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HSV-1 - Pretty sure it's genital

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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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