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SupportMe

Outbreak also means shedding???

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SupportMe

Does having an outbreak indicate you are probably also having asymptomatic virus shedding in other areas covered by the same nerves (incl saliva)?

That is, should I avoid kissing my wife and sharing food with the kids while having an outbreak on my chin/cheek/ear/neck???

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marriedwchildren

Yes, you should avoid all of that with an active outbreak. Asymptomatic shedding occurs when you usually have no signs of an outbreak and that is how most people contract this virus. I know oral herpes sheds more than genital hsv1 because that type prefers the lips more than the genitals and vice versa with hsv2 it like the genital more than the lips(on you face that is):grin: I know this can get confusing but to the right of this forum there are great we sites for information. Take care and keep your chin up.

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Caliope

Herpes resides in the central nervous system and when you have an outbreak it takes one route to the areas where you are having the outbreak and the virus is present at that location. It is going to show up unilaterally.

If you have an outbreak you do not have asymptomatic shedding because you are having symptoms. If you have a active coldsore you should refrain from having skin to skin contact as this is when they are the most contagious.

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SupportMe

Two contradictory replies - let me rephrase.

When the virus travels from the nerve cells to the skin surface, does it travel one path at a time, or can it travel several paths and one (or more) cause blisters while other (at the same time) cause asymtomatic shedding?

The question is if it is likely that asymtomatic shedding occurs in an area of skin (or saliva) different from where the current outbreak is, but at the same time?

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marriedwchildren

i understand your question now, i guess with this virus anything is possible, there is not a 100% certainty that when you have a symptom you cannot be shedding the virus in other areas that have no sores, but the research shows that asymptomatic shedding typically occurs when there are no active lesions or sores. Some people will get symptoms of an outbreak and never get sores. i was infected by my husband with ghsv1 when he did not have a cold sore. So that is why i say asymptomatic shedding is usually happening when you have no outward symptoms. It took me 24 years to become infected from my husband, when there was no symptom, it really is just bad luck. I hope this helped? If it did not then i hope someone else on this forum can better explain. Take care

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SupportMe
there is not a 100% certainty that when you have a symptom you cannot be shedding the virus in other areas that have no sores

Well, of course not (my bad). I'm just wondering if I am more likely to be shedding while having an outbreak compared to (the estimated 18%) while not having an outbreak.

I'm trying to accept that because of asymtomatic shedding I will probably infect my wife and kids with herpes sometime, unless I stop kissing them altogether - which I have kind of considered :(. I wonder if not kissing while having an outbreak anywhere may be the "middle road".

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Gonzales

Some people have no symptoms at all, and still shed. But not kissing... well, we're only human, and this nuisance shouldn't stop us from that. But I understand your thought, I understand it much too well...

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Caliope

The virus is much more contagious when there is an active ob. Of course no one will tell you that asymptomatic shedding doesn't occur at other times but it is not often if you are not having ob's.

If you are feeling like you are coming down with an illness or something such as stress is imparing your immune system you are more likely to be shedding the virus or to have an ob. Ob's also may come on if you are in the sun because it effects the langerhans cells that are part of your immune system. Other factors that lead to ob's may be not getting enough sleep and not drinking enough water.

If you feel an ob coming on avoid those kisses right then. If you feel tingling where you normally get your coldsore this may indicate an ob is pending. Also hold off on the kisses when you have a coldsore that is healing.

Affection is important to your overall health and you should be able to give kisses just be aware of your health and avoid the riskier times. In other words you shouldn't give up kisses just be cautious.

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chay5

Well, there are some things about what they say about herpes OBs I do not understand.

For example they say that if you want to have a swab culture taken from the HSV sore, you should do it as soon as sore appears - because if you test it later, there will be no HSV in there.

I had swab tests done on my sores asap and they all came back negative. Lots of people can tell the same story. So how can it be? Why do they say then that you are contagious for as long as sores are present?

So on one hand Doctors tell you that the virus is most likely to be and shed through the sores, and on another hand they tell you that it is present in the sores only for a very short time in the beginning of OB. :confused:

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Caliope

chay5 - first ob's are distinctly different from reoccurring ob's because once the virus is established it lives in the nervous system and the virus is traveling to the skin's surface and the skin is reacting. With an initial ob the virus is more active on the skin because the antibody response is immature and clumsy.

Always the symptoms of an ob are caused by your bodies immune system and how it is responding to the virus. In other words the virus doesn't cause the sore or the itching or the blister/sore/lesion your immune system causes this to try to flush the virus away.

I explain it this way so that you understand that the virus takes it's route to the surface as fast as it can and your immune system sends its response and once the immune response starts the virus is weakened on the surface and what is left of it is quickly eliminated by the immune system. What doesn't get eliminated is the virus that has taken refuge in your central nervous system inside of your cells and where your immune system can't recognize it well enough to kill it without attacking your own cells. This is why we don't have a cure yet. It is complicated to design a cure that can help our bodies recognize how to kill off our own unhealthy mutated cells without doing damage to healthy un-mutated cells.

