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HERPES and clothing or other objects
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HERPES and clothing or other objects

Hi.
Lately I am abit terrified of passing HSV-2 to my baby. I have a genital herpes for years and high positive IgG. I wash my hand after I use the toilets ofcourse, but lately I started to over react I guess...this is why I am asking you.
1. For example: If I have a lesion around the anus and after I weap it with a paper (after stool) maybe a virus can move up a bit (I weap from frontal to back), and then I can wash my hands and go out the toilett, and without even notice fix my T-shirt in my pants and by mistake touch this virus from earlier...Can I transmit the virus in this way????
2. Or even a towel...should I use a different towel to the lesion area?
3. Is the virus staying on the door when I go out from the bathroom??
4. How much does it live on a wet place?
5. On a dry place?

Please help me.

Thanks.
Tags: genital, virus
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239123_tn?1267651214
You are badly overreacting.  Transmission of HSV-2 does not occur except by sex.  The exceptions are too rare to worry about.  Children are at risk for HSV-2 through only 2 possible mechanisms:  exposure during delivery, if mom has active herpes when in labor; and through sexual abuse.  (There might be rare cases of transmission if kids sleep in the same bed with an infected parent, but even that is rare if it occurs at all.) The virus does not survive in sufficient amounts on towels, doorknobs, clothes, or elsewhere in the environment.

Bottom line:  Continue to use common-sense hygiene (handwashing after toilet, for example), but otherwise don't worry about this.  You also could confirm all this information with your child's pediatrician.  But if you cannot shake these unreasonable fears despite these facts, you might consider whether you need counseling to understand why you are so freaked about it.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
15 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Genital herpes is sexually transmitted.  You cannot pass it to your baby through the ways you have described.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you Dr for the quick answer, and thanks to the other replyer as well.
Have a great weekend.
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239123_tn?1267651214
You may not start a new thread on the same topic as an exsiting one.  There are 150-200 attempts for new questions every 24 hours and only 4-6 can be accepted--so duplicate and unnecessary questions block others.

You truly have no worries of herpes transmission in the household.  It simply does not occur, no matter how  you clean (or don't clean) and no matter how you use clothes, toilets, towels, etc.  Herpes is never transmitted by the ways you are worrying about.

Your level of anxiety about this, despite all facts, suggests an underlying emotional issue, perhaps related to your own concerns about having genital herpes.  I strongly suggest you express your compulsive concerns and fears about this to your personal health care provider and ask his or her advice about counseling.  I suggest it out of compassion, not criticism.

This thread is over.  Good luck.

HHH, MD
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Dr.

It have not crossed my mind that you criticized me and I know you want the best for me, especially under the circumstances.
As I said: If these fears do not vanished soon (by the way I have HSV for 7 years now and all of the above started after my baby was born...which can easily be conected to the anxiety of being a new mother...) I will definately do something about it. and I hope I am not developing OCD.....

Thanks anyway for your time.

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239123_tn?1267651214
You have me pegged perfectly.  Indeed I believe it is best for you to not keep trying to work this out on this forum.  Best wishes.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am trying to do my best to put aside those unreasonable fears, but I felt obligated to enclose a website that says that it is better to use different towels in order not to spread the virus to different body areas.
Let's say that all my other fears are really unreasonable...but is there any sense to use 2 towels??

please let me know your opinion.

Thank You Dr.
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79258_tn?1190634010
You don't need two towels. I have both HSV1 and 2, and I never use two towels. I don't even care if my 13 year old daughter uses my towel.

That new parent anxiety can really be intense. Relax. Babies aren't anywhere near as fragile as they look--if they were, the human race would have died out long ago. Your kid will be okay, and so will you :-)

But if you can't let this go, consider therapy and maybe meds.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks dear. Just read your answer. I guess what you said is right about new parenting....the anxiety is high...
How come you have both 1 and 2 types? maybe it is because you do use one towel...:)))
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101028_tn?1348750963
Having hsv1 and hsv2 both has NOTHING to do with sharing towels!!!  About 30% of us contract hsv1 before we even enter kindergarten.  Very few of us make it to the old folks home without it - it's THAT common.  Since most adults have hsv1 orally - it's quite common to have both hsv1 and hsv2 - statistically hsv1 is oral and hsv2 is genital when you are infected with both.  I myself have had hsv1 orally since I was a small child - everyone in my family had it growing up.  I didn't contract hsv2 until I was 19 and was sexually active.  I'm like monkeyflower - I don't obsess over my hsv2 and sharing anything with my kids - it just doesn't happen that easily.  Considering I have sweaty gross teenagers - I'm actually more worried about what I'd catch from their towels if I used them not what they might get from mine!!!

RELAX about all this. You aren't going to transmit your genital herpes to anyone you aren't having sex with.  You are letting your fears about it get the best of you.

grace
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks a lot dear, It really helps to see the way other people deal with the virus.
You made me laugh when you wrote about your kid's towels...:))
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Avatar_n_tn
Monkeyflower doesn't look old enough to have a 13-year-old. ;)
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79258_tn?1190634010
Gosh, thanks. I'm blushing. Do I know you? I mean, I know we're all in love and all, lol... but still ;-)
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Avatar_n_tn
Do you think I should use a ped (like we use in our period days) while having an outbreak or it does not matter if I use it or not?
I am sure you agree with me that the underwear have close contact with a vaginal lesion (or in the labia minora area).
Will be glad to hear your opinion.

Moreover, I have started taking valacyclovir 500 mg per day, I read your article in Pubmed and saw you got to the conclusion that 1000 mg per day is better...and for how long?

Thanks a lot.
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79258_tn?1190634010
Um, if you've had herpes for years, why do anything different now? Just do what you always did... but you don't need to wear a pad, or anything else, unless that helps you feel more comfortable.
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University of Washington
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