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Margaux

suppressive therapy question~

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Margaux

I was just diagnosed with herpes in the beginning of November. My body is still not making antibodies as I tested negative by blood test today. This was my second test. I know some people don't show antibodies until three or more months after exposure, so it is normal to still show a negative reading. I have been on Valtrex since the day I was diagnosed and had planned to continue taking it continuously to avoid outbreaks.My question is this: Is my taking of antivirals on a daily basis a bad thing ? Should I allow my body to make the antibodies and then consider going back on the meds?

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JBnATL

Are you in a relationship with a person who does not have this? If so, taking daily meds can reduce the risk of transmission by 50%.

However, if you are not seeing someone, and your outbreaks are not that severe then you might want to stop taking them and let your body get used to dealing with the virus with out the crutch of taking meds.

Good luck!

JB

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Margaux

Hi JB, I am married. My husband has HSV genitally and orally. He was diagnosed 25 years ago and does not know if he has type I, II or both. I have managed to escape it for 14 years. Me getting this virus was an eventuality. I still do not know if I have type I or II. In a way, it does not matter as we will not change our sex life because of this. I would like to know the type I have and need to see this diagnosis in writing even though it is quite clear what I have. I didn't know if going off the meds would make things very bad for me as I have been on them for 6 or 7 weeks and have felt soooo sick (flu-ish) the whole time with the exception of about three days. I also didn't know if the meds were impeding my body from making the antibodies. Thanks for your response.

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death2herpes

it is possible for suppressive therapy started immediately to delay IGG test seroconversion (not sure how much they can significantly affect the entire immune response though, which is more complex than just the IGG titres). but that may well be a contributing factor to your still negative test results. or if it's HSV1, it may not be showing up, or ever show up, bc the test is not as sensitive to some HSV1 strains as to HSV2.

but i don't see a downside to trying a break from the antivirals -- you may end up having mild, infrequent or no recurrences so you may not even require them and are just taking them needlessly at this point since there is noone for you to protect from transmission. especially since the symptoms you describe may be side effects of the medication.

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Margaux

Thanks very much, death2h. I finished the RX I had and am gonna try having my immune system flying solo and see what happens. I have read that the blood test can miss 1/10 cases of hsv1. Thanks again.

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ktbabii35

i havent been tested for antibodies. i contracted herpes in august... and found out in december. why would i need to be tested for antibodies?

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death2herpes

well, if you say you found out 4 months later and it was not by AB test then it was culture or PCR. which presumably was typed so you know you have that type. but if you were not tested for ABs then you don't know whether you have the other type too...

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Lattegirl
i havent been tested for antibodies. i contracted herpes in august... and found out in december. why would i need to be tested for antibodies?

Because you can't diagnose herpes by symptoms alone. You could have HPV, which sets you up for cervical cancer. If you have antibodies, then the virus has been in your body. A PCR or culture will tell you if you have virus in your system, but these are only positive if you are shedding virus or have active virus (not latent). Thus, without a definitive test, everything is just speculation.

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