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hiv and herpes
Oct 3, 2001

Hi, Doctor, What are the odds for a HIV positive person to have an current painful Genital Herpes outbreak, with no prior symptoms and after no sex for 10 years? Could one a), get infected asymptomatically with the herpes virus 10 years ago, b), for then the virus to lay dormant for 10 years and then c), become symptomatic? Thanks for your time!

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

Many persons with genital HSV have no obvious symptoms. A recent study by Cory at University of Washington evaluated persons who were antibody positive for HSV and claimed to not have symptoms. After a uniform education program, it turns out that many persons had subclinical symptoms that could be associated with HSV. Furthermore, many persons shed HSV virus from genital secretions even when they did not have symptoms.

From this, it could be understandable why someone might be "asymptomatic" for 10 years, and become symptomatic (with more classical symptoms) many years later. BY



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