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I'm scared, distracted, and full of questions.

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I am a 20 yearold male college student, and I had a doctor's visit on wednesday where he told me that his professional opinion was 51% sure I have genital herpes. I went in because of what I assumed to be an infected ingrown hair. He took a swab, and prescribed me acyclovir as per standard procedure. The swab results come in on march 23 (wednesday), or so I was told. I'm a wreck; I use protection, but the area in question is at the dorsal base of the penis and extends downward approximately 2-3 inches in each direction, so it would not have been covered anyway. Just my luck. The pustules themselves look like pimples, but the confusing part is that every pustule is in direct correspondence with a hair follicle. There isn't necessarily a pattern, they just itch from time to time and are painful upon application of pressure.

From my understanding of anatomy/physiology, this could have a multitude of causes, and that herpes is the first answer my doctor went to considering that I am sexual active. I also know that asking questions on here about what if's is rather circuitous because I will just be told to consult a doctor, which I've done. What confuses me is the nature of the pimples, and that each pimple is just an inflamed hair follicle with a white head at the top. It itches, but I don't scratch. My doctor gave an initial 51% chance of this being herpes, but this just doesn't look like it at all. Does any member have experience with outbreaks occurring in the pubic area? Do the sores always manifest at the hair follicle? The acyclovir gives me these awful pounding headaches, the prospect of having to rely on this medicine for the rest of my life to treat or suppress outbreaks really bums me out, these headaches are rather annoying.

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It could be folliculitus...which is directly related to hair follicles, but usually that involves shaving as its cause. I'd just wait for the swab results and try not to worry about it in the meantime.

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Unless he is a herpes/STD specialist, I am 51% sure that his visual diagnosis is just a guess (and even experts get it wrong 25% of the time). Personally, I would be more concerned if there wasn't any hair coming out of the pustules. Had you shaved the area recently? Or even worse, a shave followed directly by friction? Every time I shave (pause) I have to remind myself that I will get an ingrown hair for a day or two.

How long have you had the symptoms? Is there a recent exposure you are worried about?

Anyway, you've done the right thing by going to the doctor. Do the impossible and try not to worry. Let us know how it goes.

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The area was trimmed earlier, around the middle of January. After trimming, a single follicle became rather inflamed and took forever to heal. It didn't itch, it kind of hurt, and was full of pus. I figured I'd leave the area alone until everything was 100% fine, so I did not touch it in terms of trimming and applied antibiotic ointment. The spot lingered, got larger, and eventually began to itch very badly, so much so that it opened up and a sore formed, approximately the size of a half dollar. It was during my sleep that I began to itch, because I know to leave well enough alone when I'm awake, and I initially noticed the severity in the middle of the night. From a diameter of millimeters to a diameter of 1.5+ inches took approximately 3 or 4 days. I'm also sort of sick, with a sore throat and at time of doctor's visit I had a temp of 99.3. Negligible, at best. The sick feeling is ambiguous because I quit smoking cigarettes at the beginning of my semester, january 10th, and my body has had a terrible time of bouncing back. I've been sick several times, and it is not unusual at all for my throat to be sore.

I had an exposure right after new years that I have my suspicions about, but I'm not sure. It was a one night stand and she never returned my calls (it's weird having it happen to you when you're a guy). I would hazard a guess of symptoms being present since January 22 (+/- a day), I had a high fever and complete flu like symptoms from around jan 22 until the 28/29, but there was also a relatively large flu outbreak at my school as well.

I'm trying to stay positive and am trying to visualize the moment I go in the room and the doctor says "Results were negative." This medicine just is horrible on my body, I can't stand the sickness and malaise I feel from the pills.

