Friday, October 31, 2014
Sunday, August 23, 2009 cavout12, Community Member, asks

Q: HSV-2 and the military

i am already enlisted in the U.S. Army, but my ship date isnt till june 13 2010, because i am only a senoir in highschool. but i went through MEP's (Military Entrence Proccessing Station) but when i went down i didnt have HSV-2, im not exactly sure if i have it, i have an appt for it monday, but i have a bad feeling that i have it...

but anyway i was wondering when i go to ship june 13 of 2010 will i be ok and be able to go through my Basic Training and everything else without worry?

i am aware that you cannot go through Basic Training or AIT while you are on medication, but i also have read that you can go as long as it isnt blood-borne.

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Answers (4)
Soux, Community Member
1/ 7/10 1:05am

This my friend is a hard one to answer.  I'm also joining the US Army and I too just found out the bad news.  Not at all happy with it and most people don't realize they have it, like your signifcant other.  I've been reading up on this for hours now online.  Some say talk with your recuiter to get a medical waiver but others say don't bother.  It's half good and half bad news here.  I've read in several places that the US military will disqualify you for having HSV-2; and therefore you can not join the Army.  The odd thing about it all is that if you are an active military member already and then contract HSV-2, they will not discharge you.  My suggestion would be to call another recuiter's office and ask anonymously and see what he or she says about this all.  I myself will be doing so tomorrow.  The great news is that military (MEPS) does not test for HSV-2 at all.  And you will not be tested for anything again until your about to ship off.  So, if you don't have any noticable lesions I suggest to you to keep your mouth shut and hope that you make it all the way through without any outbreaks.  I wouldn't tell a soul or speak of it untill you have another outbreak.  I'm sure I'm breaking some kind of binding law with the US Military for not providing them with this info but my recuiter already has suggested of me not to speak of other matters to MEPS when I partipated in my entry physical.  It went well so far.  Very interesting I would say.  Don't know what else to say this is a hard question to answer.  Have hope and things will work out fine.

themanchiller, Community Member
3/11/10 2:04am

I have the same problem i went a different route. I told my recruiters and the doctors up front about it. I ship out on easter sunday. The Docs at Meps told me that it was a good thing to say before you go cause if you lied and did not tell them well your kicked out. I am still taking my meds all the way to ship date. I not going to need them when i am at basic. Good luck

klew167, Community Member
11/ 6/11 5:17pm

you were able to enlist with hsv-2 with a medical waiver? or did they let you slide without one


SB1981, Community Member
1/ 8/12 5:36pm

Did you have to provide doctors records of when you were tested with HSV-2?

letstalk, Community Member
4/23/10 7:03am

What have you found out......

I am trying to get a job contract and I am so scared about it.

The form say any communicable diseases.

Can they deny me as I think I will be positive.

What can i do about it. It is for Security overseas

1bigregret, Community Member
9/29/10 11:59pm

I have only been with a couple guys and my most recent ex told me in the middle of a fight that he had it and said to have a good life...I have not had any break outs ever, and i got it in 2008. I'm not on any meds since i dont need to be, and i have not been with anyone since. The only thing I'm scared about is that joining the Army has been my dream and I dont want something like this to keep me from being able to serve my country. He was in the Army too, but im not sure if he had it while he was in. I guess I'll call and see for myself, but I have never been so scared of anything in my life.

BigDaddySir, Community Member
5/11/11 2:04pm

The military is no different than the rest of the general popuation when it comes to herpes. In actuality it is new recruitments slightly higher of incidence, because of the age bracket. CDC estimates 1 in 6 young women in the US, and closing in on 1 in 5 and in younger teen to young adult closing in on maybe as high as 1 in 4. In men they say 1 in 9. The reason being that men have less noticeable symptoms in outbreaks(s), and also less likely to substain or inform or use timely judgement with a partner or casual encounter. More than likely it is estimated that anywhere from 15 -25% of young men are not even aware that they have it, or that they may have had some concern with mild sysmptons on the primary outbreak, then shrugged it off as something else without testing and had no other outbreaks, but going about business as usual not knowing theier virus is shedding. 

The point of this being is that Armed Forces young recruits at least 1 in 6 (17%)  women have herpes and 1 in 7-9 ( 10-15%) men have herpes. I have been told that in some branches and certain geographic recruiting areas it is much higher.

