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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:34 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:22 am
Posts: 1
Location: Chicago, IL
My fiancee and I have been working on understanding Herpes more. I have been diagnosed with herpes (7 years ago) but have never had an outbreak or adverse reaction since the initial infection. Because of that, I've never had to deal with the reality of the disease physically, just the emotional pain involved. Nonetheless, now I am quite concerned that I am going to pass along a disease to my future wife once we get married and want to know what to expect.

We have called the Herpes Hotline a number of times and waited on hold for 30 to 45 min before hanging up. (I don't have that many cell phone minutes.) Thus, I come to you with these questions that even our doctors could not answer. Any thoughts or statistics would be extremely helpful. Don't worry about needing to answer all of them. Thanks so much!


- Statistically, what percentage of people who are in a monogamous relationship with an infected partner never get the disease?

- Statistically, how long does it take a person to contract the virus if they are in a monogamous relationship with no preventive action? With preventive action?

- Statistically, how effective is condom use in preventing transmission of the disease? Pills? Condom and pill together?

- Are there different reactions due to the different strains of the virus, or is the wide range of symptoms due only to varied individual response to the virus?

- Is there any way to predict how severe a person's reaction is likely
to be if infected?

- Does having multiple sexual partners cause more frequent/severe
outbreaks? If so, why?

- Statistically, how many infected women pass the disease to a child
during birth? How many infected births are from C-sections and how many from natural birth? Are doctors recommending C-sections across the board for infected women since the disease can be passed even when experiencing no symptoms? If not, what percentage of infected women end up needing a C-section to deliver safely?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:40 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:54 pm
Posts: 11
Have you ever thought of contacting the CDC? You know even condoms does not prevent Herpes..


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
Sounds like the hotline has been having some issues lately :( I"m glad you came here to post :) You don't get me on the hotline :(

first thing is - how were you diagnosed as having genital herpes 7 years ago? Do you know if you have hsv1 or hsv2? Was it just a visual diagnosis and assumed it's hsv2 because it was below the belt? Also has your partner been tested for herpes to know her status? Do you take daily suppressive therapy at all?


Statistically, what percentage of people who are in a monogamous relationship with an infected partner never get the disease?

There aren't any long term studies on this unfortunately that I"m aware of.

- Statistically, how long does it take a person to contract the virus if they are in a monogamous relationship with no preventive action? With preventive action?

If you have hsv2 and your partner doesn't and you two do absolutely nothing but avoid sex during obvious symptoms in yourself - she has about a 8-10% risk each year of contracting hsv2 from you. If you take daily suppressive therapy her risk is cut in half. Throw condoms in along with all of that and it's about a 2-3% risk each year of contracting hsv2 from you. Of course these are averages and your mileage may vary.


- Statistically, how effective is condom use in preventing transmission of the disease? Pills? Condom and pill together?

see above


- Are there different reactions due to the different strains of the virus, or is the wide range of symptoms due only to varied individual response to the virus?

It's as much about bad luck as anything actually. Just knowing you are infected with hsv2 reduces your partners chances of contracting it. It's the folks who have no idea they are infected who's partners are at the highest risks. They haven't found that any strain of hsv2 is more likely to transmit or anything like that.

- Is there any way to predict how severe a person's reaction is likely
to be if infected?

no. If they have hsv1 or their partner is on daily suppressive therapy it's more likely to be a "milder" infection with hsv2 but even that's not guaranteed.

- Does having multiple sexual partners cause more frequent/severe
outbreaks? If so, why?

no.

- Statistically, how many infected women pass the disease to a child
during birth? How many infected births are from C-sections and how many from natural birth? Are doctors recommending C-sections across the board for infected women since the disease can be passed even when experiencing no symptoms? If not, what percentage of infected women end up needing a C-section to deliver safely?

If the mother is infected with hsv2 prior to becoming pregnant then the risk of transmitting the virus to the baby during birth, in the absence of any lesions , is less than 1%. If there is an active lesion present or the virus is contracted during the 3rd trimester than a c section is performed. No obvious lesions at the time of delivery otherwise and a vaginal birth can be allowed with very, very risk.

Feel free to ask any other questions you have :)

betsy

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