[Question #2426] Innoculation

45 months ago

Since the risk of transmission from an HSV2 female to an uninfected male can't be eliminated, is it possible to "manage" the infection by getting "innoculated" on the calf of a leg or some other less sensitive, easily accessible area of the body and thereby self select the location where outbreaks might occur?

I and my monogamous partner are in our 60's and in good health.  She has had HSV1&2 for 30 years with occasional genital outbreaks.  I have HSV1 and never have had any symptoms.  I understand Valtrex may be a good option to reduce the probability of transmission during unprotected sex to around 4% but I was wondering if and until a vaccine is produced if selecting a site for infection other than the genitals might be a possibility?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
Interesting question.  First of all, have you actually been tested to know that you don't have HSV 2 infection?
Next, the most common response to this would be that you could acquire it orally where it rarely recurs and rarely shed virus and basically be vaccinated against genital infection.  I'm not sure how you would get it elsewhere but I suppose you could, conceptually.  If your partner takes an antiviral daily, the risk of her infecting you drops to about 2%, having sex about twice per week.

Terri
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45 months ago

My first test about 6 months ago came back positive for HSV1&2...I retested using the Western Blot and came back negative for HSV2...no explanation for the false positive...

Without clinical intervention, I had thought direct contact from an outbreak lesion on my partner to an opening in the skin on my leg might accomplish the transmission...which might not risk an unexpected oral complication...

Just trying to consider all the possibilities...is the Valtrex approach and playing the odds the most common solution?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
The explanation for the false positive on the IgG test is that many people appear to have a protein in their blood that has a similar molecular weight as one of the proteins associated with the HSV 2 antibody - the western blot can clear up that confusion.
Valtrex will help reduce the transmission rates as will condoms.  I don't think infecting your leg is a great answer because if you infect up too high, it will be the sacral nerve and that then becomes genital!

Terri
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