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Herpes is sometimes not contagious while the carrier is in remission

  • herpes
  • oral
  • hsv-1
  • hsv-2
  • genital
  • hsv1
  • hsv2

Question:

"Hi, my boyfriend was reciently diagnosed with herpes type 1, the test on herpes type 2 result came not positive nor negative it seems to be on the gray area. A couple of months i got and outbreak so the Dr told me i had herpes so i got tested for both 1 and 2 everything came out negative but my highest level came on type 1 wich im assuming that will be my final result since my body still building memory. So my question is, if my boy friend gets tested again and herpes type 2 comes positive can i still have a primary breakout on this one as painful as the one with type 1 if i get infected? Or how does ot work? No one seems to have an answer on this subject and im pretty confused! I would really appreciate some help! Thanks :)"

- Anonymous

Response:

Thank you for your question. It can be difficult to get reliable information sometimes, and we appreciate the fact that you came to us for answers.

Since it is difficult to interpret exactly what you are asking, we will provide you with some information about herpes and how it spreads.

There are two types of herpes: oral and genital. Oral herpes is known as type 1 or HSV-1. Genital herpes is known as type 2 or HSV-2. Both types of herpes are highly contagious.

The majority of adults in the United States and the world will test positive for HSV-1. For most people, it is not a big deal. HSV-1 will manifest itself as a canker sore in or around the mouth once every few years or so. HSV-1 is most contagious while the person carrying it is having an outbreak. That being said, the days leading up to an outbreak is also a period of time where the carrier is highly contagious as well.

The same periods of contagiousness are present for HSV-2 as well. HSV-2 is similar to HSV-1, but the main symptom of HSV-2 is cold sores around the pubic area. 

Treatments are available for both HSV-1 and HSV-2, but there is no cure. The medications that are available require a prescription in the United States. These medications can reduce the amount of time an outbreak will last for and also reduce the severity of these outbreaks.

While herpes is most easily spread while the carrier is having a breakout, it should be noted that herpes can be transmitted at other times as well. Since herpes is a bloodborne infectious disease, it can be spread from one person to another through activities that are not sexual (such as IV drug use) or through open wounds.

In your case, it is very possible for you to have been sleeping with your boyfriend without getting herpes from him. There are instances of married couples that have been intimate with each other for decades without one partner spreading herpes to the other partner. As stated earlier, the disease is the most contagious during outbreaks. Avoiding sexual activities during outbreaks can help one partner not spread herpes to the other partner.

That being said, you should get yourself tested for herpes again at your earliest convenience. The only way to know for sure whether or not your status for being negative or positive in regards to herpes is to get yourself tested for both HSV-1 and HSV-2.


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