[Question #3433] Shedding

35 months ago
I contracted HSV2 approx 8 years ago. I have not been sexually active for several years but have been using suppressive antiviral therapy. I have 2-3 outbreaks a year. Now that I am in a new relationship, I want to do all I can to keep him safe. How effective is suppressive antiviral therapy on shedding? And is one form better than another?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
Suppression reduces transmission by 48% and acyclovir 400 mg twice a day and valacyclovir 500 mg once a day work equally well when taken as directed.  I don't know your gender but if male, add condoms and if female, have your partner add condoms as well or consider female condoms for yourself. 
Please let me know what other questions you might have, OK?

Terri
---
35 months ago
Thank you, Terri. I’m a female....  Does suppression decrease amount of shedding and number of outbreaks equally or does it primarily only decrease number of outbreaks?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
It reduces both shedding and outbreaks by 70-80% but it only reduces transmission by 48%.  There are other factors involved in transmission beside the amount of virus - like susceptibility of the person to whom virus might be transferred.  I know it seems counterintuitive that they aren't reduced by the same amount, right?

Terri
---