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What are chances of herpes simplex 2 infection when suffering from herpes 1?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2009
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I have a question. About 4 years ago. I was diagnosed with Cold sores/ herpes simplex 1 (oral herpes) What are my chances of having herpes simplex 2 even if I have no symptoms? I have had an outbreak of cold sores at least one time a year. I don't know nor think I have been exposed to herpes simplex 2 and never showed symptoms and the doctoral never seen anything but on still worried that if I have oral heroest h at I could have genital herpes and not know it. So what are my chances of having genital herpes if I have oral.
Posted Thu, 27 Feb 2014 in Infections
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshul Varshney 1 hour later
Brief Answer: herpes 2 genital independent of herpes 1 oral Detailed Answer: Dear Friend. Hi , I am Dr Anshul Varshney , I have read your query in detail , I understand your concern. As you already know, there are two different types of herpes virus. Herpes simplex virus 1 usually associated with oral infection and herpes simplex 2 associated with genital infection. These both are highly recurrent infections. One good thing is herpes simplex 1 infection leads to formation of antibodies in our body within 6 weeks which protect the person from aquisition of herpes 1 genital infection. but provides no protection against herpes simplex 2 genital infection. So, the risk of aquiring herpes 2 genital infection is independent of the oral herpes 1 infection. This is my personal opinion based on details available here. If you still have any query you may please ask me. Stay Healthy. Dr Anshul Varshney , MD
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Follow-up: What are chances of herpes simplex 2 infection when suffering from herpes 1? 37 minutes later
I guess I'm a little confused. You said that our bodies formations of antibodies within six weeks which protects the person from acquisition herpes 1 genital infection but then you said that the risk of acquiring herpes 2 genital infection is independent of the oral herpes 1 infection. What does it mean that herpes simplex 2 is independent of the oral herpes simplex 1 infection? Could you help me understand.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshul Varshney 22 minutes later
Brief Answer: Detail follows Detailed Answer: Hello dear, Welcome again. Actually there are two different types of viruses : 1. Herpes simplex 1 virus: it commonly infects oral mucosa but can uncommonly infect genitals also. 2. Herpes simplex virus 2: it commonly infects genital mucosa but can infect oral mucosa also. So, in simple terms both viruses can infect oral as well as genital mucosa. But what happens, when a person gets herpes virus 1 infection, antibodies are formed against herpes 1 only, so it will protect against aquiring genital herpes infection caused by type 1 virus but not against type 2 virus. As herpes 2 virus is entirely different strain, it has no relation with herpes 1 type virus. So, in brief you are protected against herpes 1 genital infection. You are equally at risk of acquiring genital herpes caused by type 2 virus as the general population. I hope i am able to explain you. If you do not have further query, you may please close the discussion and rate it.
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Follow-up: What are chances of herpes simplex 2 infection when suffering from herpes 1? 8 minutes later
Yes that was very helpful, however even if I'm protected against herpes 1 genital infection, how would I know if I have herpes simplex 2? I haven't had any symptoms and the doctors I've gone to see said they won't test me for genital herpes simplex 2 because they don't see anything usual and idk if any of my past relationships have been exposed to genital herpes simplex two. So I guess I'm scared I could have genital herpes simplex two without any symptoms and not know it. Just an fyi I have been in a relationship/had sex since last July of 2013.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anshul Varshney 5 minutes later
Brief Answer: Get Tested Detailed Answer: Dear Friend. It is very difficult to comment that you have that infection or not. But if you are so much worried , you may get tested for IgM & IgG antibodies against HSV 1 and HSV 2. Get Tested , Be Sure :) Stay Healthy.
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