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New here. First time posting. Need to vent... please read!


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Hello all!

I'm "Akress." I'm 37. This past week, I had an annual physical exam and a blood test. (Well, I didn't take the physical every year.)

2 days after the exam, I was told by phone by the doctor's assistant that I had, at one point in my life, been exposed to the genital herpes virus. I freaked out. She tried to calm me down, but I was very worried. So, very late that night, my doctor (I do not think he is a Christian) tried to calm me down by saying several things. Such as:

- it's much more common than many people think

- many people don't know they had it

- all that the blood test results said was that it was positive - he said I don't even know I "have" genital herpes

- it is possible that many people out there who don't know they have it give it or got it without knowing it.

That phone call made me feel better. However, I must admit that my life changed since that day. I have not told one single person - nobody in my family and none of my friends - because I've still been trying to cope with this discovery. I've been praying like crazy; I cried to God; I went to church tonight and prayed, and felt very blessed.

I know that people w/ HSV1 and HSV2 can and do live normal lives. I've been doing that. Let me explain, with some history. This goes back to the doctor's phone call.

I committed fornication (I was already a believer, but I sinned) in early 2006. A few days later I noticed an odd itch down there, and I consulted a urologist. If I remember, I had a blood test done. She said I tested positive, but she didn't really explain. Looking back, that doctor was very cold and apathetic - she didn't really take the time to explain what this meant. But she did say something akin to, "it's common in the general population."

So, as I was alarmed and confused, I went to another urologist not long after and had him examine me. He said I was fine. With this, I totally forgot about this incident.

The next 5 years came and went. I lived my life normally. Then, this past week, I had the exam and the results, and the phone call.

When I told my doctor this story, he said that it may well mean that I have a very mild strain of the virus. I told him this, and I'll tell you all: I've never had a "real" outbreak. No sores, etc. Never. My penis did have an odd itch in early 2006, but since then, nothing. No tingling either. The only time I feel something is if my underwear is tight or if it's hot, but that's it.

My doctor's phone call was very encouraging, and I have read online that people with herpes do get married.

However, these are my concerns. I'm kind of paranoid by nature, so bear with me.

1. Unprotected sex will only spread the virus IF I am having an outbreak. Is this true?

2. If, say, my lips are chapped because of the winter and I "dry" kiss somebody on the cheek - can they get the virus this way?

3. If I have, say, a very small cut on my finger and I shake somebody's hand - can they get the virus?

4. the doctor said it's nobody's business but mine. He even said he doesn't recommend telling a potential spouse. I am not sure I am OK with this. What do you say?

Also... I'm still struggling emotionally and trying to go to God with this discovery. I've been worrying and thinking about whether I can ever get married. I don't ever want to tell anybody in my family this (especially my mother, who is a believer) because it would upset her deeply.

OK, so this is my "testimony." Please feel free to give me your feedback, advice, suggestions. I never once in my life thought I would ever have herpes or anything like it, but this is what the blood test results said. I'm glad I found a Christian website to help me cope. Maybe one day I will be able to tell one of my friends, but for now, I would rather keep it to myself.

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First of all, fornication or not is immaterial...herpes does not punish it is a virus. Whores and virgins get it...it does not discern. So don't make yourself believe that this is some sort of punishment, its not.

Not only do people with herpes get married, they also live in sin, have babies, work, go on holiday, contribute to charity, go sky diving...whatever. 25% of people have HSV 2 (normally in the genital region) and 80% have HSV 1 (normally on the lips but it is apparently becoming more common on the genitals)...that would be a lot of sad singles if none of them ever married.

Also a lot of drs and medical people do not have relevant or specific knowledge about herpes--perhaps more important than having a Christian dr is having a herpes positive dr! There is no such thing as a weaker strain, just peoples' differing immune responses. The virus my cause no symptoms in you but if you pass it to your partner she/he may get very frequent outbreaks--it really depends on the individuals body and/or immune system how the virus manifests.

1. Nope. Not true you can spread it even when you don't have symptoms. Also it is much easier for a women to get it from a man than vice versa. The best ways to minimise the spread to to take suppressive medication, use condoms and know your partner's status--this helps you understand exactly what the risks are. If they have the same strain then they are relatively immune for getting it elsewhere as they have antibodies (not completely, though), if they have a different strain they have about a 50% immunity. However there will never be no risk.

2. Um, I guess they could if you had HSV 1 on your lips. Have you had a blood test? If you have and you are positive for HSV 1 and 2 then it is a possibility that you could spread it via kissing--if you don't then no. Herpes can only be spread by skin on skin contact with the affected area.

3. No, not unless you get herpes infections in your finger or you have scratched a sore and not washed your hands (then there could be a slim chance) . The herpes virus is not spread through blood.

4. Your dr is wrong. You have a responsibility to to tell anybody you sleep with that you have it, preferably before you sleep with them. Especially as a Christian--not telling them would be lying. Also it will spare you a lot of guilt, could you live with yourself passing the uncertainty and life changing nature of this experience to somebody else?

While there are people who would not feel comfortable exposing themselves to the risk of herpes, there are plenty of loving people for whom it will not matter. You will find somebody...your life it not over. You will survive.