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Try a Lysine supplement for cold sores

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    • StayingUpbeat
      First, that your doctor simply tried non-generic valacyclovir instead of referring you to a dermatologist is surprising.  If you are taking daily Valacyclovir, and still have frequent visible lesions, a competent dermatologist would prescribe something called Foscarnet.  It is unfortunately an injection and (I believe) it must be administered weekly at an injection center or hospital.  However, the combination of weekly foscarnet and daily valacyclovir would almost certainly eliminate your visible outbreaks.  It's important to note that no current drug combination is known to totally eliminate HSV shedding.  You would need to have routine blood monitoring on this combination as Foscarnet has some potential side effects. Next, there are members on this site who have been able to obtain a drug called Amenalief from Japan.  It's a recently approved (in Japan) member of a class of HSV drugs called Helicase Primase Inhibitors (HPI): https://www.mimaki-family-japan.com/item/detail?item_prefix=TF&item_code=705711&item_branch=001 It is bio-similar to a drug called Pritelivir which is currently in clinical trials in the US for HSV in the immuno-compromised (i.e. organ transplants, HIV).  A member in this thread talks specifically about his experience taking 100mg/day to help with outbreaks.  It unfortunately sounds very expensive to take suppressively.  Finally, there was recently a small successful clinical trial on the use of topical squaric acid dibutylester (SADBE) for the control of HSV.  If your doctor is comfortable trying alternate therapies to control your outbreaks topical SADBE is an FDA approved cream that you could discuss trying.  My recommendation would be to bring this paper discussing the trial to your next doctor's visit.  It would be an off-label use but the cream is relatively benign.  It's most frequent use is clearing-up cutaneous warts on children. As always none of this discussion constitutes medical advice (I am simply a middle-aged engineer not a doctor) and you should always follow the direction of your doctor or medical professional over advise found on the internet.  One of these three options may however improve your situation.  Unless there is something other than HSV going on.
    • Hellothere123
      I really don’t feel like I can keep going on with this, it’s always in the back of my head and I feel like I’m not worthy of love anymore and I just want to end it all 
    • honkschonks
      @Anon222 I told the women I have slept with most recently. She’s been a regular partner who has had zero symptoms. She’s going to get tested. She’s the most level headed person I know and a good friend. One doctor told me for legal reasons to tell everyone in the past year that I have it. Another doctor said that’s unrealistic and pointless. I have no idea when it started as I had no major undoubtable outbreak, so going back a year may be too far, it may not be far enough. I’m not sure what to do. It has irritated me how casual doctors are about this. It won’t kill you but The emotional effect of knowing you have it or thinking you may have it seems to be more damaging than having it. People on here talking about suicide. I guess that’s why they don’t test for it, or it just got out of hand and there’s no going back. Strangely I haven’t been that stressed about it. Luckily I’ve been very busy working so I haven’t had time worry about it. Thanks @NY12345 for your thoughts.
    • Runride
      I've heard of STD dating sites but have never looked into one. Are they real? And does anyone have any experience with them?  If someone does I would really like to hear some details.  They sound kind of scary, but it seems it could also be a relief to know I would be less likely to be judged for this condition.
    • IcantThinkofaName
      I've also considered this option..and its still looking like a good idea. so... Did you try any other Av's like famvir or privetir? I think there are some others too...  Up the vitamin C, check your vit D levels via bloodwork... Are you stressed out or have a stressful lifestyle ( aside from having HSV, which alone is a stressor)? There are no other health issues going on ? How hard are your workouts? The last few Obs I had were after very intense resistance/weight workouts, and I was completely exhausted after...combined with a night of bad or little sleep. Tried L- glutamine supplementation? Lithium orotate ( its a supplement too) has been known to supress the virus/replication too. I have also read it could mutate it...not sure how accurate that is, or if there was a study that proved that..maybe google it. I took The lithium one time and it was an abbreviated/shorter Outbreak than others...but I was also taking alot of vit C, or it could have happened for another reason...I'll never know for sure. but...mediating for 12 hours a day might help too... (seriously) but just don't meditate on HSV. Or maybe in another year your body will get a better hold on the virus and can cope better. it is depressing, I can relate.  My Obs have finally  lessened after 1 yr and 3 months. I still have almost daily sensations, tingling though..I'm probably contagious AF. Sex isn't really on the radar anymore. so No reason to take the AVs as they cause some side effects for me. Time to join that monastery. There are more important things in life than sex, right?  (thats what some people are telling me and I want to punch them. I really liked/enjoyed sex) Hang in there. I was told after the 6 yr mark, HSV becomes a non issue in your body. ( thats what one of my Drs told me, so  not sure how accurate that is either, but I guess it gives me 4.5 years of hope) let me know if any of this helps or you find something that does.I wish you the best.  

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