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Jan 30, 2010

I recently got a diagnoses of herpes simplex-2 and I have HIV ...what should be my concerns? Also how contagious is it - can I pass it to others just by everyday contact?

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks. Type 2 herpes (HSV2, herpes simplex type 2) affects over 50 million Americans, and a majority of people with HIV. HSV 2 is usally a genital infection and can spread by sexual contact. It can cause sores and blisters on the genitals, swollen glands and burning with urination, but can also spread during times when there are no visible sores. This is called shedding. A latex condom can help prevent transmission.

HIV and HSV2 can be related...they can spread together and having HSV sores can increase the chance of acquiring HIV and of spreading it to others. Also HIV, especially if the CD4 count is low, can make HSV more severe. You can have more frequent and symptomatic outbreaks than people without HIV.

HSV2 can be suppressed with medication (acyclovir or valacyclovir can be used).

Best, Joe

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