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Subject: "Increased H activity w/ age or illness" Archived thread - Read only
 
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C16679admin
Member since Aug-29-06
9733 posts
Oct-27-06, 09:42 PM (CST)
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"Increased H activity w/ age or illness"
 
   I've been wondering about this and there are 1 or 2 threads in Support that bring it up, but I haven't seen a lot of responses, so I thought I'd try here.

We know that Herpes takes advantage of a compromised immune system. Herpes has been around so long, there must be elderly people who have it; likewise, there must be people who have Herpes and who then at some point become sick with cancer and undergo treatments that compromise their immune systems.

Are there any studies done, or what do we know about what happens if you have Herpes and your immune system is severely weakened?

I'm guessing like everything it's variable. Certainly there are elderly people who aren't getting sick all the time or having shingles...

I guess what I, and maybe some others, were wondering, is if there is any "typical" or percentages or something. Do lots of elderly people end up with oral &/or genital OBs? Are the OBs uncontrollable or does it just mean that maybe you'll get more/worse b/c your immune system is weakened, and so daily meds are needed? If one of us ends up with cancer or an organ transplant or something, would we necessarily expect more/worse OBs?

Also, do we have any information on severity of infection in relation to age at time of infection, for instance if someone were in their 60's when they were infected with H, is that likely to be much worse than if they were infected in their 50's? And, OK, that last question is purely selfish: my partner is 55 and hasn't gotten it from me. I don't want him to get it, I don't know if we're going to be together for years down the line, but I start to wonder if he would be a lot worse off if he got it from me in 10 years rather than if he happened to get it sooner, while he's very healthy.

OK, thanks for any responses.

C.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  It's a good question, but I'm not sure there's much.. Rajahadmin Oct-27-06 1
     RE: It's a good question, but I'm not sure there's much.. bailey Oct-28-06 2
         Thanks, Bailey, for the comment about my wife.. Rajahadmin Oct-28-06 4
  RE: Increased H activity w/ age or illness Lenoreadmin Oct-28-06 3
     Thanks very much Lenore!! Rajahadmin Oct-28-06 5
         RE: Thanks very much Lenore!! C16679admin Oct-28-06 6
         RE: Thanks very much Lenore!! Lenoreadmin Oct-29-06 7

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Rajahadmin
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15748 posts
Oct-27-06, 10:07 PM (CST)
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1. "It's a good question, but I'm not sure there's much.."
In response to message #0
 
data on this. Certainly not that I'm aware of. I was 49 when I was infected and I'm almost 61 now. No problems, but I've not had any immune challenging situations to this point. My wife is 65 and negative for both types after our being together since 1999. I respect her decision that I'm worth the risk.

Ideally your partner should be free to evaluate the situation and make an informed decision for himself. Perhaps he thinks being with you is worth the risk, too.

My attitude is that I can't worry about every bad thing that might happen to me decades down the road or I'll be paralyzed with fear and miss out on living today. Live life for now... Carpe Diem!

The Latin Poet Horace said it, "Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero."

"Even as we speak, envious time is running away from us. Seize the day (Carpe diem), and trust as little as possible in the future."


"Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain


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bailey
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Oct-28-06, 00:29 AM (CST)
 
2. "RE: It's a good question, but I'm not sure there's much.."
In response to message #1
 
   It's hard to let go of the fear of infecting your partner. I had it for quite a long time; it interfered with our emotional and sexual relationship quite a bit in the beginning. He was my first serious relationship since I contracted herpes, and I wanted to do everything I could to protect him. In his eyes, it just wasn't a big deal and to him not worth rejecting me over.

Look, I got it when I was in my mid-40s. The person I contracted it from had it since his 20s, and he was in his late 50s when we hooked up. My personal feeling is that not many people make it into their 40s and upwards into the 50s and beyond without some problem, and for many folks, it's a physical problem. I'm 47 now, and I feel damn fortunate that herpes is my only physical problem. (If you could even call it a "problem.") I've lost friends to cancer, I have friends who have survived cancer, who are living with heart disease, diabetes, kidney problems, hepatitis, blah, blah, blah. Everybody's got something.

Rajah, your wife rocks! If I am reading you correctly, she was in her 50s? when you two met! That is awesome. I love hearing about older folks hooking up. I think relationships that bring people together when they are older can be enormously satisfying, given everybody's life experiences, good and bad, and their perspective. Thanks for sharing your experience.

