Last week, a pre-eminent researcher on the genital herpes virus, known as Herpes Simplex Virus 2 or HSV-2, published a landmark paper documenting the striking rate at which people with no herpes symptoms can nonetheless “shed virus,” potentially infecting partners. Anna Wald of the University of Washington, found that people who’d had symptoms of herpes shed virus on about 20 percent of days, while people who test positive for herpes antibodies but have never had symptoms shed virus on only about 10 percent of days. Highlights: -More than 80% of people with herpes are undiagnosed.
But here’s the kicker: When they’re shedding, people who’ve never had symptoms shed roughly the same of virus as people who’ve had symptoms. -Overall prevalence by the time people reach their forties is 26%. Shrier of Children’s pointed out that “herpes is tricky:” genital herpes infections can also involve HSV-1, the virus known best as “cold sores” around the mouth.
So it’s clearer than ever that lack of symptoms is no guarantee against infection. Wald said, “Asymptomatic shedding may be the central phenomenon of transmission.” In the old days, doctors would warn herpes patients to avoid sexual contact mainly when they had active lesions, believing that was the only time they were really contagious. -In the general population, one-fifth of women and 11.5% of men are infected. If someone with HSV-1 performs oral sex, the receiving partner may contract genital herpes, though it is HSV-1 rather than the typical 2.
But evidence has long been growing that herpes can be transmitted even when no lesions are visible. And HSV-1 is so widespread that pretty much everyone gets it by the time they’re elderly, she said.
Because, the patient replied, she had scoped out his body and “there’s nothing about him.” Dr.
Lydia Shrier, an adolescent medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital Boston. Patients tell her that they’ve never had blisters or lesions or sores, and so cannot possibly have genital herpes. It falls to her to disabuse them of these notions, saying: “You can have lesions or not, you can have symptoms or not, you should basically be operating the same way, which is to assume that everyone has herpes.” That means taking precautions, from limiting sexual contact to using condoms. I read the article about five times myself, saying, wow, and I do this for a living.
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I have become positive about thing s getting greater later. He said he knew he had the virus but didn't think he would infect me ... I still can't believe I have to carry this virus in my system. This is the one that I wish I could change with everything that has happen in my life. I got really, really sick with it and i thought I had cancer or something terrible.
I found out I have this virus 3 days ago and I've been completely devastated about it. We have gone out a few times and ended up spending the night.