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Suppressive therapy vs. allowing immune system to fight on its own


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I had my first ob a few months ago, a pretty bad one according to the doctor who diagnosed it. I have had several more obs since then, with the symptoms ranging from mild to very mild. The initial ob I treated with aciclovir, subsequent ones with L-lysine, Dynamiclear and other natural salves, supplements, etc. They always cleared up within a few days.

So, while I have certainly been bothered by these obs, I can't say they cause any real suffering, physically or psychologically in my life. Still, I don't feel my best, and though I know it's still early in the game I have considered going on some kind of suppressive therapy, whether an antiviral, or L-lysine and other supplements, etc., BUT at the same time I want to give my immune system the best chance get a handle of this new condition.

I have read posts saying things to the effect of: "I've been suppressing for 2 years [either antiviral, L-lysine, whatever] and the day I went off, bang, terrible outbreak..."

One idea I had was applying Purrell on a daily basis (I read about the technique on this site). It seems that this does help to prevent external symptoms from popping up, but since it is a topical therapy I figured it would still allow the immune system to do its work internally, to fight on its own.

So I guess my question would be, is there any evidence, or at least science-based reason to believe, that suppressing the virus, either naturally (in a vigorous way, like with lots of supplements, vitamins, etc) or with medication (like Valtrex), would slow down, or interfere with the process of the body learning to keep the virus in check on its own?

I have seen this subject touched on in various posts, though do not know if an entire thread has been dedicated to it yet. (If one has, please send the link.)

Thanks in advance for any input you may have.

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not a science based answer..............but it sounds like you're doing ok as you are, with what you're doing.

I'm on Valtrex and I've just had my 2nd OB, it's lasted as long as my 1st OB, meaning 6 weeks or so. So, if your symptoms are as mild as they are, honestly I'd keep doing as you're doing.

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Sorry to hear your obs last so long. Have you tried other therapies aside from Valtrex?

For now, I really only take Vitamins, mostly C, plus a multivitamin. The obs are fairly frequent, though mild, and seem to respond well to most of what I throw at them (which is mostly natural stuff). But even when nothing breaks the surface, I can feel those zings and pings and in general just don't feel my best (down there).

I would be willing to sacrifice some short-term comfort if in the long-term that would help my body deal with this virus better, but I am just not sure that is the case.

I figure at the very least L-Lysine on a daily basis would help, and maybe also some of the other vitamins/minerals/supplements that I have used only during obs thus far.

But again, I am only a few months in, and it's not worth it to me if this will make my body less able to fight this battle on its own, or significantly slow down that process.

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Valtrex is the only anti-viral i've taken. And yes, I'm taking other supplements, mega doses Vit C, L-Lysine, Selenium. I have other health issues, my immune system isn't the best under 'normal' circumstances, so I guess, my body is just really struggling to deal with it.

I sometimes wonder though if the Valtrex is now helping [it did 1st OB] or whether I'd be better off it for now. I've only had GHSV2 for 5 months. See how I go.

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I have had the same question. Since they say you need 3-6 months to develop antibodies, it would stand to reason you give your body those 3-6 months on its own to accomplish that. Whatever symptoms remain after that, you just throw at valtrex to deal with. But maybe it also stands to reason that since suppressive therapy isn't a cure-all, your body is still tasked with doing some (or much) of the fighting itself, thereby building up its own defenses concurrent with meds, anyway. Would someone on daily anti-virals from day 1 never test positive in a blood test, even a year or two down the line? I sort of doubt it, and think there would be measurable antibodies there, despite the meds.

Myself, I have a bottle of valtex sitting around that I haven't cracked yet. Its been ~6 weeks since getting hsv, with two mild/barely visible (but uncomfortable and kind of longish) outbreaks, but, as long as I'm not sleeping with someone, I'm sort of waiting to see how herpes is for me before going on the suppressive meds. Then at least I have something to measure against when I go to see what helps and what doesn't. So, I agree with you on the riding it out strategy, at least for the information about how the virus effects you. It can only get better from there. :)

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one possible advantage of early antiviral therapy is to reduce the latent pool. there were studies that showed early intervention with famciclovir decreased the number of recurrences later.

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Calm... my personal experience is a lot like you. I took the meds for my first 2 OB's now i just take the vitamins that don't really apply as suppressive medication since it does not act directly on the virus but on your immune system, which is exactly what I was looking for.

I OB'd non stop for 3 months straight at first, now I get fewer and milder OB's and I'm very consequent with my supplements, the plus on this I've found is that I don't even get a common cold anymore which to me is really rare.

My body is fighting it like a champ but I am helping it. Our best weapon against recurrences is our body, so we better take good care of it. A good diet and exercise also help.

