[Question #5511] HSV2 study results

22 months ago
My partner and I have been  tested for STDs.  This is a heterosexual relationship. This is his first time being tested and he explains in ‘99 he had been exposed to herpes via oral sex performed on him. He did not have any other sexual interaction with this female contact. He has a positive IgG  3. 92 for HSV2.  He has never had symptoms.   HSV testing was not done on me  and I am inquiring to get that completed for our full knowledge. Other than that all other studies are negative for both of us.  We have not engaged in any sexual interaction at this time and both have been  celibate;  for him 10 years, me 3 yrs after monogamous marriage since ‘06.  Should he have a Western Blot test and would his IgG level be indicative of high likelihood for viral shedding!? Seems 50/50 chance of exposure even with full precautions (condom, antivirals, monogamy) no matter study findings?   If antivirals recommended, how long should he be on them before sexual contact in any form? 

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 months ago
Interesting situation.  If your partner acquired herpes via oral sex, it would almost certainly be HSV 1, not HSV 2.  So that deals with the question of that previous partner but has he had other partners in his lifetime, involving unprotected intercourse?  If yes, he could have acquired herpes at any of those encounters.  However, the other part of your question deals with the index value of 3.92.  The CDC recommends a western blot for anyone whose value is below 3.5.  But given no symptoms of genital herpes ever, I think he might be wise to pursue the western blot.  He can do that through his regular health care provider in coordination with the University of Washington or I can get that ordered for him through westoverheights.com website and and a video conference.  If he is indeed infected and take daily antiviral therapy and you use condoms and have sex about twice a week on average, the risk of you becoming infected is about 2-3% per year.  Please let me know what other questions you may have.

Terri
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22 months ago
So The western blot test would be a better determinate for true exposure to HSV2? How would someone  gage if they  are actively shedding viruses and more contagious!? When would antivirals be warranted to take?  
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 months ago
The western blot is the most accurate antibody test for herpes, correct.  It picks up 30% more HSV 1 infections and 8% more HSV 2 infections.  You would know that you are shedding if you had sores but you can also shed virus when no sores are present and you could not know then.  You might consider daily antiviral therapy if you are having sex with someone who is uninfected OR if you start having outbreaks that bother you.

Terri
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