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What is the difference between Herpes type 1 and 2?

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Old 11-30-2007, 04:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
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Stellasfellas50 HB User
Question What is the difference between Herpes type 1 and 2?

I went to the doctor this week because of concern over a sore on my genitals which hadn't completely healed over a 7 week period of time. The doctor said it could be herpes, but since it wasn't "weeping" she couldn't take a culture and suggested I try Valtrex, just in case. After 24 hours on Valtrex, the sore had changed greatly, so we assumed it is herpes, but she didn't give me any information other than to tell me to practice safe sex and use the Valtrex for 7 days when I have an outbreak. She didn't explain type 1 or 2, or suggest any further tests or anything. Any correct information and encouragement or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Last edited by Stellasfellas50; 11-30-2007 at 04:40 PM. Reason: reworded a sentence

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Old 11-30-2007, 09:11 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: MB Canada
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catharine101 HB User
Re: What is the difference between Herpes type 1 and 2?

Well, firstly you need to make sure you've been correctly diagnosed. It probably is herpes, seeing as the Valtrex helped, but you need to be sure, and you also need to find out if it's type 1 or type 2.

Go and get a blood test. A blood test will give you a positive result after about 3 - 4 months having the virus. This is the first time you've had an outbreak, but you may have been carrying the virus for quite som time. This will help determine that. If a blood test now turns up positive (for either type), you've been carrying the virus for over 3 - 4 months. If you are negative, it's a new infection. If you are positive for only one type, or negative for both, go back in 3 months and get tested again. Any difference in the results will tell you what has happened recently.

Practicing safe sex is certainly advisable, but you need to be aware that it doesn't 100% guarantee that you won't give the virus to someone else. The virus is transferred via skin on skin contact, and it inhabits the whole boxer shorts region - obviously more than is covered by a condom. Many people have contracted the virus while still using safe sex. For this reason, among others, you need to inform any sexual partners that you have herpes before you have sex.

There are generally two kinds of herpes that are discussed on this board - oral and genital. There's also shingles, chicken pox etc., but that's not really relevant. Oral and genital herpes are caused by the Herpes Simlex virus, which comes in two strains - HSV1 and HSV2. HSV1 prefers to live orally, but still thrives genitally. HSV2 prefers to live genitally, but will also live orally, if that's the area it's transferred to. It's a common misconception that HSV1 is oral herpes and HSV2 is genital. Either strain can and does live in either location. Generally, the severity of the strain when it's not in it's preferred happy place is less, however, this really depends on the person.

A lot of the basic information you need regarding what the virus is, how it's transmitted etc. can be found in the Herpes Handbook by Terri WArren. It was recommended to me on this site, and I found it really helpful - now I recommend it to everyone else. YOu can ******** it - it's a really easy, informative read.

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