Advertisement

herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

topic posted Mon, March 21, 2005 - 12:15 PM by  ascendant
Share/Save/Bookmark
i've heard doctors say things from 'pretty much everyone has it' to '1 out of 5 people have it'

i forget whether they were talking about genital or oral herpes...but just today on the phone, talking to someone who answered the phone at an std clinic, they told me that 'everyone' has oral herpes, as they get it from their family members by being kissed (or, i am guessing, kissing anyone!)


all i have to say is this: if i had known that i could get herpes from MAKING OUT with someone way back in middle school, i sure as hell wouldn't have made out with just anyone :P

:disappointed:
posted by:
ascendant
Germany
Advertisement
  • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

    Mon, March 21, 2005 - 2:23 PM
    What is it that you are disappointed about?

    My understanding is that most people do get it very young and probably from something as benign as sharing a drink with a family member. So what would be the problem with making out with people?
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

    Mon, March 21, 2005 - 2:31 PM
    The statistic I have heard is 80% of the population has it. I like to think I got it from kissing that really hot second grade girl on the playground when I was in the first grade. It kind of makes it all worth while that way.
    • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

      Mon, March 21, 2005 - 3:19 PM
      Most of the poplulation has been exposed to HSV 1 (the type that prefers the mouth, but can infect other areas). Once you've been exposed to HSV 1, your body produces antibodies which lesson the likelihood of you getting reinfected in a different area, or catching HSV 2 (the type that prefers the genitals).

      Some people are infected with type 1 and type 2, but this is rare.
      • Unsu...
         

        Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

        Mon, March 21, 2005 - 4:52 PM
        A K, do you have any sources which cite numbers for the percentage of people with both type 1 and type 2?

        if being infected with both 1 and 2 is rare, 80% of the population is infected with type 1, and 20-25% is infected with type 2, does this imply that most people without type 1 are infected with type 2?
        • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

          Mon, March 21, 2005 - 7:18 PM
          From the cdc:
          Genital Herpes:Results of a nationally representative study show that genital herpes infection is common in the United States. Nationwide, at least 45 million people ages 12 and older, or one out of five adolescents and adults, have had genital HSV infection. Between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, the number of Americans with genital herpes infection increased 30 percent.

          Genital HSV-2 infection is more common in women (approximately one out of four women) than in men (almost one out of five). This may be due to male-to-female transmissions being more likely than female-to-male transmission.

          I couldn't find anything from them re: oral herpes.

          www.herpes.com tells us:
          Just how much of a physical problem HSV poses for a person depends largely on three factors. The first is how well the person's immune system is able to control the infection.

          Differences in immune response may be the main reason that some people are bothered by frequent cold sores or genital herpes outbreaks while others are not. It's also the reason that both HSV-1 and 2 can pose serious challenges for infants, who have a limited immune response; and for people with compromised immune systems, including people with cancer, AIDS, severe burns, and people taking immunosuppressant medications.

          The second factor affecting outbreaks is how long a person has had the infection. Over time, recurrences of both HSV- 1 and 2 tend to decrease, for reasons that aren't entirely clear.

          In the case of oral HSV-1, many of the approximately 100 million Americans who are infected acquired the virus when they were children. By the time they're adults, only some 5% of people are bothered enough to consider oral HSV-1 a medical problem, according to Spruance.

          On the other hand, almost all of the approximately 40 million Americans infected with HSV-2 acquired the virus as teenagers or adults. In the first year, those who have recurring outbreaks experience an average of four to six episodes. Over time, as with oral infections, the number of outbreaks usually drops off.

          A third factor influencing the frequency of HSV -1 and 2 outbreaks is whether the virus is established in its site of preference. While HSV can infect both genital and oral areas, both types cause milder infections when they are away from "home" territory. Outside their site of preference, both type 1 and 2 lose most of their punch.

          For example, most people infected with HSV-1 in the genital area have few, if any, outbreaks after the initial episode, far fewer than is typical with either oral HSV-1 or genital HSV-2. While experts estimate that some 30% of genital herpes infections in the United States may be caused by HSV-1, only 2- 5% of recurring genital outbreaks are caused by HSV-1. Research conducted by Lawrence Corey, MD, and colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle shows that genital HSV-2 recurs 10 times more often than genital HSV-1.
          .......
          How Easily Spread?
          As a number of readers have attested over the years, many people with genital herpes are at least as concerned about transmission-the likelihood of spreading the virus to a partner-as about their own health. On the other hand, few people with oral herpes, share this concern. Is this because one type is more contagious than the other?

