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What’s your herpes status? (Anonymous poll)


What’s your herpes status? (Anonymous poll)  

79 members have voted

  1. 1. What’s your herpes status? (Anonymous poll)

    • I have oral herpes (cold sores), but not genital herpes
      11
    • I have genital herpes, but not oral herpes
      1
    • I have both oral and genital herpes
      2
    • I have oral herpes, but don’t know about genital
      0
    • I have genital herpes, but don’t know about oral
      1
    • I have HSV-1 and/or HSV-2, but don’t for certain if it’s orally and/or genitally located
      0
    • I don’t know if I have herpes
      25
    • I don’t have HSV1 or HSV2. I recently tested negative for both using type specific blood tests
      29
    • I don’t have HSV1 or HSV2 b/c I’ve never had vaginal, anal, or oral sex and never been kissed, even as a child
      10


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The following are *not* options:

- I don’t have herpes because I always used condoms during sex

- I don’t have herpes because I’m a virgin

- I don’t have herpes because I’ve only slept with one person and he/she was a virgin at the time

- I don’t have herpes because I never experienced a cold sore on my mouth or any symptoms genitally

 

. . . b/c there are only two ways to know with certainty (or as much certainty as you can get on this) that you do not have the herpes simplex virus and both are listed in the poll.

 

Someone asked about my status and that of ENA members generally in this thread: link.

So I thought why not have an anonymous poll, and at the same time, raise some awareness about HSV, which as the prior thread demonstrated, is in short supply.

 

 

Warning: Before clicking those links and reading, I offer this: I knew almost nothing about HSV (probably what your average American knows) before I started looking into it. Now that I reasonably well educated on the subject, I have mixed feelings about having learned so much about it. On the one hand, knowledge is power, and you can learn how/when HSV is transmittable and how to minimize transmission risks. On the other hand, ignorance about herpes can be bliss – this may sound silly to some, but there is some truth to it. For better or for worse in my own life, I was never big on willful ignorance.

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I think the last option sounds a little accusatory. I don't have any of the above and have been tested...but I don't not have them b/c I've never had sex or been kissed "even as a child"....that implies that once you have sex or receive a kiss from even your parents, then you should be infected.

??? I don't quite understand the latest statement, but that's what I put since I don't have any strains of herpes.

 

haha, its cus the chance of you getting it as a child is extremely high. you get it from sharing drinks with someone who has it (parents). i don't have it and i think some people are just immuned from it?

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I think the last option sounds a little accusatory. I don't have any of the above and have been tested...but I don't not have them b/c I've never had sex or been kissed "even as a child"....that implies that once you have sex or receive a kiss from even your parents, then you should be infected.

??? I don't quite understand the latest statement, but that's what I put since I don't have any strains of herpes.

Hmmm, didn't mean for it to come accross as accusatory. But I would guess that the odds that babies and small children don't ever get kissed by parents or relatives is pretty small.

 

BUT, that certainly doesn't mean one has oral herpes. It just means there was a *potential* for exposure.

 

Tell me how you think it should be phrased, and I'll see if I can edit the poll.

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You're going to get lots of number 9s when they should be 7s. I just see it now. Who the heck wasn't kissed by their parents? Maybe if you grew up in an orphanage....

You're probably right. I tried to cover all the bases with #9, and I'm told I'm being accusatory.

 

Maybe if someone was a *really* ugly baby? :splat:

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Even then, I was negative since I last tested about 5 months ago.

I could have it now if my partner had cheated on me (not that I'm suspecting anything, just saying) and never knew... so even that's not a "safe" option.

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Chickenpox is an interesting case. I actually thought about it in that other thread, but I didn't say anything at the time because it was getting a little heated. Anyway, when I was a kid there was no chickenpox vaccine in my country that I'm aware of. Many kids got the disease and many parents even encouraged their kids to get it. Now CP is not just a few spots. It can cause serious illness and even death in some kids. Not to mention that it is also very dangerous for the fetus in any pregnant women and can cause shingles (very painful) down the road. I believe that the reason CP is not considered so bad is because it has nothing to do with sex or the genitals, unlike herpes, which can't actually kill anyone or cause any serious damage to the body.

 

That's not to say I want herpes or wouldn't be upset if I got it. I'm just saying that I think people think of it as a much bigger deal because it has to do with naughty parts.

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i dont think blood tests are even that accurate for herpes?? can you ever know for sure if you do have it or not (unless you were a total virgin)??

