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How long can herpes be dormant?


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A rash appeared on my penis several weeks ago that was diagnosed as type 2 Herpes. I am nearly 75 years old and have been in a monogamous marriage for nearly fifty years. I did have numerous sex partners when I was young, mostly in Korea and Japan. I vaguely recall a rash on my penis when I was about twenty years old that was diagnosed as psoriasis which disappeared quickly when treated. I have had cold sores frequently but no outbreak on my genitals.

I have not been unfaithful to my wife and it is highly unlikely she has had sexual contact with anyone other than me. She has been quite ill for the past year and it would be nearly impossible for her to find the energy to have an affair.

She has never had symptoms in her genital area although she did have herpes in her mouth when she was being treated by a dentist.

Is it possible herpes type 2 could have remained dormant all of these years?

I did have shingles a couple of years ago. Also, I have been eating lots of whole grains and nuts in an effort to lower my cholesterol.

Any comments will be appreciated. The truth shall make us free.

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herpes can be passed frm mouth to gentils via oral sex... quite possible this is how you have gotten this terrible afflication...

herpes has been known to lie dormant for a very long time..

one poster believes she got it ten years ago and has only just had an outbreak.. so yes i wouldnt write of the fact itrs been dormant for a very very long time

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Yes herpes can remain latent or dormant for decades and although it appears to not be active on the skin it can still effect the carrier internally. it is also possible to have symptoms that are so mild that you disregard them completely as a heat rash or just an itch.

It is quite common when I have researched information on herpes to find that the exact time for it to reactivate is in the senior years when there are other health factors that can compromise the immune system.

Foods that are high in arginine can contribute to ob's as can prescription medications that contain steroids or corticosteroids.

If you are attempting to lower your cholesterol naturally and are not taking any rx - statin medications you may want to add lysine (1250 mg daily) as a supplement to balance the arginine rich foods (grains and nuts) and perhaps consider also adding siberian ginseng and red yeast rice (both lower cholesterol). (maybe ask your doc first)

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Thank you both for your helpful responses. You have made me feel better and also helped convince my dear wife that I have not been unfaithful. I will certainly take your advice on the food supplements.

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same here

I understand your dilemma. I too have been married for a very long time (30)

and was recently diagnosed with hsv11. It is odd that you mentioned that you had shingles because i did as well 7 months ago in addition to having surgery and bronchitis for 3 months, So maybe health issues do in fact cause this dreaded thing we have for it to surface after decades of time

any feedback from anyone on this?

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I don't think that most of us realize the toll stress alone can have on our lives.

It can be so simple you get out of bed and the cat threw up on the carpet, you try to make coffee and spill the grounds on the counter, you try to clean it all up as you go. You get ready to run to work or the market and there is traffic or an accident or long lines and suddenly you realize "wow this is stress". But as the day proceeds new stuff crops up, the temperature outside is too hot or too cold, you're hungry but you're stuck in traffic again and you have to wait - you finally get to sit down to eat and the phone rings or there is some minor problem.

All this stuff adds up and it is STRESS. Up against the things we consider to be STRESS such as a life altering moment, a death, cancer, a wedding, a birth, a new job, retirement or even purchasing a home and it effects us internally and can cause shingles or a hsv ob and we don't see it coming because we failed to prepare for STRESS that is so much a part of our everyday life.

Does this make sense? I've been realizing that I need to take into account the "everyday" not just the "big stuff" and keep myself healthy, happy and well rested along with the regular maintenance of exercise and eating well.

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I feel the stressesof everyday and don't give themanother thought just the bif stuff. I guess it is a combination of it all. I have been doing the super mom , super worker, super wife thing for way longer thatn I inteneded. I have justone other questoin for you: If I have indeed had it in my system allof these years, how in the world has my hubby not gotten before now. I have had 3 children, 2 of whom were high risk birth twins ( now that is stress)when I was in my 30s, do you not viral shed until you actually have an outbreak? thanks titanic

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titanic - I wish I had an answer to your question this is a virus, which is not like an actual organism, I visualize it as an invader from another planet, like in "War of the Worlds" and it has it's own rules.

That being said like in "War of the Worlds" there has to be some minor thing that can take it down but science hasn't isolated that yet. It is quite possible that you've had incredible timing or you have an incredible immune system or perhaps he has the incredible immune system and it just can't take hold or it hides so well that the tests just don't detect it.

