[Question #2717] herpes

41 months ago
With a herpes breakout on my leg, will I be more apt to be contagious on my genitals.  In this case I am male and using a condom.  Also, if it is on the healing side, but still visible, will it still make me more contagious?  
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
41 months ago
and how do you know that this is herpes on your leg?  Have you been diagnosed with genital herpes via a swab test of the genital or of this area on your leg?
People who have outbreaks on what we call extragenital sites, sites outside of the genital area, also shed virus from the genital area intermittently.  Using a condom will greatly reduce the risk you will infect someone else so that's very important. 

Terri
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41 months ago
Hi, 
I have never been tested.  I assume it has to be.  Flares up occasionally.  So what I need to know, is if it is Herpes and I do believe it is.  Will that make it more likely that I would shed?  And at what point is the leg not contagious?  My girlfriend thinks I was wrong to want sex with the situation.  I believe it was mostly healed and the virus hid again.  I tried to explain that there is shedding and one never knows when that will be.  I don't believe the outbreak on my leg, especially mostly healed changed the exposure.  
41 months ago
I still need an answer/ 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
41 months ago
And I need an answer about where the outbreak on your leg was located, if you don't mind.  There is a nice piece of research showing that when people had outbreaks on the buttocks, they were shedding virus from the genital area about 25% of the time.  When the virus becomes active on that group of nerves, it can also become active in the genital area.  But you are correct also that one cannot know when all shedding is happening as some is completely without symptoms.  I would strongly encourage you to have this area on your leg swab tested to be certain that it is indeed herpes.


Terri
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41 months ago
Hi, 
It is about 1/3 of the way down from the hip on the left side towards the back of the leg.  My feeling is that just because there is an outbreak there, there is no more concern than normal because shedding can happen anytime.  Is suppression therapy effective and at a reasonable cost?  
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
41 months ago
So the outbreak is on the thigh, is that correct? 
You may FEEL that there is no more concern about shedding from the genitals during a thigh outbreak but you would be mistaken.  As I described in the research study above.   Do you understand that thigh outbreaks are a result of genital infection?
Suppressive therapy is very effective,reducing transmission by almost 50% and you can get generic acyclovir for $16 a month, 400 mg twice a day, if you use the 200 mg caps.

Terri
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