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Genital Herpes transmission and symptoms questions

Some question concerning genital herpes which during my research i couldn't find answers for or there was conflicting information.  I think this would be useful to those who have recently been diagnosed with HSV or for those who may have came into contact with HSV.

1) Is direct skin-to-skin contact the only way of transmission, or could other methods also be possible i.e. hand touches genital then same hand touches own genital?

2) Are blisters noticeable by naked eye?  Is time period 2 days from blister to sores?

3) Are first time outbreaks more server then future outbreaks?

4) Symptoms such as headache, fever and flu like (constitutional symptoms) are not always present?

5) Is it true to say after exposure and in most cases symptoms such as blisters or rash occur between 2 to 10 days after initial exposure?

6) Is sexual intercourse, masturbation and oral sex painful when an outbreak is occurring and therefore a person who has HSV would not participate in an activity during an outbreak?

7) If on a course of antiviral such as Valtrex or acyclovir this can reduce transmission by upto 50%?

8) Transmission rate for discordant couples even if not medicated is between 5%-10% per year?

9) Seeing a partner is on antiviral medication does not always indicate genital herpes as same medication can be used for oral herpes shingles and it should always be discussed rather then assuming?

Thanks in advance.
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207091 tn?1337709493
Hi there -

1 - Skin to skin contact only.

2 - Yes, they are visible, and 2 days is the minimum in which they would show up.

3 - Yes, usually.  Keep in mind that 90% of people with hsv2 don't even know they have it, so most outbreaks aren't all that severe.

4 - No, not always.

5 - 2-20 days is the usual time frame.

6 - See #3

7 - Yes.

8 - Yes, if the person has genital herpes type 2.  If a person has genital herpes type 1, its lower.  Its also a bit lower for men than it is for women.

9 - Absolutely.  Nothing takes the place of communication.  

You can also read the herpes handbook at www.westoverheights.com for more great info.

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Avatar universal
thanks for this.

From looking around on the internet there seems to be alot of conflicting information out there esp on the internet, hence the reason for the questions.
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207091 tn?1337709493
Understandable - there are a lot of lousy websites out there.

The herpes handbook and www.ashastd.org are the two best for herpes info.

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