Also I think you need to get yourself some better drs! Maybe try a sexual health clinic there is a herpes clinic in Westover Height in Portland, in fact they put a lot of good information on their website: http://www.westoverheights.com/genital_herpes.html

Arm yourself with as much information as you can and you will feel more confident and in control. Stay strong.

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    • sgt98
      Hey @WilsoInAus ok thank you, I will do my best to move on and stop trawling forums haha. 
    • WilsoInAus
      Hey @sgt98 but there is no feasible infection or outbreak to suppress and antivirals do not suppress an initial outbreak in any event 
    • sgt98
      Thanks @WilsoInAus I understand apologies for this but the only other thing I am worried about is that I did take a course of Famvir on day 1 as I felt like I was having an outbreak of cold sores and am worried that has suppressed the initial outbreak genitally 
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @sgt98 it is not feasible to obtain a HSV-2 infection from receiving oral sex - only HSV-1 is feasible but you've already got that and immunity from any further infection with HSV-1. You do not need any further tests for HSV. You're feeling regret, try to forgive yourself and calm down, let the rational take over. You know the answer here and it won't be long until you believe it too.
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @NerdP423 and welcome to the website. You raise a lot of points and I think the best way to address your concerns is add some comments at each key point. I've copied your note again below and added these comments in square brackets. I appreciate any insight (even speculation) as to what has been going on with me. I'm a 37y/o M. I last was intimate with a new partner on 2/11/2022, and a few days later started having a huge amount of discomfort in my face. [The first thing that happens though is that herpes causes lesions or at least some skin based disruption. Other symptoms are then related to the actions of the immune system responding to the virus. Without lesions, it is highly questionable that the ailment is related to herpes, yet testing is useful if you have concerns as you have done so.] About a month after that [herpes causes issues within days, if the first 'symptoms' are a month later - its extremely unlikely they are related to herpes], significant discomfort downstairs, however every test I have ever taken for HSV 1 and 2 has been negative. Here are the details: Face: Previously, some significant tingling and itching on the right side of my mouth, lips and chin (still there, but milder) [herpes does not cause general tingling and itching, it can cause a reasonably concentrated feeling of itch/throb from which a herpes lesion appears within hours]. Occasional hot flashes near my right eye, cheek and ear [herpes does not do this, it may be a immune response to something, or stress]. Sometimes it will feel like the skin is crawling on the right side of my face [herpes does not cause a general crawling sensation]. Never seen anything that looked like a traditional cold sore [that's extremely telling, even people with associated atypical symptoms will have experienced herpes lesions]. Occasionally, the left side of my face will have a momentary feeling of skin crawling, but it's so mild that I am not really worried about it. Downstairs: Thankfully, most of these are now milder than they were before. Occasional momentary pinch of pain at the base of my genitals. [herpes does not cause a general pinch feeling.] Aching pain in my boxer area (groin, leg folds) [nor this] Occasional feeling of cold in my boxer area, butt, or lower back. ( also in my shins and occasionally even my arms) [nor this] On 4/30/2022, I had been in discomfort for almost two months. I scratched an itch, noticed it hurt, and then checked - I did have an open ulcer down there. Took myself to the ER to get swabbed, came back negative. [If this was a PCR then this will be very conclusive.] Practitioner said it may come back negative because it was already open. However the lab report noted that it definitely didn't look like what you'd expect a typical first herpes outbreak to look like [how would the lab know??]. All blood tests negative so far. I had two western blots, the second one was nine months after exposure. [Two negative Westernblots!!! Many that's real convincing]. All other swabs also negative. I went to urgent care, because I know the timeliness of when the Swab is taken matters. One time, a swab was not done, because practitioner said it was folliculitis and wouldn't swab it (It was at my belt line). [Belt line is highly unlikely to relate to herpes.]   A blood test revealed I had low-ish B12 (technically in range, but at the very low end, especially for a man of my size). I had a series of B12 injections, and I am taking a B12 supplement. I am not taking any lysine or arginine at the moment. I was taking the Arganine to see if I could induce an outbreak. [This is irrelevant, there is no known linkage between herpes outbreaks and arginine/lysine intake - its a myth - and B12 infers nothing.] I think what I am asking is - has anyone here ever repeatedly tested negative over and over again over long period of time, before getting a definitive answer, be a positive test, or something else? [The answer to this is: Extremely few people with a HSV-1 infection and even more rarely HSV-2 test repeatedly negative on Westernblot and actually carry the virus. Of the cases that I know of that had delayed detection by a swab and negative blood tests in the meantime (and that's only 3-4 cases), they had some form of lesions within days of infection but did not obtain a swab for various reasons and then obtained a positive swab of a subsequent lesion with the record being 11 months later. A couple of the cases did have some 'background' symptoms they thought might be related to herpes but that isn't ascertained and some did not have any unusual symptoms at all apart from the lesions. Hence as you did not have lesions around your mouth or lips within days of the last sexual encounter as is exceptionally common for a primary oral HSV-1 infection, that pretty much rules out herpes orally as it is. The fact that you had no genital symptoms for a month also rules out genital herpes. I am not aware of anyone at all who has genuinely gone on to test positive by swab or blood in your specific circumstances. There are hundreds if not more than a thousand experiences on this website alone that are similar to yours that are truly negative for herpes I'm one of them!]  
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