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Herpes

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My friend, Fanny, had a yearlong relationship with Richard. After they broke up, Richard got together with Eleanor. I was talking to Richard today, and he said Eleanor has been diagnosed with herpes. He says he thinks he probably has it too and he thinks he got it from Fanny.

Now, Richard was a virgin when he met Fanny, and Fanny and Eleanor are the only two women he's had sex with. Fanny had only had sex with one man before Richard, and that was only a few times, and they used condoms every time. Richard says that Eleanor has been tested for STD's several times previously and always tasted negative.

Fanny has been sick off and on with mono-like symptoms, UTIs, and frequent nausea and vomiting for more than a year. But she's never had genital sores or anything like that. It seems unlikely to me that she could be the source of Eleanor's herpes, because, as I said, she'd only had sex with one other guy and that was only a few times and using condoms every time. It seems to me that the chance of transmission would be pretty low.

Does anyone here know more than I do about how and when herpes is transmitted? Do I have a legitimate concern for Fanny's health, or is Richard trying to slander my friend, or is Eleanor lying about her past, or WHAT? I just don't know how to balance health facts, health myths, social stigma, and trust.
post #2 of 6
Condoms don't protect against herpes if the sore is not covered by the condom. They can be other places. Also the herpes simplex are not limited to the face only or genitals only. So it's possible that someone could have had herpes even from childhood on their face and then it can be transferred to the genitals. For women the sores can be inside and you not necessarily know they are there.

Not sure how many times of exposer is typical for transmission, but I think once can be enough given the right circumstances and on the other hand you could be exposed more times and not get it. Not an expert though.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Eleanor has been tested for STD's several times previously and always tasted negative.
This doesn't mean a thing. The routine test for herpes(viral culture) has a HUGE false negative outcome. I was tested while I had a sore and it still came back negative. I had to get another test called the

Beofre I met Mark I had been celebate for about 2 years. While I was 17 I was very wild(grrr....)

So I had no symptoms, no sores, not an initial breakout or anything, 14 years later(about 6 months ago) I had my first breakout! It was a small sore(about the size of a dime) so I went and got tested. It was negative, but I went to a support forum and they told me of the high incidents of false negatives with the standard test. I went back to my DOC and requested the blood test.


A person with genital, or type 1 herpes can have as little as 3-4 breakouts a year. Type 2 herpes, or cold sores, happen to a large percentage of adults and children, usually left undiagnosed, or tested. Who goes to the doctor for a cold sore?


What Test?
Use this section to learn more about the sort of tests used to aid in the diagnosis of genital herpes and the pros and cons of each one.
For information about the POCkit® HSV2 Rapid Test, a 10 minute blood test for HSV-2, click HERE.
This section also contains information about other types of blood test, clinical examination and virus detection tests.
Note: As with any clinical laboratory test, POCkit® HSV 2 test results should be considered in light of all appropriate clinical conditions and circumstances. Further testing and examinations may be considered by your physician before a final diagnosis of genital herpes infection can be made.



Blood Tests
Blood (also called serological) tests for herpes actually detect antibodies to herpes viruses. Antibodies (pictured on the right) are special molecules, which are produced by the body in response to infection.
The presence of antibodies to herpes virus indicates infection at some point in time with that virus, and blood tests for HSV-2 can be used as an aid to the diagnosis of HSV-2 genital herpes (HSV-1 genital herpes is more problematic - see the More Info page for this section for more details).
A blood test will not indicate whether the virus is currently active (i.e. virus being shed) or latent.
Also, a certain time period (2-12 weeks from first infection) has to elapse before antibodies are detectable in the blood. Blood tests given before this time may give false negative results.
Most blood tests are laboratory-based tests and take about a week to return a result. However, there is a test which can be performed in the doctor's office while you wait. This is the POCkit® HSV2 Rapid Test. Click HERE for more details about the test.




Clinical History and Examination
This is probably the first and most basic "test" used. The healthcare provider asks questions about any symptoms, or potential exposure, you may have had had in the past ("history") and examines for any symptoms which may be present.
While the history may involve personal questions relating to your sexual history, it's generally a quick and painless procedure.
However, studies have shown that using history and examination alone is unreliable as a means of diagnosing genital herpes, partly due to the variety of symptoms which the condition can display.
It is now recommendedby CDC that no diagnosis of genital herpes is made on the basis of history and examination alone.




Tests for Virus
These may take the form of tests either for live virus (pictured on the right), or for viral components, such as molecules from the surface of the virus or viral DNA.

The test for live virus is called a viral culture and involves taking a sample from any symptoms present and trying to grow any virus present and then identifying it.
A positive result from a viral culture is likely to be accurate and is regarded as a definitive result for the diagnosis of genital herpes. It has the advantage of identifying the virus actually causing the symptoms the sample was taken from.
Viral culture only works when live virus is being shed (i.e. when the infection is active). If the infection is latent (i.e. hiding in the nervous system), then it may not give a positive result. Also, if the symptoms from which the sample is taken have started to heal, then there may be no live virus present and a viral culture may, therefore, give a false negative result.




The real crappy thing is that Herpes is forever. There is no cure, and treatment doesn't always mean freedom from breakouts. I spoke to a lady who during one breakout had 50 lesions. I have never been like that. Usually just a small bump.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Also the herpes simplex are not limited to the face only or genitals only. So it's possible that someone could have had herpes even from childhood on their face and then it can be transferred to the genitals
If you have genital herpes (HSV 2) you could get lesions on your face and genitals, HSV 1 is restricted the face or mouth.
post #5 of 6
Not every person knows when they have herpes, as diaperdiva said. I think it's highly possible that Richard unknowingly got it from Fanny and gave it to Eleanor. A little known fact about herpes is that it can be transmitted when there are no known sores....my friend sadly learned this after she passed it to her DH without having ever realized she had it herself. She later realized she had given it to him because when she had her "first" outbreak of sores--where she realized what was happening--she recognized the symptoms and feelings, and then realized she'd had it all along and hadn't known. sad, huh? I felt really badly for her and her DH.
post #6 of 6
This is an icky, annoying and embarassing disease, but very treatable. A good diet and general good health will be followed by few outbreaks. OTOH, when you are run down, choose a diet high in sugar and other culprits, your outbreaks will be frequent and sometimes excrutiating to bear. Caffeine is also your enemy, although I often indulge and credit my pre natal vitamins for picking up the slack. Sores heal well and quickly when you apply a wet teabag of black tea (like Red Rose) or a poultice of comfrey. Anything that affects the nervous system or immune system will affect it.
I was also very permiscuous in my early twenties, and it was the last guy I was with before dh that gave it to me. Despite my warnings, I know of two other women who got it from him too
Tell your friend to look up treatments at her local healthfood store if she doesn't want to take the prescription drugs for it. And tell her 20% of the population carries this virus, so she is not alone.
You can also transmit it from a cold sore to the genital area, so keep that in mind as well.
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