ZocdocAnswersAre people immune to herpes also immune to HIV or herpes 2?

Question

Are people immune to herpes also immune to HIV or herpes 2?

I am Scandinavian. I remember several times in my childhood/youth drinking from the same bottle or glass as someone who had a greasy herpes wound and kissing my gf while they having herpes outbreak, still in the age of 30's still have never ever had a blister or sore on the lips or mouth. So if I believe I am immune how can I contribute with this? Are the people immune to herpes also immune to HIV or herpes 2?

Answer

This is a good question to discuss with your primary care physician. First of all, I do not think that we can say for sure that you are immune to HSV-1 which is the common herpesvirus the typically causes cold sores in the mouth. Just because you have been exposed the virus or might've been exposed to the virus doesn't necessarily mean that your immune system is has made antibodies to it. That is the only way to know for sure that you were immune. The second part of your question deals with whether this immunity, if present, affords you immunity to other viruses. Even though HSV-1 and HSV-2 are related, immunity to one does not afford immunity to another. If you develop antibodies to HSV-1 they will not necessarily attack HSV-2. This is why we have tests that look for separate antibodies for the two viruses. The herpesviruses and the HIV virus are completely unrelated and therefore immunity one will not afford immunity to another. Addition, the HIV virus mutates frequently, and thus antibodies to HIV do not afford immunity to the virus. This is why the body's immune system cannot eliminate the virus. If you develop a lesion that you are worried represents herpes, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. The first test that you can undergo is an antibody test looking for exposure to one of the HSV viruses. Again, please speak with your doctor.

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