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Yesterday my sister called me with her shocking diagnosis. Genital Warts. My heart sank into my stomach and a sick feeling setteled into my stomach the same as it did when a doctor called me with the news that my own culture had come back with the diagnosis of genital herpes. Five years ago while pregnant with my daughter I noticed several sores on my vagina, and thought that I had several small pimples there. As more appered and they became increasingly more painful and urinating burned so bad, I decided i needed to see a doctor. I made an appointment for a few days away but began researching immediately. When I discovered that I could possibly have herpes, I began questioning my now husband more in depth about his sexual past. (since he was my first and only partener.) He gave me the same story that he always had. He had slept with one person before me and she was a virgin at the time. At this point I had made my mind up that there was no possible way that i had herpes. I went to the doctor (as stupid as it sounds) expecting for him to tell me that I had a localized case of chicken pox (which I had read was possible). After going through the PAINFUL examination the doctor told me that it was very likely that I had genital herpes. I asked a milliion questions and he was very matter of fact, not comforting at all, and I was visibly very upset. I began questioning my husband again and again and still the same story as before. I had never seen anything like this on him. The doctor must have been certain that I had herpes, because he wrote me a perscription that same day and told me to call back two days later for the results. I did and that is when they told me. YES the culture came back positive for genital herpes. I was devastated and sick. I was humiliated and scared. Living in such a small town I would sit and try to figure out a way to get a hold of my medical records from the doctors office so I could destroy them. I was lookimg for a way to erase this moment from ever happening. I took my medicine and they eventually went away, thank god, but today I am still in denial that I really have herpes. I have not had a breakout since, and my husband, my one and only partener has NEVER had a breakout. Am I crazy for thinking that the doctor made a mistake, or that I contracted this from a toilet seat some where. I guess that I am not as educated on this as I should be but continuing research would be like admitting that I do have this and it is so hard do that. Writitng this message is the closest that I have come to that in five years. What happened to me, how did I "get this". Could it be a mistake. Someone please respond. I would be forever grateful.

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Hi there

Full-on intercourse isn't the only way to contrat herpes (or other std's). If people rub their parts on each other's parts, manually touch one's then the other's, etc., you get the idea.

Unfortunately hsv doesn't seem to always play by the rules either: its incubation period is usually within 3 weeks of exposure...but a lot of people don't experience an outbreak within this time frame after their exposure (I didn't - I was diagnosed a week ago and haven't had ANY sexual contact in over 4 months). A lot of people are walking around with asymptomatic herpes and don't know it. Herpes is also contagious BEFORE the visible outbreak occurs...I know I didn't sleep with anyone with obvious sore on their parts, as I'm sure most people wouldn't.

There's a bloodtest that shows if someone has antibodies to hsv 1 or 2, however I don't know that it would do any good as you can have type 2 orally, and type 1 genitally. The test only shows what you've been exposed to, not what location on your body, and 70% of the population will test positive for type 1 antibodies.

The virus doesn't live on objects while exposed to air - it's actually pretty fragile and needs tissue to live in. I don't know the answer to your story. Maybe your husband's first wasn't a virgin, maybe someone in your story lied, or contracted it some other way (e.g. rubbing, touching, etc.), or didn't/doesn't know they have it. If your doctor did a culture and it came back positive, it's positive (much like preg tests, there can be false negatives, but not really false positives). It sounds like you're doing something right if you haven't had a breakout in 5 years. I guess this comes down to whether you trust your husband or not. How is he about this? Does he realize that he is probably an asymptomatic carrier? You have to try to come to some sort of acceptance with this as it can't be undone - you have to take care of yourself.

I'm sorry I don't have any better answers or ideas.

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I would also add - has your husband ever had cold sores on his mouth? If so, he could shed the virus that way even without visible symptoms, and if he kissed you "down there", transmitted it to you that way. I believe that's how I got it - I have HSV-1 genitally. Take care, and please don't beat yourself up or let your suspicion or shame negatively affect all that is good in your life : ) Remember when you look out at a crowd that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men out there have it too, and 80% of them don't know it! - Palomita

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