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Feeling so alone

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Hi there,

About 3 and a half weeks ago, I hooked up with a "friend". We had protected sex, and mutual unprotected oral sex. I've only slept with a handful of people before this, and I only hooked up with this guy because I wanted a rebound after my relationship ended 2 months ago. Anyway, I noticed a couple days later I had a really bad yeast infection. Then, a week after the incident, I broke out in cold sores all over my face. I thought it was acne at first, which is maybe how it spread. I went to Urgent Care, and the doctor prescribed acyclovir, even though he didn't even look at me. Finally, about 2 and a half weeks after the incident, I started getting a tingling feeling down there, and then the burn. I broke out into what looked like little red bumps, but no lesions and no itching. I went to Planned Parenthood yesterday, and the doc didn't see any lesions, but she said it was probably due to the acyclovir. She diagnosed me with BV, yeast, cervicitis, and here's the kicker - "probable herpes". She refused to give me a blood test, as she said it doesn't prove anything, and said to come back when I have lesions. What I'm just wondering now is if I have HSV 1 or 2? Does the major oral breakout mean it could be 1? I'm feeling so alone and can't tell anyone about this. I wish I had a friend with herpes, so I could talk to someone face to face! Any support, answers would be appreciated. Thanks. :)

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You need to get tested

It doesn't sound as if the doctor is entirely knowledgable about herpes.

Many doctors do not know (because they haven't kept up with the latest research) that there is a blood test that can tell what type of herpes you have. It will be accurate if given at least 3 months from exposure. Ideally, the doctor should have done a swab test. That can also tell what type it is, I believe. If you are having an active outbreak, get a swab test. And in about 3months you can get an accurate blood test but be sure to get the kind that tells what type of herpes it is because that information will help answer some of your questions and will help you manage it. If you could get a blood test now, it would probably show negative because you don't have the antibodies yet, but there is something to be said for getting the blood test anyway now because, if you got a negative blood test now and then a positive one in 3 months, you'd know you'd had a new infection.

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Thanks, BrainyBlonde. I'm so glad I found this forum! I'm going to have to go to a free clinic because I don't have health insurance. Do they do swab tests there too? And what will that tell me in 3 months if it is type 1 or 2? What are the main differences? Could I have contracted both at the same time?

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The clinic should be able to do a swab test. It is best to have it done as early as possible before the sores start to heal. A swab test can tell you which type you have, but a blood test is more accurate.

Type 1 is "typically" oral cold sores. Type 2 is "typically" genital. But you can get both types in both locations. If you get type 1 genitally, the outbreaks are generally less severe and less frequent. Same with type 2 orally, because this is not the virus's preferred location.

Read the info on the right of this website. It is very helpful. Feel free to ask any questions on here. There are a lot of helpful and nice people on this site.

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My doctor told me this:

If we culture an active lesion, and its positive for herpes, then its guaranteed I have herpes, but he can't tell me which one.

So, we cultured one. Positive.

If we take a blood test, it will tell me what kind of herpes virus I have, but a negative isn't always negative and a positive isn't always posititve.

So...that's what my useless doctor told me about medical tests concerning this condition.

That may be why the doctor isn't getting excited about testing until there's a lesion that they can culture.

I'm not a doctor so I don't know their protocols, especially in urgent care places. They don't quite treat you like a primary care physician in those places. They go for a quick solution and hope for the best but often don't order a lot of tests in those places.

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Hi MissPandora,

first of all, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I wish I knew someone who was in the same boat as me. I contracted it from doing it with a "friend" after a break up with a long time bf, and like you, I'd hardly had any partners. I hate to admit it, but deep down I sort of resent when I hear my girlfriends talk about their sex lives because most of them have had at least 3 or 4 as many partners as I have had, and yet I caught it. but anyways, enough about that.


I went to a specialized sexual health clinic when I first had an outbreak. According to her, it's true that blood tests aren't definitive. This is because (from what I understand), most people have come in contact with HSV1 or 2 at some point in their life, whether or not they actually contracted it. So maybe when you were a kid, you kissed someone with a cold sore, but never caught HSV (herpes). Because of this, you may still have the antibodies in your system, whether or not you actually HAVE herpes, and all the blood test can detect are these antibodies.

The swab test only works if you HAVE active lesions. They can take a swab, and if they are able to "culture" it so that it multiplies (basically breed it) in a lab, then they know that you have the virus. Sometimes, even if you have it, the swab STILL might not breed (maybe it wasn't strong enough to survive, or maybe it wasn't active enough at the time.. something like that). So the test MIGHT come back negative, but that isn't necessarily accurate. So basically, if a swab comes back positive, you definitely have it. If it comes back negative, you still might have it, or you might not.

