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MissRNC

HSV-1 - Pretty sure it's genital

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MissRNC

Hello everyone,

Ok, a bit of background on me. I just turned 31. I am single and not currently in a relationship. I would not say that my sex life is an active one; but I have had quite a few partners (to put it mildly). Not that I jump into bed with every guy I meet; I just have never had a long-term relationship. Couple that with my age...and...well, you figure it out. ;)

Back in 2005 I had an ex-boyfriend admit to me that he had genital herpes. I did not know that there were two different types or anything like that. He told me that he was on medication and as long as he did not have an outbreak, he is not contagious. Made sense to me. Also, I never saw him have an outbreak. We used condoms, but there was good amounts of foreplay with no condoms.

Fast forward to 2009. I was in a car accident in 2007 and I still suffer from periodic tingling, numbness and circulation issues in that I sustained a lot of damage to my upper left leg and hip in the accident. There was also a period in 2008 where I had numbness in my groin. But I really feel that was from the accident...and not herpes prodrome.

In December 2009, I noticed a smooth white lesion on the inner right fold of my labia that was a bit smaller than an Altoids mint. I thought it might be an ingrown hair...but it was quite itchy. I had been sexually active in the weeks prior...but with condoms and oral sex. Again, I really didn't know about herpes coldsores being an issue with the genital region. The lesion was itchy though and would burn if urine got on it. But it went away without any scabbing or crusting or scarring. Right after it did, then another, smaller lesion popped up on the right fold of my labia. This one was more slit-like and not round. It almost looked like a little tiny welt. It was also painful...but never broke open or scabbed or anything.

While this was going on, I started combing the net, and everything pointed to herpes. I went through the standard "freak out-oh my, I can never have sex again" period. However by January I was ok. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Then in early May, another lesion returned...this one almost in the same spot as the previous one. This time I could feel the distinctive tingling a day or so before I saw the lesion. However I must admit this one did not hurt as much. It was pretty stubborn though...I must have had it for 3-4 weeks.

2 weeks ago I scheduled an annual pap smear exam. By now, I knew that the test for herpes is not in the standard battery of testing for STDs...and I resolved that I would ask for it. I got the test back yesterday and I have the antibodies for HSV-1...and no antibodies for HSV-2. I was pretty surprised. Understand that I had really been preparing for a positive HSV-2 diagnosis. In fact I was a little confused. My healthcare provider was very clear...the antibody test could tell nothing in regards to how long I've had it, or where the infection occured. Only a culture from an outbreak can do this. My limited understanding thought that it was rare to have HSV-1 in the genital region. However I later found out that about 1/3 of HSV-1 infections are genital.

To be sure (more sure?), I am going to repeat the test next year. But I really feel that I have HSV-1 genital. I don't know what else it could be. For now, I have opted to forgo going on Valtrex or anything like that. Two outbreaks in 6 months seems like something I can deal with...especially with me being single. It is hard to pinpoint when I got infected; although it seems likely with the oral sex from last December.

My parting words for now is that I feel that the 'having herpes' stigma is just ridiculous. :rolleyes: It is just too common for people to be freaking out about. I personally feel that a lot more people have it than we think. I mean if I never asked for the test...I wouldn't know (for sure) either.

Thanks for letting me share my story!

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    • viralfrog
      Having HSV-2 has not bothered me at all for casual sex. I'm just avoiding sex during outbreaks, on suppressive therapy and using condoms every time with casual partners. Since my outbreaks appear on top of my penis, even during an outbreak the risk is minimal if I put a condom on as soon as I take my underwear off.  I guess it might be a slightly different case for a girl as if you have external lesions around your groin you could still infect someone even using a condom. And of course, condoms can break, which has happened to me over 10 times and caused myself to get infected in the first place.  I see it as a much more difficult now having a serious relationship, because I can't feel much with a condom on and really want stop using them. However, I don't want to put my new girlfriend to any risk - I would feel terrible if I infected her. 
    • viralfrog
      Does anyone have experience about people's reactions to Herpes in Asia? Personally I live in Thailand where I also caught the virus as a condom broke 4 years ago.  Unfortunately I infected my ex-girlfriend with HSV-2. This was just after I had caught the virus myself and we had sex before I noticed and realised what it was. In the beginning, a local doctor told me I have just hurt my foreskin with my jeans' zipper and the tests came as negative. After getting tested later it came as positive.  Anyways, my ex-gf (well educated, professional, 26 years old then) she had no idea what Herpes was in the first place. She didn't really care too much about it and didn't bother to get tested. During our 3 year relationship we kept having unprotected sex as usual and she never had any issues until at the end one day. She had a very minor outbreak once and nothing after that (lucky her, no like myself who gets terrible symptoms non-stop). I know she has a strong immune system, because she was never sick despite myself having bad colds quite often. In any case, she could not care less about this virus and didn't mind at all.

      I've seen a lot of hysteria surrounding Herpes in Europe and the US. What has been your experience in South-East Asian countries like Thailand? Do people perceive HSV-2 as a worrying disease? 
    • Burty
      The full article is behind a paywall but you could write the the authors and request a copy.
    • OFMDH
      The jury is still out as there needs to be additional experiments. Editas' results make me believe dosing was insufficient among other issues.
    • moialbalushi
      Wow interesting !! But how did they provide it to him !! I mean he is 27 years old !!
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