          The short answer is no. Both viral types are easily transmitted to their site of preference, and can also be spread to other sites. Both are most contagious during active outbreaks, but are often spread through viral shedding when there are no recognizable symptoms. According to Spruance, people with recurrent oral HSV-1 shed virus in their saliva about 5% of the time even when they show no symptoms. In the first year of infection, people with genital HSV-2 shed virus from the genital area about 6-10% of days when they show no symptoms, and less often over time. (Both of these figures reflect shedding as detected by viral culture.)
          ...By the time they're teenagers or young adults, about 50% of Americans have HSV-1 antibodies in their blood. By the time they are over age 50, some 80-90% of Americans have HSV-1 antibodies.

          By comparison, almost all HSV-2 is encountered after childhood, when people become sexually active. Those who have a prior infection with HSV-1 have an acquired immune response that lowers - though certainly doesn't eliminate-the risk of acquiring HSV-2. According to one study (Mertz, Annals of Internal Medicine,1992), previous oral HSV-1 infection reduces the acquisition of subsequent HSV-2 infection by 40%.

          A prior infection with oral HSV-1 lowers the risk of acquiring genital HSV-1 even further. Studies show that genital HSV-1 infections almost always occur in people who have no prior infection with HSV of either type (Corey, Annals of Internal Medicine, 1983).

          In the absence of prior oral infection, however, HSV-1 spreads easily to the genital area, usually through oral sex. In some countries, such as Japan and parts of Great Britain, genital HSV-1 is as common as genital HSV- 2, or more common.

          "Prevalence rates of genital HSV-1 differ based on the practice of oral sex and on the percentage of people who are HSV-1 positive from childhood," explains Anna Wald, MD researcher at the University of Washington at Seattle.

          Finally, the question of immunity and HSV types is complicated by an additional issue. Some studies suggest that the ganglia themselves may acquire some immunity to HSV after they are exposed to one viral type.

          In the laboratory, infection of ganglia with more than one virus is difficult, suggesting that it may be more difficult to acquire a second HSV type in a location where you already have HSV. A prior genital infection with HSV-1, for example, may give more protection against genital HSV-2 than a prior oral infection with HSV-1.

          What does all this mean on a practical level? Let's look at some examples to find out. Say you have genital HSV-1 and your partner has genital HSV-2. If you have unprotected sex, there is a small but real risk that you will get HSV-2, resulting in more outbreaks and more shedding. "We have documented cases where a person acquires HSV-2 after a prior genital HSV- 1 infection," says Wald. "I don't think it happens often, but it does happen."

          On the other hand, it's very unlikely that your partner will get genital HSV- 1 from you. "I've never seen a case of a person acquiring HSV-1 on top of HSV-2," says Wald. "It's possible, but it would be unusual."

          What if your partner has genital HSV-2 and you perform oral sex on him or her? Will you get HSV- 2 in the mouth? Given the widespread practice of oral sex (some three-quarters of all adults practice it, according to The Social Organization of Sexuality, 1994) and the prevalence of genital HSV-2 infection, you might expect oral HSV-2 to be relatively common. It's not.

          According to one study, almost 100% of recognizable HSV-2 infection is genital (Nahmias, Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases Supplement, 1990). One reason is that most adults are already infected with HSV-1 orally, which provides some immunity against infection with HSV 2. Another reason is that oral HSV-2 rarely reactivates, so even if an infection does exist, no one knows.

          So far we've been talking about transmission of HSV-1 or 2 from its site of preference. What about transmission from another site? Say you acquire genital HSV-1 through oral sex. Can you spread the virus to a partner through genital sex?

          The answer is yes, but probably not as easily as it was spread through oral sex. The main reason is that the virus reactivates and sheds less often outside its site of preference. Only about one quarter of people with genital HSV- 1 shed virus at all in the absence of symptoms, while 55% of people with HSV-2 do (Wald, New England Journal of Medicine, 1995). "Shedding data appear to parallel recurrence data, meaning that people who have a lot of recurrences also have a lot of shedding," says Wald.