This virus is hard for most of us to understand. Even scientists and dr's don't understand it very well. It is a foreign pathogen that sneaks into our bodies at lightening speed and takes over our own cells and causes those cells to not die but to provide a fortress for it to live in and our own immune system can't properly fight it without turning on itself.

I would hypothesize that neither you or I know exactly when we were exposed to it but we know it is there - we've noticed the symptoms and even though we each deal with tons of stress it has managed to be fairly under control for long periods of time. The viral shedding is something that can't be accurately equated because of the variables. I imagine it could not be active as much as we might imagine - remember that we picture and deal best with the worst case scenario rather than the best so that we aren't caught off guard. Maybe it doesn't shed frequently for you.

I'd recommend you see if your husband can get a blood test using the Western Blot as I understand it can detect this virus when other testing cannot.

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    • CHT
      Hello "FeelingLost".... your fears and concerns are understandable but, nothing you've described regarding the sexual encounter would cause you to contract herpes.... further, your symptoms are not herpes related.  Best of all, your doctor is correct, your results don't show any herpes here.  You can relax.... definitely have your GP take a look at things and see what might be causing the symptoms but, again, none of them are typical herpes related.  I wish you the best in terms of talking to your wife about this encounter.... hopefully she will understand and you both can work through this amicably.  We all make mistakes.... be careful not to beat yourself up too hard over this.... you can become so racked with guilt that you start imagining physical symptoms.  Best of luck.... and take care..... come back to the site if you have questions.
    • FeelingLost75
      Hi (I’m really scared and feel really disappointed in myself and worried about my future), I had oral sex with a condom almost 3 weeks ago and a massage parlor. I also received a hand job at the same time prior to putting a condom on, also may have rubbed my penis on her back a little. Did not touch her genitals I don’t recall any sores on her back. After the event she handed me a pice of TP and after I took off the condom I wiped my penis head to clear away the excess ejaculation…this is where I suspect I got infected, she had just gone pee and wiped and maybe touched a sore or something and then I got it on my penis from the tp? Idk. I’m just flailing.   After this I’ve had discomfort on the skin below the head of my penis and 4 bumps for 2 weeks now, the bumps don’t seem to have changed in size. I also had frequent urination for about a week and have had dull pain in my groin on and off. I also have some pins and needles on the sides of my abdomen/trunk that get worse when I go out in the heat or get dehydrated. I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping, likely due to guilt and shame and worry about the future.   so I got one test done at 10 days from the event (idk know if this can tell me anything… the doctor assured me it was 100% correct and I don’t have herpes. I was not physically examined). I got a full panel std. neg for everything. HSV-1 results: IgG 0.3 / HSV-2 IgG 0.9 hsv-1 IgM = 2.2 hsv-2 IgM = 3.0 (Reference V. Negative: Less than 9.0 Borderline: 9.0 to 11.0 Positive: Greater than 11.0) I have an appointment with my GP on Thursday, hoping he can help. Will likely go to a std testing service tomorrow to see if I can get in an antiviral proactively. Plan to get tested again this week.    
    • TS4real
    • FeelingLost75
      How are you doing now?
    • TS4real
      May 13 ( day I will never forget).. a guy I was dating and I drank way to much and decided to have anal sex. We did use protection however, not enough lube, wasn’t done correctly and it was painful. So bad that I yelled out and fell off the bed. Anyway, oral was also performed on me anal and vaginal. Flash forward to 3-4 days after that. I was in the most intense pain I had ever felt. I went to a gyn she tool one look and said it looks like herpes. She swabbed me . 2 days after that, yes it’s HSV1 . I was still in pain, irritated anal area and vaginal area and It was unbearable.  today, I still have irritation and itchy and when I pass a bowel i’m in pain and the itch is crazy.     When I first was diagnoses the gyn gave me valtrex which I did not take bc I was in so much pain I could not move for 2 days.  Groin lymphs were swollen I had fever , tired etc.  I am wondering if I had taken the valtrex would it have kinda liked stopped the virus in it’s tracks enough to reproduce? Do people see a correlation between no more outbreaks and immediate initial valtrex  use ? I am 43, I never thought this wound happen as I am not a promiscuous person, I hardly date and I always use protection when I do have intercouse , have yearly std tests. I’m just so sad that i’m at this point right now . I’m trying not to get depressed but this is making my body feel miserable. I’m an avid runner and biker and mom of two teens. I feel like my life as I knew is over. I want to feel better already.
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