Great question. From what I recall, for ELISA type-specific antibody tests:

HSV-1: ~90% of negative results are correct

HSV-2: 98% of negative results are correct

 

So you're right, one cannot be absolutely certain they don't have it, but if one has never had an outbreak (even in childhood), and the blood test comes back negative (assuming no potential exposures for 3 months prior to testing), then that's about as certain as one can get. I think the HSV Western Blot test may produce fewer false negatives for HSV-1, but I don't think that's the case for HSV-2, from what I recall.

 

On the other hand, one can be pretty certain they do have it. If the ELISA numeric result is high, then it is virtually certain that one has HSV. If the numeric result is low, but positive, then confirmatory testing is required. Also, a positive result may spur the person to learn more about symptoms. Apparently with genital HSV-2, only 20% have obvious symptoms, but a majority of the remaining 80% have recognizable symptoms once they learn what to look for. Prior to learning what to look for, many dismiss these milder symptoms as yeast infections, rash, ingrown hair follicles, etc.

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That's not to say I want herpes or wouldn't be upset if I got it. I'm just saying that I think people think of it as a much bigger deal because it has to do with naughty parts.

I agree the non-sexual aspect of chickenpox transmission gives it a much better reputation. But a very big distinction between VZV and HSV, it that once the former is suppressed (chickenpox is gone), reactivation is relatively rare, and shingles mostly affects the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

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I agree the non-sexual aspect of chickenpox transmission gives it a much better reputation. But a very big distinction between VZV and HSV, it that once the former is suppressed (chickenpox is gone), reactivation is relatively rare, and shingles mostly affects the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

 

I understand that. I'm just saying that one is potentially far more dangerous than the other. It amazes me that someone would purposely want their kid to get CP (including my own parents).

 

As you know, there are plenty of people who never get outbreaks of herpes. I don't have statistics, but I'd be willing to say it's most people. I agree that it sucks for the people that do get them. Good thing there's a vaccine on the horizon. There's also Valtrex, which can help prevent transmission by up to 85%.

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Most people get herpes from someone not experiencing an outbreak!

People don't often have sex with someone oozing sores all over...

 

That's the problem.

 

And no, there aren't any cures for it! It cannot be cured. Valtrex is meant to suppress outbreaks and reduce viral shedding, but is not extremely effective. I cannot remember the percentage it cuts down outbreaks. It's like 20% or something. Studied it in my Health Psychology class.

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Yes I know there's still a risk of having sex when there's no outbreak but I'm willing to accept that risk.

 

It WILL be curable some day just like everything else is.

 

I understand your position on it, because it sucks for you to be turned down.

Still you're not giving people a chance to make a decision for themselves, though. You would go to jail if you had HIV and did this. Obviously herpes is not usually life threatening in any way, but it's a life sentence and it's not fair to do that to people. Puts them in the same situation as you are in if they catch it from you

 

 

But I hope it can be cured (after cancer and whatnot). Some people suffer greatly from it.

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Interesting. I know I've had cold sores all my life. I have memories of having them when I was a child, and memories of my mother having them as well. My mom just always told me not to touch them or mess around with them a lot.

 

I WAS aware that cold sores were caused by viruses, but I didn't know that cold sores could be spread to a partner's genitals. I read the other thread that Diabolik started, and that made me do some research about herpes.

 

After reading, oral herpes (the cold sore kind) seems to be (to me, at least) not so much a "sexually transmitted disease", as it is a virus that can possibly be transmitted during sexual contact. I'd venture to say that there are a great deal of viruses that can be spread through sexual contact--any that can be passed through intimate contact with another person's fluids. If I am now to consider myself "diseased", I am so because I was kissed by my mother. Thus the ascription of the title "sexually transmitted disease" to H-1 is more social than it is "scientific" or "absolute". As another poster suggested previously, are we to label the flu or common cold as an STD because it can be transmitted whilst having sex (oral or genital) with someone who is (or is about to be) sick?

 

In fact, the instances of infection of the genitals by H-1 that are now on the rise seem to be the result of not being exposed to the virus orally, at a young age. So, in a way, I'm thankful that I was exposed to the virus orally--because, according to the studies that you cited in the other thread, it makes me immune to becoming infected with H-1 in the genitals (especially since the instances of infection--even among young people--is around 45%).

 

I have no problem with raising awareness about herpes--in fact, I'm thankful for these threads. But the manner in which you address posters that express an opinion contrary to yours, diabolik, is often overly aggressive and quite demeaning.

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In fact, the instances of infection of the genitals by H-1 that are now on the rise seem to be the result of not being exposed to the virus orally, at a young age. So, in a way, I'm thankful that I was exposed to the virus orally--because, according to the studies that you cited in the other thread, it makes me immune to becoming infected with H-1 in the genitals (especially since the instances of infection--even among young people--is around 45%).

 

This is a good point. Definitely lucky in some way..

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