Does taking acyclovir mean you have herpes? Recently started

Patient

Q: Does taking acyclovir mean you have herpes? Recently started dating someone and noticed they are taking these pills, only directed to once a day on the bottle and I am curious.

Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thanks for the query to ATD for an opinion,

Acyclovir is an antiviral medication which is being used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses. It treats cold sores around the mouth (caused by herpes simplex), shingles (caused by herpes zoster), and chickenpox.

This medication is also used to treat outbreaks of genital herpes. In people with frequent outbreaks, acyclovir is used to help reduce the number of future episodes. However, it is not a cure for these infections. The viruses that cause these infections continue to live in the body even between outbreaks. Acyclovir decreases the severity and length of these outbreaks. It helps the sores heal faster, keeps new sores from forming, and decreases pain/itching. In addition, in people with a weakened immune system, acyclovir can decrease the risk of the virus spreading to other parts of the body and causing serious infections.

So, there is all possibility that the person you are dating is on prophylactic dosage at the moment for his previous recurrences of herpes virus and hence is prone to reinfection if medication stopped and subsequently can transfer infection as well if he developed active lesions for herpes.
I hope i have answered your query in detail,
Wishing you good health,
Regards

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