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Does Acyclovir make you lose immunity?


HannahP

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Hi, I posted this originally on the veterans' forum but got no response yet so wondered if this might be a more appropriate place to discuss it:

I’m considering taking Acyclovir suppressively to reduce the risk of transmitting Ghsv2 to my partner. However I have read that Acyclovir taken for up to a year reduced neutralising antibodies by up to 37 % and levels are not restored even after the first untreated reoccurrence. Does this mean that if this relationship doesn’t work out, I could leave myself vulnerable to another HSV2 infection from someone else down the line because my immunity has diminished. I had my first outbreak in 2006 and took a blood test to find out which type I had in 2026. My index igg levels were hsv1: 9 and Hsv2: 6 - is this considered a low positive? Does that mean I have quite a low concentration of antibodies as it is?

I can’t seem to paste the link to the research I was looking at but it was D Gold et al 1988

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15 hours ago, HannahP said:

Hi, I posted this originally on the veterans' forum but got no response yet so wondered if this might be a more appropriate place to discuss it:

I’m considering taking Acyclovir suppressively to reduce the risk of transmitting Ghsv2 to my partner. However I have read that Acyclovir taken for up to a year reduced neutralising antibodies by up to 37 % and levels are not restored even after the first untreated reoccurrence. Does this mean that if this relationship doesn’t work out, I could leave myself vulnerable to another HSV2 infection from someone else down the line because my immunity has diminished. I had my first outbreak in 2006 and took a blood test to find out which type I had in 2026. My index igg levels were hsv1: 9 and Hsv2: 6 - is this considered a low positive? Does that mean I have quite a low concentration of antibodies as it is?

I can’t seem to paste the link to the research I was looking at but it was D Gold et al 1988

Hello HannahP..... I've also read somewhere that taking antivirals can lower antibodies (i.e., your body doesn't have to do the work to fight off the virus because the antiviral drug does most of the work).... but, if I understand your question correctly, you are asking if an antiviral drug like acyclovir would open you up to another HSV2 infection?  If that's your question the answer is, "no"..... you IgG results indicate both HSV1 and HSV2 infection.... neither is considered low positive.....you can't get HSV2 twice.... you already have it and you have the antibodies working in your favor.  HSV2 does not come at you more than once.... unfortunately, right now, those of us with the virus can't be cured of it but, we can lower our chances of outbreaks, shedding and passing the virus to others by taking antivirals (by the way, studies show that valacyclovir is more effective at lowering your chances of outbreaks and shedding than straight acyclovir).... I hope that answers your question.... let me know if I missed what you are asking.... take care.

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Hi CHT,

that’s super helpful and reassuring. I’m guess what I’m wanting to ascertain is whether the antivirals could suppress the antibodies to such an extent you wouldn’t have immunity to another hsv infection while taking them? Especially when taking them for suppression up to a year etc. 

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9 hours ago, HannahP said:

Hi CHT,

that’s super helpful and reassuring. I’m guess what I’m wanting to ascertain is whether the antivirals could suppress the antibodies to such an extent you wouldn’t have immunity to another hsv infection while taking them? Especially when taking them for suppression up to a year etc. 

Hi HannahP.... no, taking an antiviral daily won't suppress the antibodies and thereby allow for another HSV infection.... once your body was introduced to the virus, you now will always have the antibodies for HSV, so, don't worry about that.  Even if some studies show possible suppression of the antibodies with extended daily antivirals (this theory is not completely proven at this point), you still have the antibodies working for you.... therefore, you can't get HSV again... now to be clear,  you have HSV2 but, if you do not have HSV1 and later down the road you are in contact with someone who has HSV1, then your HSV2 antibodies will only provide limited support.... in other words, you could still contract HSV1.  As you probably know, HSV1 is very common....about 70% of adults in the U.S. have it so, there's a chance you may already have it as a result of a childhood exposure.  Hope that clears things up....I'd stick to the daily antiviral if it's helping you (that's what I do).... don't worry about catching HSV2 again... it's not possible....  

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Just to add on @CHT's comments.

Once you have an established HSV-2 infection - you have protection against a HSV-1 infection. It is estimated that maybe 1 in 50,000 people with (just a) genital HSV-2 infection would subsequently become infected with HSV-1. Strange that HSV-1 appears to give limited if any immunity from HSV-2, but that's just the way it is.

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26 minutes ago, WilsoInAus said:

Just to add on @CHT's comments.

Once you have an established HSV-2 infection - you have protection against a HSV-1 infection. It is estimated that maybe 1 in 50,000 people with (just a) genital HSV-2 infection would subsequently become infected with HSV-1. Strange that HSV-1 appears to give limited if any immunity from HSV-2, but that's just the way it is.

Question:  So, in my case, I'm negative for HSV1 but positive for HSV2..... is it possible that my lack of "support" from any antibodies for HSV1 puts me in a worse situation when dealing with the HSV2?  Do people with only HSV2 have a tougher time with outbreaks, shedding, etc than those that have both editions of HSV?  I have tried looking into this but, have not found anything to support this theory..... any thoughts?  Thanks in advance!

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10 minutes ago, CHT said:

Question:  So, in my case, I'm negative for HSV1 but positive for HSV2..... is it possible that my lack of "support" from any antibodies for HSV1 puts me in a worse situation when dealing with the HSV2?  Do people with only HSV2 have a tougher time with outbreaks, shedding, etc than those that have both editions of HSV?  I have tried looking into this but, have not found anything to support this theory..... any thoughts?  Thanks in advance!

Not sure about this, I don't believe there are any such studies. I suspect it may help somewhat to have both HSV 1/2 for a more 'comprehensive' immune response - but it is probably lost in the other variable aspects of our genetics, diets, stresses, other conditions etc.

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  • 5 months later...
On 12/21/2021 at 5:38 AM, HannahP said:

Hi, I posted this originally on the veterans' forum but got no response yet so wondered if this might be a more appropriate place to discuss it:

I’m considering taking Acyclovir suppressively to reduce the risk of transmitting Ghsv2 to my partner. However I have read that Acyclovir taken for up to a year reduced neutralising antibodies by up to 37 % and levels are not restored even after the first untreated reoccurrence. Does this mean that if this relationship doesn’t work out, I could leave myself vulnerable to another HSV2 infection from someone else down the line because my immunity has diminished. I had my first outbreak in 2006 and took a blood test to find out which type I had in 2026. My index igg levels were hsv1: 9 and Hsv2: 6 - is this considered a low positive? Does that mean I have quite a low concentration of antibodies as it is?

I can’t seem to paste the link to the research I was looking at but it was D Gold et al 1988

Under T-Cell the memory cell they are part of the adaptive response they don’t ho away. The reason we see clinical outbreaks is because hsv2 replicates at an alerting rate thereby overwhelming the immune system which counters over time to win and this is looped for the life of the human organism. At least until a functional cure surfaces. 

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