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No OBs no symptoms, wtf?


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Hello everyone!

So I'll probably kick myself for saying this as it might hex me, but . . I want to know if this is normal and if anyone else has had this experience.

I was diagnosed by a blood test about 2 years ago. I have NEVER had an OB, or any of the other symptoms of a prodrome (pain, etc). I have been under a LOT of stress in the past few years at various times, and haven't exactly taken care of my body the way I should. (mostly diet issues). Still, no OB. Also, got retested about 6 months ago, and again, a positive result on the blood test.

Also, the man I was and I emphasize WAS, with just got tested and tested negative for it (I saw the results). We had unprotected sex for six months before I even knew I had it. Once I found out, we used protection EVERY SINGLE time.

So . . . now that I'm looking towards new relationships, how much about this do I need to disclose. If I have never had an OB, what is the likelihood that I ever will? Am I only slightly contagious like 3 days out of the year? Seriously, if I insist on protection with future partners (which I want to do for my OWN health as well), what is the likelihood that they might contract it?

Okay, last question. If I date someone that DOES get serious and frequent OBs, will this increase my chance of having serious OBs? Is Herpes like HPV, where there are hundreds of different strains, or is it all one virus?

Sorry for so many questions, I just haven't been able to find any answers anywhere on the net, and my doc is real nonchalant about the whole thing. I NEED ANSWERS.

Thank you for any input you might be able to give.


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There are two strands of hsv but numerous strains that can be contracted and some are worse than others. Yes you can contract another strain or strand.

Just because you do not experience ob's does not mean that you do not have viral shedding. Further, since you do not know where the virus resides you should consider that the infection can be anywhere on your body. Of course the two locations of the most frequent infections of hsv are the mouth and genital areas.

I have to believe that you have a healthy immune system which is a plus. This will help to keep shedding frequency down but it is impossible to predict when it is happening without symptoms.

You may be an excellent candidate for using vitamin supplements and diet to continue to keep ob's away.

I recommend that you always use condoms for either oral or genital sexual contact and let partners know that you have tested positive, have never had an ob and do not know where the infection is. Heck it could be anywhere.

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Isn't it also possible that you have antibodies, without infection? Usually when you have antibodies to any bacteria or virus it means you were exposed at one point or another to a varius degree or another. So maybe you were just exposed a very small amount of the virus?

Also, the two other ways to have antibodies are through colostrum/breastmilk and immunization. So I would think if your mother had a virus, she would have antibodies and could give you those antibodies as protection while breastfeeding. I know with Lyme disease and syphillis and baby can have antibodies for both of those but the baby is not considered infected unless the amount is above a certain threshold.

If I were you, I probably wouldn't say I had hsv2 unless I had some symptoms of it at least once in my life. I would use condoms to err on the safe side though. And you could always tell yuor partner your odd situation- testing positive without any symptoms ever.

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I caught hsv2 from someone who, like you, never gets outbreaks or has any prodromal symptoms. Unfortunately they also never had a herpes blood test done so they didn't even know they had it. We made the discovery that he was HSV2 positive by me catching it and getting the outbreak from hell (evidently I don't have an iron constitution).

And for further history - before me this person was in a long term monogamous relationship of 7 years, and the H never crept up in that relationship. So, out of the blue, after he has been infected for who knows how long (his more promiscuous years were at least a decade ago), he shares this with me...

The fact that you got a positive test twice is about as conclusive as can be as to your positive herpes status. Your risk of being contagious may be lower than people who experience frequent OBs, but unfortunately like Caliope said, it's impossible to predict.

Assuming you have genital herpes...

The things that might be helpful to tell partners is that the risk is fairly low, and the female->male transmission rate is lower than the other way around. One study had it at about 4% in a year that females would infect males partners (the other way around was about 10%) during the course of a year, assuming they abstained from sex during outbreaks and symptoms, etc. Keep in mind that although that statistic sounds pretty good, it really sucks when you become one of the 4%! Condoms of course help but can't cover all your external genitalia so there is always that risk...

Anon - if everyone waited for symptoms before they claimed they had HSV my partner would still be waiting to say he had gHSV2 (and trust me, I know for sure I caught it from him!). Even now, after knowing he has HSV2, he still has no symptoms (usually people are more in tune to symptoms after a diagnosis)!

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To the middle comment, or anyone, doesn't the blood test only able to test for ANTIBODIES? What the hell does antibodies mean in medical terms? Does this mean I have it? Or that I'm immune to it? Or that I can get it if my immune system goes haywire? I'm just so confused. Thanks for feedback!

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I've always had a fear that if I got hsv2 that I would end up getting it on my fingers from fingering my girlfriend then have to worry about viral shedding from herpes whitlow. Shedding is very uncommon in regions other then genitals with hsv2 but its not unpossible like you said it depends on the strain. Lysine for the win.

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yes, the blood tests look for antibodies to diagnose you.

Your body develops very specific antibodies after you have been infected (you will only get antibodies from an infection or a pseudo-infection, like a vaccine). The antibodies are part of the way your body fights the infection. Your body also develops a "memory" of the infection, and you keep a few of the memory-type antibodies with you even after the initial infection is gone so that you have an arsenal ready to go in case you encounter it again. Usually the memory is thought to be lifelong, and that is why the blood tests work: even if you don't have an active infection, you will still have the antibodies in your system.

With some diseases, antibodies can grant immunity (mumps, measles, etc), but unfortunately, Herpes is quite sneaky, and it hides from your immune system. Thus, your body never eradicates Herp, and you can still experience outbreaks. You can also have asymptomatic viral activity, which is why there is always a small risk of shedding.

Hope that helps it make more sense...

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I really want to have sex with my girlfriend so bad, she says she usually knows when she is shedding but most of the time you don't have symptoms of shedding. The valtrax is supposed to help alot though.

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  • 4 weeks later...


I am sorry you contracted herpes from someone who never had even one outbreak. Is that unusual? I thought people who said that were lying about having an outbreak because they were embarrassed to admit it. I thought someone would have some type of reaction to hsv2, but I guess it makes sense since many people have hsv1 orally and never have a cold sore.

Other question, antibodies are made by our body when we are exposed to a bacteria, virus, fungus, etc or when we are immunized or when we are given colostrum/breastmilk as a baby. The antibodies latch on to invaders and signal our cells to destroy the invader. Vast majority of the time, if you have antibodies to something, it means you were infected at one point or another, but it could also mean you were immunized or you received antibodies through breastfeeding. I know with syphillis, you can receive antibodies through breastmilk, without getting infected.

If you have antibodies to hsv2, you were most likely infected at one point or another. It would be extremely rare/almost impossible if you werent. Your infection could be anywhere, even orally.

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I got it from my boyfriend after having sex with him for 3 years and he NEVER had a sign or a symptom and we had sex almost ever single day and he had no clue it was even possible for him to have something like that.....and then bam! one day I get this horrible weird rash down below and find out it is herpes......talk about shocking and baffling.........he was more stunned than me............its way more common than you think. I cant find the website i read it off of but it is some insane percentage of people acquire this disease when their partners are NOT showing signs or do not even have a clue they are even infected so be careful.The risk is higher than you think when asymptomatic.

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