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    • Unrequited
      Fair enough. I took from reading Halfords essay was that, it did decrease, but there was no indication it was in any way permanent and your immune system could easily come back up to levels of defense it previously had. It's late and I cannot be bothered to read the studies. You have convinced me. I was quite worried actually about the possible ability for antivirals to reduce the ability of the immune system to fight the virus as I was going to the doctors tomorrow to get a prescription. Not because I need to, but to reduce transmission for someone I care about. I was worried that it might be a bad idea and had certain thoughts of just not pursuing a relationship with her. This has helped my resolve, to the doctors it is.
    • Unrequited
      I AM SO ANGRY! SO SO ANGRY. No, i'm not angry at herpes. I am not angry at my giver (stupid thing to say)............. No i'm not '@#%ing ANGRY AT THAT FFFS!! No, I am angry that for years I have felt bad for having herpes, like there was something wrong with me, that I was dirty or tainted. That i wasn't lovable, that I had to keep a secret...... A secret, a secret that half of the world have?  Do I not tell people I am male, or have brown hair, do I hide this?  Hiding it, and being ashamed, it is just delusional. It's insanity, a worldwide joke...... It's just, it's just, imbecilic! That's what it is.. Herpes is just a virus, a stupidly amazingly ultra common virus, that's been around for hundreds of millions of years............. -  Repeat after me, FOUR BILLION PEOPLE HAVE EITHER HSV1 OR HSV2. Parents purposefully go out of their way to make sure their kids get Chickenpox.... I am angry at this cultural bullshit stigma, placed upon herpes, an insidious cultural hypnosis ! I am just dumbfounded, utterly dumbfounded. Every bastard has it, EVERYONE! Or if they don't, their best friend or mum or sister or son or wife or boss or the old lady who sells you flowers. The most wonderful, amazing people you have ever met, the kindest, bravest selfless souls have herpes. IT IS A FACT OF LIFE, JUST LIKE BREATHING... But people are SHAMED into thinking it's a horrible thing. This is just insanity.. But we destroy ourselves emotionally because of a LIE. YOU HAVE BEEN LIED TO. HAVE NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. The stigma and the shame is a lie, forced on you through unspoken cultural naratives and fears. I am angry..... I am angry for all the people who are destroyed by the stigma, my heart goes out to them, those that shut themselves away, feel unloved, feel like their life is over. People have taken their lives over the stimga, it is so upsetting to think about. You are lovely, and you are wonderful and you are truly amazing. Please don't believe the bullshit I love you, i don't care if you have herpes or not. You are wonderful. I'm off to bed. Night x
    • VVK
      So we seem to have some inferences being made based on data from two studies that were both done in 1988. The following may be a bit TLDR for those who don't have a scientific background (see TLDR summary at the end), but for those that do here goes: One study (Erlich's) shows daily acyclovir dosing decreased antibody concentrations on average by 10% (as measured by optical density, a difference between ~0.165 to ~0.15), although 22% of those trial participants getting a daily dose of acyclovir actually had an increase in antibody concentrations. In discussion of those results: "Although some reports have suggested that the first HSV recurrence following cessation of long-term acyclovir chemosuppression may be more severe than those previously experienced, we did not observe this in our study." The other study (Gold's) involves 33 people, of which 22 got daily oral acyclovir and 11 got a placebo. Already, the treatment group is double the size of the placebo group. The assignment of the groups is also odd. Interestingly, 16 of the 22 assigned to daily oral acyclovir got outbreaks anyway while on acyclovir. Some of those assigned to the daily acyclovir came into the study already having more outbreaks than those that went into the placebo group. Some of those participants on placebo ended up having fewer outbreaks than those that were on acyclovir. For Gold's data, I recommend looking at Figure 2 and 3 rather than Figure 1.. Figure 1 shows the changes in the antibody levels of two individuals (for comparison), whereas Figure 2 and 3 shows the entire pool of participants. Figure 2  and 3 doesn't show which participant's antibody levels went up or down, but generally you can see it's not a very dramatic change and that there are large variations in the changes. Here's the kicker for you from the same article (Gold's): Correlating antibody decreases and clinical parameters of disease. To determine whether the magnitude of decrease in antibody levels during one year of acyclovir treatment had an effect on the course of disease during and after therapy, we evaluated the relation between clinical parameters and the peak height for each antibody and for "total" antibody (total of peak heights for gB, gG, gCgE, VP16, and gD) for each acyclovir-treated patient. The clinical parameters were as follows: (1) time to first recurrence after therapy, (2) duration of the first recurrence after therapy, (5) duration of pain of first recurrence after therapy, and (4) number of breakthrough recurrences during therapy. No correlation was detected between the magnitude of decrease in any antibody or "total" antibody and any of these clinical parameters (data not shown). There are other gems in the discussion as well - for example, lower gB levels were associated with shorter outbreak pain duration. Those with lower levels of the other antibodies also had fewer lesions in subsequent outbreaks. Interesting read. As much as Dr. Halford likes to use Figure 1 of Gold's article, the rest of it doesn't quite fit his message. Once the legs of the table are taken out, the rest of Dr. Halford's argument about HSV antiviral drugs topples down. TLDR summary: Even if antibody counts can be shown to convincingly be decreased as a result of daily antiviral dosing over a prolonged period of time, that is an effect on antibody counts. This doesn't translate to an effect on the immune system's ability to fight HSV - probably because HSV usually tricks the immune system into recognizing useless portions of the virus that don't help with actually controlling outbreaks.
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