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    • sgt98
      Hey @WilsoInAus ok thank you, I will do my best to move on and stop trawling forums haha. 
    • WilsoInAus
      Hey @sgt98 but there is no feasible infection or outbreak to suppress and antivirals do not suppress an initial outbreak in any event 
    • sgt98
      Thanks @WilsoInAus I understand apologies for this but the only other thing I am worried about is that I did take a course of Famvir on day 1 as I felt like I was having an outbreak of cold sores and am worried that has suppressed the initial outbreak genitally 
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @sgt98 it is not feasible to obtain a HSV-2 infection from receiving oral sex - only HSV-1 is feasible but you've already got that and immunity from any further infection with HSV-1. You do not need any further tests for HSV. You're feeling regret, try to forgive yourself and calm down, let the rational take over. You know the answer here and it won't be long until you believe it too.
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @NerdP423 and welcome to the website. You raise a lot of points and I think the best way to address your concerns is add some comments at each key point. I've copied your note again below and added these comments in square brackets. I appreciate any insight (even speculation) as to what has been going on with me. I'm a 37y/o M. I last was intimate with a new partner on 2/11/2022, and a few days later started having a huge amount of discomfort in my face. [The first thing that happens though is that herpes causes lesions or at least some skin based disruption. Other symptoms are then related to the actions of the immune system responding to the virus. Without lesions, it is highly questionable that the ailment is related to herpes, yet testing is useful if you have concerns as you have done so.] About a month after that [herpes causes issues within days, if the first 'symptoms' are a month later - its extremely unlikely they are related to herpes], significant discomfort downstairs, however every test I have ever taken for HSV 1 and 2 has been negative. Here are the details: Face: Previously, some significant tingling and itching on the right side of my mouth, lips and chin (still there, but milder) [herpes does not cause general tingling and itching, it can cause a reasonably concentrated feeling of itch/throb from which a herpes lesion appears within hours]. Occasional hot flashes near my right eye, cheek and ear [herpes does not do this, it may be a immune response to something, or stress]. Sometimes it will feel like the skin is crawling on the right side of my face [herpes does not cause a general crawling sensation]. Never seen anything that looked like a traditional cold sore [that's extremely telling, even people with associated atypical symptoms will have experienced herpes lesions]. Occasionally, the left side of my face will have a momentary feeling of skin crawling, but it's so mild that I am not really worried about it. Downstairs: Thankfully, most of these are now milder than they were before. Occasional momentary pinch of pain at the base of my genitals. [herpes does not cause a general pinch feeling.] Aching pain in my boxer area (groin, leg folds) [nor this] Occasional feeling of cold in my boxer area, butt, or lower back. ( also in my shins and occasionally even my arms) [nor this] On 4/30/2022, I had been in discomfort for almost two months. I scratched an itch, noticed it hurt, and then checked - I did have an open ulcer down there. Took myself to the ER to get swabbed, came back negative. [If this was a PCR then this will be very conclusive.] Practitioner said it may come back negative because it was already open. However the lab report noted that it definitely didn't look like what you'd expect a typical first herpes outbreak to look like [how would the lab know??]. All blood tests negative so far. I had two western blots, the second one was nine months after exposure. [Two negative Westernblots!!! Many that's real convincing]. All other swabs also negative. I went to urgent care, because I know the timeliness of when the Swab is taken matters. One time, a swab was not done, because practitioner said it was folliculitis and wouldn't swab it (It was at my belt line). [Belt line is highly unlikely to relate to herpes.]   A blood test revealed I had low-ish B12 (technically in range, but at the very low end, especially for a man of my size). I had a series of B12 injections, and I am taking a B12 supplement. I am not taking any lysine or arginine at the moment. I was taking the Arganine to see if I could induce an outbreak. [This is irrelevant, there is no known linkage between herpes outbreaks and arginine/lysine intake - its a myth - and B12 infers nothing.] I think what I am asking is - has anyone here ever repeatedly tested negative over and over again over long period of time, before getting a definitive answer, be a positive test, or something else? [The answer to this is: Extremely few people with a HSV-1 infection and even more rarely HSV-2 test repeatedly negative on Westernblot and actually carry the virus. Of the cases that I know of that had delayed detection by a swab and negative blood tests in the meantime (and that's only 3-4 cases), they had some form of lesions within days of infection but did not obtain a swab for various reasons and then obtained a positive swab of a subsequent lesion with the record being 11 months later. A couple of the cases did have some 'background' symptoms they thought might be related to herpes but that isn't ascertained and some did not have any unusual symptoms at all apart from the lesions. Hence as you did not have lesions around your mouth or lips within days of the last sexual encounter as is exceptionally common for a primary oral HSV-1 infection, that pretty much rules out herpes orally as it is. The fact that you had no genital symptoms for a month also rules out genital herpes. I am not aware of anyone at all who has genuinely gone on to test positive by swab or blood in your specific circumstances. There are hundreds if not more than a thousand experiences on this website alone that are similar to yours that are truly negative for herpes I'm one of them!]  
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