So the best thing isfirst educate yourself, see  your health professional, have them sign that you have been tested and educated, talk to a medical specialist at the recruiting, get copies of anything in regulations pertaining to and forms etc. and you will now be safer than the majority of even those that don't have it (yet) to infect anyone else. Agin with Genital HSV-2 even, unless you are having sex or rubbing your exposed privates to theirs or have herpetic whitlow, you can not give it to someone. The virus cannot live long outside the body and weakens very quickly. And around people who are relatively healthy and don't have a weakened immune system such as a newborn infaant, sickly elderly, or HIV/AIDS or IV drug users with compromised immune systems- then no worries- meaning military recruits who pass health screenings, physicals, fitness tests, etc. are usually healthier than average, so no problem.  This myth of don't ask dont tell for herpes does not fly. Such as its ok to get it, once you are in. Then ofcourse it would be even better to know they have it before ypou get in. THey/You can deal with the known, rather than the unknown. It doesn't affect your brain, or physical fitness level as a whole , in fact there was an NBA team where supposedly all 5 starters had herpes. There is not one high level occupation that has never had performed their duties effectively that had herpes. Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses, Lawyers, Police Officers, Firefighters, and yes high ranking Military Officers.  So be upfront, get it in writing and don't even take the initial recruiters word. The army would lose thousands of new recruits and existing key personnel if this was the case.

BigDaddySir, Community Member
5/11/11 3:19pm

Oh btw , I seen another post that said Army Medical regulations AR 40-501(?) Paragraph 2-12 states about ongoing sexual transmitted deaseases etc. Cannot find when looked up 2-12 talks about eyes. (But didn't even mention herpes of the eyes).

Even if this was the case it would be eirther no further outbreaks or controllable.

the other sexually transmitted diseases can either be highly and more fatal consequences and afftect brain, mobility, cognitive, reflexes, and stamina and strength. Herpes does not ( albeit some initial/primary outbreaks can be miserable , usually but always more so for women for a week or so with flu like symptoms and pain. It is not a communable disease like measles, chickenpox, flu viruses etc. that are more easily transmitted by airborn, contact,etc. Anotherwords if I went in battle, would I rather have even as much as half my soldiers had or be carriers of the herpes virus, or just 10% of my troops have a  common flu, or swine flu or a flu virus that they had not been vaccined for.. A general would be wise to pick herpes.  Beecause the same non-problematic troops with herpes would be fine, vs. flu- that 10% down with flu would more than likely spread it quickly.



The only paragraph I saw kept realating to sexually ransmitted diseases/complications as noted in paragraph 2-30 and 2-31, which basically realtes to HIV only.  Also in other paragraphs only HIV, Gonnoreah and syphyllus.

A post earlier from someone said they don't even test for it. According to the large page volumed AR 40-501(2007) document, they only tested for syph, gonh, HIV. And pap smear for the women (but know HgIg assay for HSV1/2). Would they rather have people with it , probably. But most likely for potential legal matters and domestic disputes and emotional impact of finding out initially: domestic relationships, on leave or off-base civilian laisons, etc. Again the fact is they know that 15-25% of them coming in do not even know that they have it, until they give it or that they eventually come down with their first outbreak, (rare but not uncommon) can stay dormant, something like severe stress (battle anxiety), trauma,major (or sometimes minor) surgery, illness even flu, vaccinations, mono, etc. pops the virus out from hiding even a couple a years after initial contact with the virus. So there is no point in not letting people in.  If they start testing upfront , and want to get picky, then different story, the caveat being that the test may still show false positives or false negatives, if tested too early.That's whay many rape victims who may get tested for pregnancy, hiv and STDs. Still need to get tested further down the road minimum three if not six months later. So the soldier tests again 3 months later, and ok. Then they meet someone who thought was clean and get it. See the military just insn't going to ( or would not make sense) to invest the time and energy in a non-stop chase, because it is not a disease that can be easily prevented and does not cause major alarm to performance and can only be spread by choice to engage in private acts ( unless purposeful unlawful acts). Add to it they already have about 15-25% already with it and unfortunately herpes it may always be the chicken and the egg thing and very difficult to prove when & who it was contracted from, unless you for sure were tested prior to your first sexual relationship and you got it thereafter and had not been with anyone else. However, that person, may have thought they were clean and got it from their last partner,etc.

anonymousmissouri, Community Member
8/23/13 7:56pm

I have been contacting Army Recruiters and Air Force Recruiters for the National Guards.  I am interested in enlisting and wanted to get all information.  The Air Force recruiter said that anyone with any kind of STD is automatically disqualified, end of story.  So, because I'm healthy, physically fit, happily married (whose spouse has never caught my virus), and am more than capable of scoring high on the ASVAB, because I contracted herpes 10 years ago, I am not qualified for the Air Force National Guard.  I called the National Guard hotline and questioned that answer, and she said that each unit is different, therefore I can try other Air National Guard units.  


Now the Army National Guard, they said don't ask, don't tell.  


I have been taking daily medications since I contracted herpes to prevent outbreak, and have not gotten an outbreak in several years.  The Air Recruiter said that I cannot be on any prescriptions, and therefore if I have an outbreak during training, I am potentially causing harm to other new recruiters.  He also said that they do a very detailed background check and will find out from my doctors if I lie about having it during the MEPS.  


Anyone in the Air National Guard who can attest to this?  So so sad!

stressedout, Community Member
5/18/14 1:30pm

What if you don't have medical records to prove it? Can you just say no, I don't have it although upon self diagnosis you are sure that you have it or should you go tell the doctor at meps that I probably have it?

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By cavout12, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/18/14, First Published: 08/23/09