I found out I had genital herpes in 1994. I just sort of accepted it and never asked any questions. I don't know if its HSV1 or HSV2. I'm married and to my knowledge have never given it to my husband. He's never had a test and has never had symptoms. I only had one outbreak in 1994 and never seemed to have symptoms again, at least none that I sought medical attention for or took drugs for. I'm curious now if I still shed even though I haven't had an outbreak for 20 years. Does the virus get suppressed to the point the shedding stops eventually?
To verify which type you have you can get an IgG type specific blood test for HSV-1 and HSV-2. Since you haven't had an outbreak in 20 years then it would be atypical for it to be HSV-2. Genital HSV-1 would be more likely if you do have herpes since most people with genital HSV-1 don't have any future outbreaks.
Shedding is more frequent during the first year of infection, but after the first year it generally remains the same. There is a correllation between shedding and outbreak frequency, so since you're having no outbreaks you're probably shedding little. There really is no way to know for sure if shedding stops eventually since once you're positive for HSV-1 or HSV-2, the antibodies will always be in your system, which are detected by the blood test, not the virus itself. It's possible that shedding could stop completely, but is definitely not probable.
actually the number of ob's has little to do with how often you are shedding. if it's hsv2, the amount of shedding is about the same whether you have 0 ob's a year or 10 ob's a year. Hsv1 genitally in general doesn't shed much nor does it reoccur much.
obviously your genital herpes hasn't been much of a deal for you. I would assume since you are posting about it now, that it's on your mind. Any particular reason why?
I never really made much effort to learn about it, probably because I didn't want to think about it. I've been curious lately just to learn more and the only info I can find online is about recent diagnosis or managing outbreaks. I found a mention that outbreaks occur less frequently later, but I'm interested in knowing more about how the virus works at the stage of life I'm in. You're right, I've been fortunate that it hasn't really affected me much in life. I just want to know what I have. I will probably ask my OBGYN next time I see her if I can get a test to at least find out if it's 1 or 2. I honestly don't even remember what my doctor did when I was diagnosed. It was my family doctor, I was 18, and I have no idea what kind of test he did other than just a visual exam. He prescribed Zovirax and it went away.
the herpes virus is most active during the first 6 months to a year of being infected and then it settles down and stays about the same for the rest of your life. One study showed that about 1/4 of folks had less ob's after being infected over 5 years, 1/4 had more and the rest all had about the same number of recurrences. It isn't a health risk as we age or anything like that.
At this point, both you and your husband can seek out type specific herpes igg blood testing to see who has what just so you know and go from there. I doubt you would change anything about what precautions you take or anything at this point from the sounds of things but as you know already, it's not really the big issue folks sometimes assume it has to be :)
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