Dr. Rob answers questions about herpes, Page 2

Do you have any questions or concerns about what Herpes is, how it's spread, about the virus itself?
Receive advice from Dr. Rob Keller, a Doctor who devoted much of his life to the study of viruses and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.


Dr. Rob explains herpes of the eye


Dear Dr. Rob:

First, thanks for the service you provide; it`s comforting when your mind is filled with "what if`s." I have two questions, how can one tell if they are a "shedder" and is it common to have the HSV-2 in seminal or penile fluid? And, a third if I might. . . Are we any closer to a cure or a significant treatment that will at least protect others?
Still Worried After All These Years

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Still Worried After All These Years:

Everybody is a shedder at one time or another. It is usually associated with things such as decreased sleep, increased stress, presence of a cold or other viral infection, or other things that in some way diminished your immune system’s ability to contain the HSV 2 virus.

As for your second question, it is not common to have it in seminal fluid. And as to your third, we are no closer to a cure as far as I know.
[407 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I am 20 years old and I went to the doctor and took a blood test for STD`s and every thing was negative accept HSV 2. Know the nurse told me that I was a carrier now. I want to know what is the difference between being a carrier and having herpes virus. Because I do not have outbreaks or anything for that matter.

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Poster Inquiring about Being a Carrier:

There is no difference between being a carrier and having the virus. The fact that you have antibodies means that you do have the virus, whether or not you have ever had an outbreak. In fact, most people do not have outbreaks, and yet are herpes positive, which is why the infection is spreading so widely.

You should try Lysine 1 gram a day, to prevent outbreaks and if you are in a sexual relationship, protection is of the utmost importance to prevent passage of it to your partner. You might also use a drug such as Acyclovir, which will reduce the shedding that occurs when you don’t have a lesion, because you can shed then. It’s called asymptomatic shedding.
[406 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

If you’re a male and have herpes can it effect your erection and can you still have children without spreading herpes to your partner?

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Poster Who Asks about his Erection:

Herpes is not usually associated with erectile dysfunction and, yes, you can pass it. On the other hand, using a drug such as Acyclovir, markedly reduces asymptomatic shedding and may allow the possibility of having children without passing the virus. There are no guarantees since Acyclovir is not 100% in preventing asymptomatic shedding, and there is no absolute guarantee that if you have sex without Acyclovir you will pass the virus. Unfortunately, it remains a crapshoot.
[405 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I am very concerned about the virus infecting the eyes. I have heard it can cause blindness. How can you tell if one`s eye is actually infected? If the eye is already infected, what steps are necessary to prevent blindness?

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Poster Concerned about their Eyes:

Herpes Type 2 almost never infects the eye, except when it is passed genitally, and the baby, in fact, can have ocular or eye lesions. The herpes that typically affects the eye in adults is herpes zoster, which is a recrudescence of chicken pox in a person whose immune system is not functioning up to par.
[404 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I`m currently dating a woman who I think might have oral herpes. She called me one day while she was on a short vacation and mentioned that she had a fever blister. We talked about it a bit, and she told me that the blister would be gone in about four days, and it would generally come about when she tried a new lipstick or lip-gloss. I could have sworn a cold sore remained for about two weeks, and occurred a couple of times a year. She refuses to see a doctor about this. I`m wondering if she actually has herpes, or if she just misused the term fever blister for an allergic reaction, which may be taking place. If she does, is there anything I can protect her as well as myself.
Sincerely,
Really wondering

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Really Wondering:

I can`t tell unless she is willing to get the test. It is possible that the blister is secondary to an allergy to the lip products she is using, but again the proof of the pudding is in the Herpes Select Test.
[403 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I just read all of the messages available on your site, and I still couldn`t find the answer to mine. So here goes.

I`m a gay, 26 year old male who contracted anal herpes 3 months ago. I got a swab of a lesion, which came back positive for herpes. Also - Since then, I`ve been blood type tested twice. Both times the results came back positive for HSV-1. I haven`t had an outbreak since then.

#1 - How likely is it that I will asymptomatically spread HSV-1 to future partners - both as a "bottom" and a "top." (with protection, of course).

#2 - How/where can I get tested to see whether I am an asymptomatic "shedder"?

Thanks!

Dr Rob's Response:


Poster with Many Questions:

A real puzzle but it really isn`t. 20% of genital herpes can be Type 1 if that is what you have gotten as a result of a Herpes Select Test, rather than the non-specific herpes test, then you do have HSV1. HSV1 is usually associated with mouth ulcers. The good news is that if it is HSV1, you will probably not be bothered by many recurrent lesions; the bad news is you can still transmit HSV1 sexually.

With regard to your other questions, without protection it is very possible you will transmit it, and all people with HSV1 or HSV2 are asymptomatic shedders at some point during their course. It is impossible to tell exactly when, so protection at all times is necessary.
[402 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I have just been told that I have herpes, I was originally told four years ago that the blisters I had on the inside of my arm was shingles. I had outbreaks every couple of months, but always in the same spot on my arm, and twice under my chin. I recently had a change in insurance and when I saw this new doctor he took a culture, not believing it was shingles and it came back herpes 2. How is this possible? I thought herpes 2 was only in the genital area? I have never had an outbreak anywhere else on my body. Please help me understand this.

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Poster Asking about Shingles:

Shingles, cold sores, and genital herpes are all members of the herpes families. It is possible you had shingles recurrently on your arm and I would strongly suggest that you get the Herpes Select Test, as well as a test for varicella (which is the chicken pox virus, and the same virus that causes shingles), to determine which of these you have. From what you tell me, I am at a loss as well, and I doubt that this would be Herpes Type 2 and present only on the inside of your arms, but with herpes viruses anything is possible.
[401 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I have just been diagnosed with herpes. I am 41 and in a faithful marriage. We are devastated and don`t know how to proceed. The small outbreak happened in my butt crack. I read a lot, but am not sure what applies, since all of the literature deals with vaginal/penile outbreaks. My husband seems hesitant to kiss me and will not allow me to have any kind of sexual contact with him (i.e.: I wanted to perform oral on him, and he said no). He has not yet been tested, but I am going to ask to get tested. Please help us understand how to proceed with butt crack herpes.
S

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear S,

You should both be tested. Most herpes lesions do occur in the genital tract but can appear anywhere in the Perineal or lower body area. I cannot state what kind of sex would be safe until the test results have been returned. If you choose to, please email again and I will answer your questions further.
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