HSV-2 with No Symptoms: Is Treatment Really Necessarry?

Patient

Q: If I have HSV-2, but never had an outbreak, Do i still need to take medicine for it?

Doctor

A:   Yes, you still need to take medicines for it. You may never have had outbreaks because you are an asymptomatic carrier; you are harbouring the virus but have no signs and symptoms. It is also possible that you have lesions but are painless and not visible to the naked eye. Transmission is still very possible in these cases hence treatment is necessary to minimize transmission to current and future sexual partners. Barrier contraception (condoms) is strongly advised as well. HSV-2 is not to be taken lightly. In pregnant mothers who have undiagnosed HSV, the virus can be transmitted as the baby passes through the vagina and can cause extensive brain inflammation called meningoencephalitis; some infants don’t survive this. For those who do, permanent complications (seizures, learning disabilities, etc) are common. Even in adults, although rare (but very real), untreated HSV can potentially cause encephalitis. I do hope I have answered your question. Take care always.

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