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  • Herpes testing

    My partner tested positive for HSV 2 anti-bodies.

    She displayed symptoms, I have displayed no symptoms, with the last sexual contact about 7 days ago.

    Should I get tested for Herpes?

    If I do decide to get tested, what is the window period or waiting period to obtain reliable results?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    assuming I now test positive for HSV1 and/or 2, but display no symptoms, will I increase my chance of having symptoms by being actively exposed to someone who is displaying herpes symptoms?

    or does it make no difference since I already have been exposed to herpes virus previously?

    in other words, do precautions still need to be taken with a partner with active symptomatic herpes sores if I myself am already an asymptomatic carrier?
    Last edited by debt; 02-14-2020, 05:25 PM.

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    • #3
      Dear Debt, thank you for your question.
      HSV 2 antibodies generally start showing up in the blood after a few weeks. The recommended window period for testing is 4 weeks.
      If you already have HSV but have no symptoms, having sex with someone who has symptomatic HSV does not increase your chance of developing symptoms.
      Nevertheless, it is advised to avoid sexual contact when either party is having a HSV flare, as the broken skin causes pain/discomfort, and increased chance of transmitting other STDs if present.

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      • #4
        Thank you for your helpful reply Dr Ong.

        Are there general recommendations or practical advice given by doctors in the case where someone tests positive for HSV (blood test), but has never experienced any symptoms?

        Is there a need to inform future partners or take precautions?

        Or this is so common amongst the general population that there's no significant cause for concern?

        Originally posted by Dr. Edwin Ong View Post
        Dear Debt, thank you for your question.
        HSV 2 antibodies generally start showing up in the blood after a few weeks. The recommended window period for testing is 4 weeks.
        If you already have HSV but have no symptoms, having sex with someone who has symptomatic HSV does not increase your chance of developing symptoms.
        Nevertheless, it is advised to avoid sexual contact when either party is having a HSV flare, as the broken skin causes pain/discomfort, and increased chance of transmitting other STDs if present.

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        • #5
          Based on a quick Google, I understand there are several strains of HSV2.

          Is it possible that I picked up Strain A, from Partner A, and my body had no visible reaction, so this was asymptomatic.

          However, I pick up Strain B, from Partner B (different person), and now my body responds more adversely, and now produces symptoms.

          Both strains are HSV-2, but from different partners.

          Is above scenario possible? If yes, then I should still take precautions with other HSV-2 positive partners?

          Reason for my question is that it seems too good to be true that someone can have a free pass to "escape" Herpes by being HSV2 positive but asymptomatic? You have the anti-bodies to fight off HSV2 infections, but yet don't suffer any symptoms.

          (Assume that partners have tested negative for all other STDs)
          Last edited by debt; 02-15-2020, 10:29 AM.

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          • #6
            For someone who has HSV but has no symptoms, the general advice is to keep one's immune system healthy and functioning well, and avoiding being under too much stress. It would be courteous and responsible to inform future partners, and to take the necessary precautions such as condom usage. It would be good practice to still take precautions with other HSV2 positive partners.

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            • #7
              Dear Dr Ong

              Thanks again for your reply. Unrelated question: for someone who has had Epstein Barr Virus in the past, does this offer any kind of protection against catching HSV1/2?

              Since both are in same Herpes family

              Thank you

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