[Question #53] Herpes

40 months ago
Hello, I am 48 years old and have had herpes for 31 years. I contracted from a boy friend s lip during oral sex.  I had an outbreak 10 days later and was very sick.  I had subsiquent o breaks over the years. I was diagnosed with herpes after the 2nd outbreak.  Over the years I have managed with it and now the out breaks are pretty minor.  To my knowledge my husband of 25 years does not have it.  I am going through a divorce and was just reading that it can be transmitted even if you don't have an outbreak.  I did not know this.  If I have hsv1 does the cell sluff off as regularly as hsv2.  I am going to get a blood test to find out which one I have.  Should my ex be tested as well?
Is hsv1 less transferable?  Are there any books on this new research?   Please help!  Laurine 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
Good morning Laurine,
Yes, finding out which type of herpes you have is essential to understanding more about your own infection, how your infection matches or doesn't match with future partners, and what your risks of shedding virus are.  It really isn't necessary for your husband to be tested until you find out which type of herpes you have (HSV 1 or HSV 2).  Then, you can let me know if you want to and he can be tested or not, as he choses.  And yes both HSV 1 and HSV 2 can be given off from the body even when no symptoms are present.  This occurs with HSV 2 more often than HSV 1, for sure.  ASHA (this website) has excellent publications about herpes for you to read.  Also, you can go to the website PubMed and search for herpes articles that are in the professional literature and are published for professionals but are really helpful for non-clinician types as well.  The test you want is a type specific IgG antibody test - you do NOT want an IgM test.  You can order these tests yourself now on the internet without seeing a health care provider and they are just as accurate as if you saw a clinician for this test.  However, generally speaking, the online order sites do not take insurance coverage for this testing.  Once you get the testing done, feel free to come back and ask me more questions, OK?

Best,
Terri
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