I personally think herpes has been around long enough that they would have determined if it compromises one's health as one ages. I personally don't believe it does. 80% of us are walking around with herpes type 1, and that would mean an enormous number of people, as they age, would be compromised by their infection. I don't buy it. Same for type II. Maybe more research will be done on it, but more and better meds and treatments will also be coming out, so there's no need to panic or worry about something that hasn't happened to you yet.

Your partner, by having sex with you, is consenting and knowledgable about your virus. It is ultimately their responsibility. And, frankly, many herpes-negative people are just not that concerned about contracting it. My current partner appears to be one of those people. We've both been around the block enough to know that love is just too fucking difficult to find, so herpes is not a dealbreaker for him.


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Rajahadmin
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Oct-28-06, 10:33 AM (CST)
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4. "Thanks, Bailey, for the comment about my wife.."
In response to message #2
 
I absolutely agree about her "Rocking". When we met I was 52 and she was 57. She had been divorced once and widowed once after 24 years of marriage. She was brave enough to decide to move out here to Illinois from Long Island to be with me in spite of all the misgivings of her NY friends. I gave her an engagement ring on our second "date". Interstingly, her previous husband asked her to marry him on the first date.. LOL Of course there were a thousand emails and many hours on the phone along the way there, too. She is, without any shadow of doubt, the best thing that has ever happened to me in my adult life and she's a blessing to my family, as well. The 5 kids all acknowledge her as the mother that they wished they had as children. She had no children of her own and now she has 5 plus 8 grandchildren, soon to be 10 (twins).

Like you said in your last sentence, herpes just wasn't even close to being a dealbreaker and shouldn't be.

"Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain


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Lenoreadmin
Member since Oct-22-04
4281 posts
Oct-28-06, 08:33 AM (CST)
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3. "RE: Increased H activity w/ age or illness"
In response to message #0
 
   This has been my experience (purely anecdotal, apologies to people who want studies and experts) I've been a nurse for 20 years. I've had one patient with an extensive herpes outbreak (multiple lesions on his genitals, thighs and buttocks and discharge from his urethra). He had multiple health problems and a history of IV drug abuse and was possibly HIV+. Having this man as a patient made me curious enough about herpes to find this site.
It's common for my elderly patients to have oral cold sores. I see them all the time and they are just regular cold sores, nothing extensive no matter how sick my patients are.
When I worked oncology I don't remember any of my patients having genital herpes outbreaks or extensive oral outbreaks.
I had a surgical patient who had lung surgery and a chest tube which is a pretty stressful experience and I noticed a sore on his buttock. I was thinking it was possibly a bedsore and I wanted to take a closer look and he said "Oh, it's not a bedsore. I got it from my ex-wife. It's not AIDS, it's that other one." It wasn't bothering him, just his typical outbreak.
In the whole scheme of things, herpes is probably the least of your worries if you live to an old age.


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Rajahadmin
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Oct-28-06, 10:42 AM (CST)
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5. "Thanks very much Lenore!!"
In response to message #3
 
I suspect your comment about anecdotal evidence might have been directed at least in part toward me, but this sort of real-life commentary from someone with your vast experience is not even close to being an anonymous testimonial. That's the sort of thing I have trouble with.

Your comments are pretty much in line with what I'd expect, actually. My own grandmother had some problems with shingles in her mid to late 90s, but that was an inconvenience rather than being debilitating. Her CHF was a lot more of a concern, although, the last day she was alive at age 99 1/2 she made her own bed, got dressed, fixed her breakfast and read the paper. What a great life she had!

I think that many people get a really distorted view of herpes and make a lot more out of it than it really deserves, all because it is so stigmatized based entirely on location. that is not to minimize the discomfort of the relatively few people who really do have persistant symptoms.

"Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain


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C16679admin
Member since Aug-29-06
9733 posts
Oct-28-06, 02:46 PM (CST)
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6. "RE: Thanks very much Lenore!!"
In response to message #5
 
   Thanks for the feedback. Lenore, I was hoping you might chime in with your nursing experience.

I'm certainly not in a panic about this, and I agree with Bailey, it seems like we would hear more about it or it would be a bigger deal if everyone who aged or ended up with a severe illness had out-of-control HSV OBs. That's why I wanted to hear from people. Because intuitively you think lowered immune system = herpes OB, therefore age/illness = Herpes situation gets worse.

C.


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Lenoreadmin
Member since Oct-22-04
4281 posts
Oct-29-06, 05:46 PM (CST)
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7. "RE: Thanks very much Lenore!!"
In response to message #5
 
   Oh Rajah, not at all directed at you. I generally try to avoid the tech forum because I just can't stay focused on studies and facts and figures and just relate more to personal experience and everyone's stories.
99 1/2 is amazing!!!!


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