long?

They have done studies showing that hsv can live on inanimate objects for hours. Its not typically transmitted this way probably because friction or an open cut is required for the virus to enter. You should be careful not to share things like towels during an outbreak. I'm not sure if this would apply to soap since soap kills hsv in a petri dish.

6) I see a lot of questions about "clothed" play on other sites, and answers saying how you "can't" get herpes that way. I've also seen sites that suggest not using "natural" condoms because the virus can transfer through them (as opposed to latex, which it cannot pass through). So the question is... CAN you get herpes through clothes? How about genital fluids that seep through or to the surface?

Can't is a strong word but keep in mind that it must be a sufficient amount of virus passing through to cause infection, not just any amount. I think its basically impossible to contract the virus through clothes, you need some kind of direct skin contact. I don't know anything about natural condoms. Latex condoms only provide about 30 percent protection anyways. I have high hopes that we will have a much more effective microbicide some day soon.

7) Where does the initial outbreak generally occur? At the exact site of infection? For instance, on the cheek from a kiss (as opposed to the mouth or eye)? Or does the virus go for the nerve first, incubate and then emerge wherever it pleases in the region of infection?

Well if it a true initial outbreak within a week or so of initial infection, I would expect the outbreak to start at the point of inoculation. It can then spread along the nerves from there. But I wouldn't expect somebody to get infected genitally and then have an outbreak on their butt two days later. The virus moves very slow.

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cemented3033

Thanks for your responses! Like I said, these are just a few questions to help me learn more about H! :D

RealisticGal: I liked your responses and a lot of them are in line with what I was already thinking. Especially the one about the soap. I always heard that soap killed the virus, and I figured by rubbing off the top layer, you'd just be exposing fresh soap underneath. As for number 6, the reason I asked that is because I thought the virus could be suspended in bodily fluids as well, so it looks like we're on the same page with that too. :)

schmack: After reading it, I agree with your answer to the first and second questions wholeheartedly. I hadn't thought about the relationship between latent cells and outbreaks. Number 4 intrigued me as well, I thought the strain would make a significant difference in transference, the same way that we're inoculated against influenza until a meaner strain comes along. I enjoyed your responses as well and I'm going to go check out a dermatome map right now :p

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