Does that make sense?

Also, when I had the swab done, they were able to tell me my type.. she told me that I have type 1, but on my genitals. she said that it was most likely transmitted from someone going down on me who had a cold sore. I couldn't even see if he did have a cold sore, but men are more likely to be asymptomatic than women, so I guess he was still able to pass it on. I've never had a cold sore on my mouth, but it's the same virus in a different place.

This is how I understand it from all the research i've done on it (though some of my terminology might be wrong): HSV 1 usually resides in nerves near the ear, and will stay there until it becomes active again, which causes breakouts on/in the mouth, or on the face. HSV 2 usually resides in the nerves near the bottom of the spine, causing breakouts below the waste. In my case, I have HSV 1 residing in the bottom of my spine, so it isn't in it's "preferred" location. Fortunately, this USUALLY means that it will be weakened and I won't have as many breakouts, but this has not been the case for me (it just won't go away...) so I'm going back to the doc tomorrow.

Either way, call a sexual health line in your area, or go to a sexual health clinic. They will be VERY informed.... and believe me, you're lucky you found this forum so soon. I only found it a couple weeks ago, so I've been freaking out for the last 8 months feeling totally alone. it's helped me tremendously.

all this being said, I live in Canada, and healthcare is very different here.. but usually that's just referring to insurance, policy and approved medications. I don't think the tests would be different.

okay.. sorry for the lengthy message! I hope it was of some help.

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Try a Lysine supplement for cold sores

  • The Hive is Thriving!

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    • Trace67
      It doesnt really mean much yet. They still dont know if the herpes is taking advantage of a diseased brain or causing the disease. Furthermore, there is evidence that Alzheimer's might be caused by oral spirochete disease and even Lyme. Many of you could have oral Spirochetes but the Lyme and is less likely. https://globallymealliance.org/pathogen-cause-alzheimers-disease/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5008232/ https://newsblog.drexel.edu/2016/02/10/do-infections-cause-alzheimers-disease/   Of course it could be both! Maybe having hsv-1 and oral spirochetes quadruples the risk.  In my opinion the spirochete theory sounds more likely and its hard to dismiss neurosurgeons and caretakers getting Alzheimers from a disease that was previously thought to be non contagious. I'd worry more about Spirochetes.  
    • Rgs77
      Did ldn work.
    • honkschonks
      I wonder if people in the military are tested for hsv, because the general public isn’t. You have to specifically ask for it and many doctors don’t even see the point because it’s “so common”. It’s very possible he has it and has no symptoms or very mild random symptoms. Sorry to hear what you’re dealing with. It seems like women’s symptoms are worse than men’s.
    • WilsoInAus
      No that’s not the issue at all. The absolute vast majority of nerve pain is not caused by herpes. Hence it cannot be used to reverse engineer a diagnosis of herpes. That is exceptinally dangerous and we must do all we can encourage proper diagnosis.
    • ill47
      Do you have an APOE4 gene? I do. I also have HSV-2, which so far hasn't been linked to dementia. Itzhaki previously found that cold sores occur more frequently in those who carry a gene variant that confers increased risk of Alzheimer’s called APOE-ε4. "Our theory is that in APOE-ε4 carriers, reactivation is more frequent or more harmful in HSV1-infected brain cells, which as a result accumulate damage that culminates in development of Alzheimer's," she said.

      So basically, if you carry the APOE4 gene and have oral HSV-1, you chances of dementia could be quite high. But if you have APOE4, your chances of dementia were higher already. Look, 80% of the population has HSV-1. 80% of the population does not get dementia. You also seem to skip over the fact that antiviral treatment can reduce the increased chances of dementia to almost nothing. "The striking results include evidence that the risk of senile dementia is much greater in those who are infected with HSV, and that anti-herpes antiviral treatment causes a dramatic decrease in number of those subjects severely affected by HSV1 who later develop dementia," Itzhaki said. The data from Taiwan only applies to the rare severe HSV1 or VZV infections. The next step will be to study dementia rates amongst people with mild HSV1 infections, including herpes labialis or mild genital herpes. "Considering that over 150 publications strongly support an HSV1 role in Alzheimer's, these Taiwan findings greatly justify usage of antiherpes antivirals - which are safe and well-tolerated - to treat Alzheimer's disease,” Itzhaki said."They also incentivize development of an HSV1 vaccine, which would likely be the most effective treatment." I think it behooves you to do your research and actually read the articles you are posting before pulling the alarm and trying to scare people. 

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