My sister has genital herpes and I have a question...

Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2018 01:55 am
Back in December my sister discovered she had genital herpes. Before that she had been using my cold cream on her genitals for a while and i had been using it as well for my eczema.

Although i know you can't get it from daily normal contact, and the virus dies really fast outside the body (probably moreso in cold cream/Desitin), the fact that I used it on my eczema spots when they got dry or split (and the fact sh applied it a lot of times to her genitals and double dipped in it) makes me a bit anxious.

I was wondering is it possible to have caught it? Given what is known about Herpes and the fact i have had no issues or changes, i kind of feel silly for asking. But its something that has been buzzing around in my mind for a while that i cant shake off, and don't have anyone to ask.
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Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2018 09:18 am
My advice is to forget it. Herpes is an over-hyped disease. Unless you have symptoms, you should just ignore it.

Herpes is an extremely common virus. Twenty percent of adult women have genital herpes and the vast majority of them don't know it. The percentage for men is less, but only because of physiology (it is harder for men to catch it). In most people the virus causes no detectable symptoms (or symptoms so light that they are unnoticed). In some people it causes an uncomfortable skin rash.

Let me tell you my story. Several years ago, some idiot doctor gave me a herpes test (I got an STD panel done because I had a new partner and wanted to be a responsible single). They called me back to tell me I was positive for the HSV-2 virus (genital herpes). They gave me no information other than that. No support, no advice... they gave me nothing.

Obviously I was upset... this sounded like pretty important news. So I made an appointment for a STD clinic to get a second opinion, another test (the internet said the tests were inaccurate) and some advice from someone who cared.

The doctor at the clinic asked me if I had symptoms. I said "No". Then she refused to give me a second test. She said it was a common disease, rarely serious and without symptoms a test was medically counter-indicated. She said the first doctor should never have given me the test because the stigma and stress of a herpes test is worse than having the herpes virus and not knowing it. I cajoled her into giving me a second test (I explained that I already had stress and as a science guy it would help me to have a second data point). The test came back negative, but with slightly elevated values... but she explained that it really didn't mean much.

So here is the point. Herpes is a disease that doctors aren't supposed to test for even though it is incredibly common. Doctors know that there are millions of sexually active adults with the virus, and they still think that testing causes more problems than the actual disease.

My advice is to forget about it unless you get severe symptoms. Severe symptoms would be cold sores, little sores that you have never had before (completely unlike eczema). I would get my own cold cream. If you get the new sores. You will go to a doctor, get tested then for the cause of the sores. And be treated for a skin rash whether it is caused by HSV or not. No big deal.

Herpes is a way over-hyped disease. In the herpes community people point out that it was unknown until the 1970s (it was simply considered a rash in an embarrassing location) when the pharmaceutical companies found they could sell new anti-virus if they invented a new scary sounding STD.

Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2018 12:27 pm
I've never been sexually active, so I don't mean to sound rude but since the worst part of it is the stigma it still seems pretty irresponsible not to tell people. Because then if they get it and have severe symptoms (like my sister did) they have to worry about the stigma around it as well, and how it will effect them.
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2018 04:10 pm
WTF would the stigma be of having your own doctor give you a herpes test?

That's BS.

Me thinks the stigma was all in that particular physicians mind.

That's right up there with doctors deciding for us (particularly women) that they won't provide sterilization because at some future unknown time we will "regret it" Um, whose regret will be be doctor? Yours?

To the poster, google over the counter herpes test. You can test for it at home.

Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2018 04:13 pm
You could do a simple Google search before posting something ignorant.

Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2018 04:31 pm
When I post something ignorant, I'll keep that in mind.

Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2018 04:52 pm
I agree with the CDC. If you take the test and get told you have herpes, what are you going to do about it?

It is better if you can just find something to worry about that is more important that a skin rash (that is usually so mild the vast majority of people don't even know they have it).
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