          While HSV- 1 can be spread from genitals to genitals, "we think it is spread more easily through oral sex because HSV-1 reactivates more frequently in the oral area," says Wald. However, she warns, "transmission of genital HSV-1 during asymptomatic shedding has been documented." In other words, genital HSV-1 can be spread through genital sex, even when there are no symptoms. "Good" Virus/ "Bad" Virus

          If HSV infection is as easily transmitted from the mouth as from the genitals, then why do people take steps to prevent genital but not oral infection? Why don't we kiss through dental dams ?

          "It's ironic, isn't it?" says Wald. "It's not about health, it's about social acceptability."

          ======================

          I have to end on that last line. It is so... fitting...
  • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

    Tue, March 22, 2005 - 12:22 AM
    i've read so many posts in this tribe i don't remember:

    does anybody have information on the effect hsv infections have on subsequent std infection? i.e., can having hsv increase one's likelihood of catching something else?
    • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

      Tue, March 22, 2005 - 2:18 PM
      The HSV-2 link to HIV is really prevalent among gay men, Sean. Really prevalent. So much so that there are studies going on to find out why some folks are HIV- but HSV-2+.
      • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

        Tue, March 22, 2005 - 2:42 PM
        i understand hiv+ guys getting hsv (or anything else, really) easily. does the link you mention go the other direction?
        • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

          Tue, March 22, 2005 - 7:47 PM
          "i understand hiv+ guys getting hsv (or anything else, really) easily. does the link you mention go the other direction?"

          I don't know that having HIV makes anyone more susceptible to catching other viruses, bacteria, fungus or parasites. HIV challenges the immune system, but people with AIDS don't get the flu more than others. They are more likely to be affected by unusual or rare infections.

          I think the link between gays with HSV and HIV would be volume of sexual behavior. Most gay men have MANY sex partners throughout their lives. I have a 22 yr old gay friend who insists he's not a slut and has had sex with less than 20 people. However he doesn't count oral sex in that figure -- otherwise the number would be well over 100.
          • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

            Tue, March 22, 2005 - 8:11 PM
            Where I'm from, your boyfriend's use of the language is right. The word "sex" meant penetration. If you put an adjective or qualifier in front of the word "sex," it wasn't really sex. And the term "anal sex" would be redundant for gay male encounters. "Oral sex," such as performed by Mr. Clinton and Miss Lewinsky, is just "fooling around."

            But ... back to herpes ...
            • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

              Wed, March 23, 2005 - 1:17 AM
              Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

              Not back to herpes.

              In oral sex there IS PENETRATION.

              *grumble*

              Pet Peeve.
              • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

                Wed, March 23, 2005 - 10:39 AM
                Whether you call it oral sex or "fooling around," the fact remains that there are some risks involved. It's not high risk activity, but it's still good to be aware.

                Personally, I don't define sex as penetration because there are so many other ways to cum :-)
                • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

                  Wed, March 23, 2005 - 12:24 PM
                  :: thud ::

                  Both of you missed the nuance of both Dave Marr's and my post -- WE are not saying that oral sex isn't considered sex, but that we know of people who ethically, morally and socially do not consider it sex. A lot of people. Including the ex-president.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

                    Thu, March 24, 2005 - 7:14 PM
                    Sorry about the misunderstaning. So many subtleties can be missed in an online context.
                    • Unsu...
                       

                      Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

                      Sat, March 26, 2005 - 4:28 PM
                      i wish i didn't have herpes
                      i always tell people
                      but it sucks to have to
                      i just want to dig in
                      • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

                        Sat, March 26, 2005 - 7:22 PM
                        Well, you can bitch and moan with me, girlina. The more I hear about it, the better prepared I'll be.

                        I have to say, there is this part of me that's already a bit unclear on the concept -- and I was talking with my doctor about this ... If I haven't had an outbreak that I can detect, how do I know when I'm having an outbreak? What are my responsibilities here? Yes, yes, I know, get him to wear a condom ... but beyond the actual act of intercourse, what else do I avoid and how do I know when to avoid it if I don't feel the outbreak??? Aaargh!
                        • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

                          Mon, March 28, 2005 - 5:38 PM
                          >If I haven't had an outbreak that I can detect, how do I know >when I'm having an outbreak? What are my responsibilities >here?

                          I'm in the same boat - I tested positive for HSV2 but not HSV1... I suspect I caught HSV2 when most everyone else was catching HSV1 through casual contact, becasue I have had no symptomatic signs past the infamous 'high-school coldsores'.

                          I'm not in a position to tell my partners more than the basic facts I have to work with - e.g. I test positive for HSV2 but not HSV1; I had coldsores in highschool; I have never been able to confirm site of infection even though I've been hyper vigilent about watching for signs and symptoms.

