[Question #6611] HSV-1

14 months ago
Hello Drs,
I met a girl and things were going pretty well and I think she is someone that I would want to marry. She told me she gets cold sores ones or twice a year, I won’t lie but that’s a really turn off form me especially I am OCD and don’t want to get it nor my kids. We didn’t have sex (since we want to wait till after marriage). I did the tests and confirmed I am HSV negative. My question is if there any suppressive therapy like antiviral that prevents transmission? I heard no matter what you can get from saliva even with antiviral and no sex/kissing during the outbreaks. Please help. Thanks!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
14 months ago
There are antiviral medicines that can greatly reduce the risk of transmission but cannot prevent it altogether.  It is true that the virus can be transmitted between active outbreaks.  But if you want 100% certainty that you won't get this virus, that cannot be given.  Since about half the population in the US has the cold sore virus, it may be difficult to find someone that you want to marry AND someone who is negative for HSV 1 and 2.  In addition, the IgG test for HSV 1 misses 30% of HSV 1 (the cold sore virus) infections, compared to the gold standard herpes western blot, so even if someone is tested with the IgG test and is negative, it may not be correct.

Terri
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14 months ago
Thanks so much for your reply. Can I know the antiviral name, also does it have a lot of side effects?
14 months ago
Also, I want to clarify that what scares me the most is getting it in my eyes and that can cause complications.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
14 months ago
There are three FDA approved antiviral medicines - acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir.  I prefer using valacyclovir as the dosing is 500 mg just once per day.  it has very few side effects.  People rarely get herpes in the eye but it can happen.  Generally, those people would be placed on daily suppressive medicine. 

Terri
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