The Truth, The Whole Truth and....

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  • nothing but the truth is what i am going to offer to you today in this blog.  Getting herpes is a bummer - there is no skirting around the issue - but that being said - we also need to be brave enough to state all the facts regarding this virus.  And alot of doctors do dance around some factual statements that need to be said.  I've been answering a lot of questions on the site and it is obvious to me people do not know herpes facts - and they need to - in order to take care of themselves and not spread it to others and of course, in order to avoid getting it in the first place.   So here goes:

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    • Genital herpes is a lifelong viral disease.  That means once you get it - you have it for life.
    • Most people who are infected with HSV2 - don't know they have it
    • People with no symptoms still shed the virus intermittently in the genital tract.  That means "without any signs of a rash or sores" you still can transfer the virus to others.
    • When you get screened for STDs it does not include a SCREEN FOR HERPES -so if that is a concern - you need to specifically ask for that to be included.
    • If you do not have symptoms that does not = herpes free
    • if your lesions are healing you can actually get a negative culture, so again, that does not mean you are herpes free.
    • If you do get a positive HSV2 result there is no way to be absolutely sure when you became infected with HSV2 (unless you were a virgin and you develop sympotoms from one exposure).
    • In some states it is against the law to knowingly transfer an STD to another person (including HSV2) so you should always let prospective partners know.

    If you are considering screening for HSV2 - know the possible testing methods and which have high sensitivity:

    • Clinical exam - which has a poor record
    • Polymerase chain reaction assays - not approved by FDA though they have good sensitivity - not all labs offer this.
    • PAP smear has a low sensitivity
    • Serology tests can result in false-positives
    • HSV glycoprotein G1(HSV test) and G2 (HSV2 test) have varying sensitivity so if you do get a positive you should follow up with another test to confirm (Western blot). 

    My next blog will talk about counseling if you do get a positive result, risk reduction and current treatments.


    Never be afraid to get the facts!!


Published On: July 12, 2008