                          My advice is to be honest about basic KNOWN facts, and then be hyper-vigilant for potential clues - and forgo skin-to-skin contact if you feel anything abnormal.
                          • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

                            Thu, April 14, 2005 - 10:13 PM
                            I got it. I manage the 1 in 6 tribe for us lovely infectadoes. Obviously I need to update the name. You guys have some great info here.
                            I think it' pretty clear by now that these viruses are so effective because of thier ability to shed without a visible lesion and can hide out for decades. So the bad news is, yes, exposure to it is nearly inevitable if you are sexually active.
                            The good news is it can be a mildly annoying ailment or non existant on the surface and not disrupt your lif much or at all.

                            And no, as some stated above you can't be sure you don't have it (or proud of the fact) if you are sexually active. More bad news. But nothing to get overly upset about. It's a great reason to get more responsible and in communication.
                            You will never see a "war on Herpes" . It has been around since before we were lung fish. It won. Now it's up to us to deal with it powerfully in our personal lives. There are worse things to deal with, I say!
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

    Wed, April 27, 2005 - 7:53 AM
    I am a holistic herpes specialist and let's stop the misinformation about herpes that being spread by the media.

    Approximately 60% of the population had herpes , not 25% as is commonly stated. For some bizarre reason people with herpes type-1 , also known as "cold sores" are not included in the 25% number when really there is no such thing as cold sores or "oral herpes". Herpes 1 usually occours in the mouth region but can appear anywhere on and in the body including the genital area, elbows, your stomach , etc. The most common way people are getting herpes today is from someone with type 1 herpes of the mouth performing oral sex. The receiving party then ends up with a herpes type 1 infection in the genitals which is more cantagious and more dangerous than having a herpes type 2 infection in the genital area.

    You can shed virus and be contagious without having an outbreak , some studies suggest that people with herpes can shed virus without symptoms up to 36 days a year.

    70% of the people with herpes don't know they have herpes. If you have had more than 2 sex partners you have a 20% chance of having herpes , if you have had more than 4 partners it's a 40% chance and if you have had more than 6 partners you have a 60% chance of having herpes.

    There is no cure for herpes and a cure is unlikely in our lifetime but herpes can be well managed either by fdrug-therapy (with side-effects) or with diet, stress management and herbal medicine (without side effects).

    More info on my work with herpes can be found on my site
    www.natropractica.com
    regards
    christopher scipio
    homeopath/herbalist
    holistic viral specialist
    • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

      Thu, April 28, 2005 - 10:43 PM
      Christopher: I realize that you can get type 1 "oral" herpes in the genital areas, but i've read in several places that the virus is weaker when it's not on its home turf...
      On what do you base your statement that "oral herpes" in the genital region is more contagious and more dangerous than "genital herpes"?
      • Unsu...
         

        Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

        Fri, April 29, 2005 - 12:01 PM
        Oral herpes in the genital region is much more mobile than so-called gential herpes in the gential region-it is much more likely to migrate to the buttocks, perineum, anus and elsewhere on the body. It is also more contagious so it is more likely tranferred to your sex partner/s than so-called genital herpes. I am just wanting to alert people to the fact that most new herpes infections are type-1 infections of the genital area and it's should not be taken lightly. Most people with type-1 herpes of the mouth are not treating and managing their infection because it is imagined by too may people not to even be herpes ( a permanent viral infection).
        • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

          Sun, May 29, 2005 - 4:37 AM
          >> Oral herpes in the genital region is much more mobile than so-called gential herpes in the gential region-it is much more likely to migrate to the buttocks, perineum, anus and elsewhere on the body. It is also more contagious so it is more likely tranferred to your sex partner/s than so-called genital herpes. <<

          I'd like to see a peer-reviewed journal citation on those assertions, please.

          Wendy
    • Re: herpes - treatment/cures

      Fri, April 29, 2005 - 4:27 PM
      "There is no cure for herpes and a cure is unlikely in our lifetime but herpes can be well managed either by fdrug-therapy (with side-effects) or with diet, stress management and herbal medicine (without side effects)."

      I'd argue this is not true. There are several drugs/meds available now which (for most people) have no side-effects - I being one of them.

      Also a vaccine for herpes is currently in clinical trials, which means we may have a cure in a matter of years. If this one doesn't work, there is SO much genetic research happening with other ailments that it's not entirely unrealistic to think we could be at the doorway of eliminating many of the diseases (including cancer) that plague us now.
      • Unsu...
         

        Re: herpes - treatment/cures

        Fri, April 29, 2005 - 5:34 PM
        a vaccine is not the same thing as a cure. a vaccine prevents you from contracting a disease; it doesn't get rid of a disease that's already present.
        • Unsu...
           

          Re: herpes - treatment/cures

          Mon, May 2, 2005 - 7:01 PM
          My stupid little brother found out I have herpees and he went and told the whole family. So at Thanksgiving, my grandfather goes, "What's the difference between Love and Herpes?" and everybody just got very quiet, like what the F is he talking about, because he normally is reserved. So then he said "Herpes lasts forever you fuckers get used to our Sybil having it. I want you all to read up on it and help her, not be dickwads and tease her." The craziest thing was all the swear words he used, but it did really get everyone's attention. I hate being teased for something I don't really like having!Like, when I get called a slut, I don't fuckin' care, I like having sex!

          Okay, sorry to go on and on! LOL!

          I do miss my damn Grandpa.
        • Re: herpes - treatment/cures

          Fri, May 6, 2005 - 6:22 PM
          "a vaccine is not the same thing as a cure. a vaccine prevents you from contracting a disease; it doesn't get rid of a disease that's already present."

          Not exacty... currently there are two avenues for vaccines; theraputic and preventative. The first is for treating people who are already exposed, the latter is for preventing infection.

          "Cure" would imply recovery or remedy in medical terms. Generally a cure means the afflicted would not suffer the effects of the disease. This is what all vaccines strive to achieve.
    • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

      Sun, May 29, 2005 - 4:58 AM
      >> Approximately 60% of the population had herpes , not 25% as is commonly stated. For some bizarre reason people with herpes type-1 , also known as "cold sores" are not included in the 25% number <<

      That's too broad a statement. You have to differentiate between HSV1 and HSV2, because the numbers are very different.

      In actuality, the current medical literature shows that 80-90% of the adult population has HSV1, and 40% has HSV2.

      Of those numbers, somewhere in the vicinity of 80% don't know that they're infected.

      With asymptomatic shedding, the risk of transmission is estimated to be 15-35%. People with more frequent outbreaks will shed virus more often.

      Also, the drugs used to treat herpes nowadays are effective and remarkably safe, with very few, and generally very minimal side effects. www.rxlist.com/cgi/generi...ovir_ad.htm

      Some old studies have shown lysine to be effective, but the results have not been replicated, which means it won't hurt, and it may or may not help.

      Wendy

    • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

      Wed, June 1, 2005 - 7:38 PM
      Does anyone know the statistics of those who have HSV-1 genitally? Also, I thought people who had HSV-1 genitally had a harder time passing it on -as there tends to be fewer outbreaks.

      according to:
      www.westoverheights.com/freebo...xt.html

      About a third of first time genital outbreaks are now caused by HSV 1. At the first outbreak, there is no difference between how type I and type 2 behave. However, if a person has been infected with type I genitally, they are far less likely to have recurrences. About 55% of people with type I infections have recurrences, usually about once every other year, as opposed to people who have type 2, who have almost a 100% recurrence rate. It is very important that when lab tests are done to confirm herpes, they are also typed (HSV 1 or 2) as you can see that the viruses behave quite differently in the genital area. It is also important to know the viral type because a person who has HSV 1 genitally can still acquire HSV 2 genitally (the reverse almost never happens). In addition, HSV 1 genital infection can happen in a relationship where neither person has ever had another sexual partner if the couple participate in oral sex with each other.

  • Re: herpes - does everyone really have it?!?

    Fri, May 27, 2005 - 6:10 PM
    How common is herpes?

    About 50 percent to 80 percent of the adult population in the United States has oral herpes.

    Most people contract oral herpes when they are children by receiving a kiss from a friend or relative.

    About one in five adults in the United States has genital herpes, however as many as 90 percent are unaware that they have the virus.

    Anyone who is sexually active can contract genital herpes

Recent topics in "**I GOT TESTED!**"

Topic Author Replies Last Post
Love sex,love kiss and love dating! Unsubscribed 0 July 24, 2014
#1 Cougar Dating Site Unsubscribed 0 June 4, 2014
thanks for supporting Unsubscribed 0 June 3, 2014
Younger Women Older Men Dating Site Unsubscribed 0 April 22, 2014