[Question #5902] Hsv-2 Diagnosis

18 months ago
Hi,

I have just been diagnosed with genital herpes after a second outbreak within the past 2 months.  I hadn’t had sex for a few months prior to my first episode, and I used protection.  Is it possible to have herpes for years, but just start getting multiple recurrences many years later? 

Is there something that can trigger these late recurrences if this is the case, such as Crohn’s disease (which I have) or possibly a medication, such as Humira.  I read that weakened immune systems can possibly bring on symptoms.

Thanks.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
18 months ago
How were you diagnosed with herpes? 
Yes, it is possible to have herpes for years and then start having outbreaks.  And the medications that you are taking could be influencing the frequency of recurrences, yes.
It is helpful to have a fully functioning immune system to deal with herpes.
I would suggest that you speak with your clinician and ask about going on daily antiviral medicine while you are taking Humira.  I think this would be very helpful for you
The usual dose is 500 mg daily of valacyclovir or 400 mg twice a day of acyclovir

Terri
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18 months ago
Sorry, for some reason I just saw this.

I was diagnosed at an urgent care, after a culture evaluation.  They called a few days later and said it was positive for hsv-2.  I’m so confused right now, being that these symptoms I feel like sort of just came out of nowhere.  As I mentioned it had been a while since my last sexual encounter prior to my first outbreak, so it’s something I didn’t really think about contracting.  I just keep wondering  how long I could have had this, and why this is just happening to me now, at 37 with so many other good things going on in my life for once.

I do have an appointment set up with my pcp to discuss suppressive therapy as you mentioned.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
18 months ago
I would caution you not to consider this some sort of fatal flaw.  it is a virus that entered your skin through the genital area. Try to not make more of this if you can. 
If you hadn't had sex in quite a while, then this was a recurrence, not a new infection.
I'm glad you are looking at suppression.  it reduces transmission by half and along with condoms for sex the risk are really low.

Terri
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