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Infectious Diseases

How long could I have been carrying Herpes2?

05/10/2005

Question:

I am a 39 year old female. I was told three weeks ago I have HSV2, after a test. I had all the flu like symptoms, but no visible sores. Internally, I didn`t feel anything. I had been having trouble fighting off a bacterial infection before this was diagnosed and have had lots of problems with bacteria and yeast in the past. I have been taking Valtrex for three weeks and thought it was safe to with a . My partner just got tested and does not have it. We tried and I felt very uncomfortable and slight burning upon insertion. We stopped after several attemps. How am I to know if I am safe or not to as I cannot tell? The flu like symptoms had gone. I am confused and frustrated. The doctor wants me to take the Valtrex for 3 months. Why is that? I have an ulcer sore in my gum of my mouth, just one? Is that related? I used to get them from acid stomach growing up.

Answer:

I have several comments to your questions.  A very good site to view is www.cdc.gov/std/Herpes/STDFact-Herpes.htm

Blood tests can tell if you have been infected with herpes, but may not be able to tell if the infection was recent, depending on the test that was done.  A positive IgM antibody test would suggest the infection was more recent.  A positive IgG test suggests an infection that occurred months or years earlier.

If you've had recurrent l infections you should consider being tested for HIV.

I cannot explain why your doctor wants you to take Valtrex when you do not have active lesions.  You should discuss this with him/her.

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Response by:

Peter Grubbs, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati