Dr. Rob answers questions about herpes, Page 3

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 says many people "never" have a lesion.


Dear Dr. Rob:

I was told by my obgyn that I have herpes. She took a culture and blood work and will have the full results next week. I have been in a committed relationship for nearly 3 years. I understand that this virus can lay dormant and that some people do not know that they have it. But I am wondering how long it can be dormant for. Is it possible that I have had this for a long time and never had an outbreak before? Or that my partner has carried it for a long time and never had an outbreak, but passed it to me and after 3 years it finally shows up. I am just confused on how this all came to be. Also if I am the one who has had it all this time but never had an outbreak, what it the chance that he has it as well. I mean is there a chance that he may not have contracted it. I ask because we rarely if ever use condoms anymore, so I would guess that we would both have it. Any information you can give me would be appreciated.

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Poster Who was Just Diagnosed:

You sound confused. All that you ask is possible. You may have given it to him or he may have given it to you The important thing is you both get a Herpes Select Test, and if either of you are positive through the Herpes Select Test for either Type 1 or Type 2, and the test is specific for each type, that you take the appropriate steps to protect the other, if he is, in fact, not infected.
[399 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

About a year and a half ago I began seeing and sleeping with a woman who told me she was infected with herpes. I had unprotected sex with her and performed oral sex with her. She told me she was on medication for it and hadn`t had an outbreak in a year... I mistakenly thought that she couldn`t spread it to me. Since then I developed tiny red bumps on my buttocks and legs (inner thighs towards the crotch) but never on my genitalia itself. My doctor has told me twice now that I DO NOT have herpes. I am a bicycle racer and shave my legs and buttocks all the way up and he says that and new underwear has irritated my skin... but I`m scarred because I have a new girlfriend now that I adore and don`t know what to do and refuse to get intimate with her till I know 100%. Should I go back to my doctor and demand a test? He took a blood test for other diseases which all came back negative. Sorry to be so long winded but I`d be indebted to any advice.
David

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear David:

It is possible you have escaped unscathed but I cannot state that with certainty unless you get a Herpes Select Test. The lesions you described can well be from herpes from your activity. Getting a Herpes Select Test will give you the correct answer, and I would state that it would be worth while for you to use protection during sex from here on out to prevent any further possibility of you becoming infected.
[398 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I got genital HSV-1 from my boyfriend who has oral HSV-1. I will not elaborate how... My question is can I now infect him with genital HSV-1? Or is it true that he has antibodies from the oral HSV-1 that will protect him from genital infection?

Dr Rob's Response:


Poster Who Asks about Antibodies:

If you both have Herpes type 1, whether contracted orally or genitally, you are protected against Herpes 1 body infections; that is not to mean you do not shed nor is to mean that you should not use protection during sexual activity, as more of the virus is not good.
[397 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

My boy friend, tells me he has herpes. He was married to his wife for 12 years and she never got it (she passed away from lupus) he told me he got it 25 years ago. He also said that he hasn’t had an outbreak, we have been together for a year and a half. We have been sexually active without condoms; does this mean I have herpes????
SCARED!

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Scared:

You don’t tell me which type of herpes that it is, but both types can be transmitted sexually if they are present in the genital tract or orally if they are present in the mouth area. I suggest you get a Herpes Select Test to determine your true status, as sex without condoms could or could not mean that you have it.
[396 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I am a 42 year old woman and have been married for 19 years. Five years ago I had a complete hysterectomy due to this I have not had much sex drive. My husband and I have not had intercourse in over a year. I developed a lesion in my genital area about a month ago the doctor swabbed the lesion and it came back positive for herpes. My question is how can I have herpes if I have never had a problem before and I have had no intercourse or oral sex in so long?

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Poster Who Asks about her Lesion:

Herpes can lay dormant for a long time. In fact, many people "never" have a lesion. It is impossible to know from your question what kind of herpes you have, but whether it is Type 1 or Type 2, this could have been dormant for a significant period of time. Yes, it is possible that you do have it, even after so long a period of abstinence.
[394 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I have been dating a man for almost a year and before we became active together, I was informed that he carries the virus. My mother has the virus and she has #1 and I believe he has #2. My mother has always been open with us kids and made me feel as though it wasn`t a big deal. The more and more I read, the more scared I become. I want to know what this means to me. I know that protected sex is most important, however, is there anyway that condoms aren`t necessary? I take Depo-Provera and am not concerned with conception. However, I don`t want to contract the virus either. I trust this man with my life only because of the intensity of our relationship and the fact that he cared about me enough to tell me even though the risk of losing me was great.

I’ve heard that sexual intercourse when outbreaks aren`t present is OK, but if he`s a shedder that I can still contract it. I trust and love this man dearly and don`t know where this leaves us. I hope you can help.....

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Poster whose Partner has Herpes Type 2:

Let me boil it down to it’s simplest. Firstly, sexual protection is always requisite when there are herpes lesions and/or infection involved. Condoms are, in fact, always necessary, because lesions, or no lesions, herpes can be passed. That is not to say you cannot have an active sex life.
[393 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I am new to all this and have just been told that I have Herpes that I received from my girlfriend. I need to know how this is going to affect us when having oral sex. Also, how it will affect us when having intercourse. I cannot tell when she is breaking out since she cannot feel it and did not feel it during the transmission. I have so many questions but will stop at these for now.
Thanks. J

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Poster Who Asks about Oral Sex:

You tell me you have herpes, but not which type. In any case, oral sex can transmit herpes as well as genital sex, whether it be Type 1 or Type 2.
[392 ]

Dear Dr. Rob:

I have been recently diagnosed with HSV1. I haven`t had an outbreak or anything. I want to know if I could have gotten it from kissing or sexual activity or both?
Confused

Dr Rob's Response:


Dear Confused:

You can get Herpes Type1 both from sexual activity, as well as, from kissing. It would be impossible to know since 20% of genital herpes is Herpes Type 1 and 20% of oral herpes, or cold sores, are in fact, sexually transmitted.
[391 ]
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