Anyways when it comes to a diagnosis made with an ob and a swab the virus is on the surface for a very limited amount of time and there is a relatively small window to get that swab cultured. It can be a very tiny reaction and almost no visible sores and still render a positive hsv result if taken immediately.

It is safer to assume you are contagious when there is the presence of sores than to try to determine an exact window - there are too many variables.

I hope I didn't lose you all here.

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chay5
It is safer to assume you are contagious when there is the presence of sores than to try to determine an exact window - there are too many variables.

Okay, I understand. It's more likely that initial OBs are going to be more contagious longer.

Later on, antibodies are established and the virus gets eliminated more quickly

So I guess that is why after 4 years from initial OB, my sores could never test positive for HSV.

It could also means, that those who have had the virus for years are not so contagious to their partners even during OBs.

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Caliope

That sounds right to me.

I had a positive swab on what I think was a second ob and the first one to have a blister (very small) but I had other symptoms that day that were very painful. I got to the dr. the day they arrived or the day after. Note: the blisters were tiny and clustered and they did not have to break them open to get the swab.

I've had only one (confirmed) ob since then and it was even smaller. I'm currently waiting for results of a blood test. I believe it will be positive. I also had symptoms I thought were from hsv that have turned out to be from something entirely different.

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SupportMe

When I think about it, it really comes down to whether the virus is more likely to takes a single path from the nervous system to the skin, or if it usually takes several paths to different locations.

If I have no visible outbreak, there is about 18% chance I have (oral HSV-1) asymptomatic virus shedding.

If I have a visible outbreak and the virus usually only takes a single path to the skin, it means that the likelihood of asymptomatic virus shedding - at the same time but at another skin location connected with the same nerve cells - is less than 18% percent, since the "probably only" path is obviously somewhere else.

If I have a visible outbreak and the virus usually takes multiple paths to the skin, the likelihood of concurrent asymptomatic virus shedding is more than 18%, since the virus obviously currently has made it to the skin through at least one path.

So, is there any data on whether HSV usually takes a single path or multiple paths to the skin, or if it differs between persons???

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Lee2008

I am reading through all the threads trying to understand. I have outbreaks on the right side of my buttchecks. Am I only contagious in that area where I have the outbreaks/sores? Or am I contagious everywhere?

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helied2me

Hi Lee,

It's hard to say because viral shedding can involve the entire boxer shorts region. It would be best to avoid touching the sores and to also avoid any sex up until a week after the outbreak heals. Viral shedding can occur up to a week before and after an outbreak. Hope that helps.

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Lee2008

Yes it does I am just getting different answsers from different forums. I just went today to get my bloodwork done to see when I possibly caught the virus. I needed to see if I recently got the virus or if I have had the virus for years. I am hoping it will put my mind at ease. My first doctor who did a swab test did not really seem like she wanted to talk about it.

Guess I am still unsure of how contagious I am when I am contagious and what areas of my body are contagious. I know that nobody knows when shedding occurs it could happen at any time. Is my whole boxer region possible contagious only when I have outbreaks? Am I always contagious, or is it my actual sore on my outer buttcheck???? This is such an important question I need to have verified.

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helied2me

Hi Lee,

Have you checked out the link to the right under Prevention titled What Is Viral Shedding? If not, check this page and hopefully that will help but I don't think there is any pat answer. As much as we all would like to know how this works, it's all just a mystery. Wish I could answer your question and I see that you have probably been to a lot of sites looking for them just as we all have but as you can see, it's not that black and white.

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Lee2008

Thank you very much for your help. I will check out the site to the right and see what it says. I guess I just need to come to the conclusion that I can't 100% prevent transmitting this virus and I just need to think of it as a skin infection. I am still waiting on the results on my bloodwork to determine how long I have had this virus. I have had a boyfriend for almost 2 years now. I get my bloodwork on Tuesday the day of our 2 year anniversary. What a way to tell him. Hey babe happy 2 year anniversary I have ghsv

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Caliope

Lee2008 - bloodwork can't tell you when you were infected. the only time it can indicate this is if you had a negative blood test today and a positive blood test in several months. Of course if you have a positive swab today and the blood test is negative it could be a recent infection. If this is the case have your partner get a blood test. It is possible they've had it didn't know and passed it to you unawares. They could be assymptomatic from time to time.

You can have the virus and not be contagious 24/7. Usually our immune system can keep it in check and the shedding or ob only comes about when your immune system is compromised. For most people this is when you get worn down and don't take the best care of yourself or you've become ill.

Things that wear down your immune system include: stress, not enough sleep, crappy nutrition, smoking, drinking or other recreational drugs, not enough water or proper exercise.

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