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I'm getting in to a relationship with a girl with HSV - Couple Questions


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First off, I have read several sites and tried to get as much information on the virus as possible. I still have a few questions that I haven't been able to answer for my self yet. As far as background information on me, I'm a 23 year old Male in good health. I had HSV-1 on my orally as an early teenager. I believe I had it for close to a year and haven't had it since...

As the title says, I am just getting in to a relationship with a girl that has HSV. She didn't say if it was 1 or 2, but after having sex with her second, and most recent partner, she had a breakout the next morning. She went to the doctor, and from the sounds of it, he didn't even do a blood test, just said yes you have Herpes. She has been taking valtrax since, and has not had a second breakout. She informed me close to a week after we met, although we haven't had sex, we have both performed oral sex on each other, and my hands have also come in contact with her vagina. After she told me, I was really worried that I have contracted it to my face or hands. She told me that this was impossible and it would only travel from her vagina to my penis, which I don't really believe. I have not shown any signs of the virus on me yet, and I'm not really stressing about it, but I'm wondering is there a possibility I could have gotten it from her? Would it be safe to go get a test?

Also, what are the chances of me getting it with the use of condoms and her being on valtrax? Are they slim enough that I don't need to worry about it?

Since I had HSV-1 as a kid, and haven't had it since, is there a chance my immune system will help protect from HSV-1 and 2 getting passed to my genital area?

Thanks a lot...

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ok, if you "had" HSV1 as a kid, you STILL have it and will always have it......just because you dont get outbreaks/coldsores anymore doesnt mean you wont ever get them again, nor does it mean you are not contagious some of the time even without symptoms. It is important to find out which type she has.....herpes specific blood tests advisable for both of you ASAP. They will be able to tell you which type you both have.....Im guessing type 1 for you, as it is the more common form of oral herpes, often aquired as a child. For her, she could have type 1 or type 2 genitally..both types can occur in either region. If she has type 1 genitally and you have type 1 orally it doesnt seem like a big deal because you both have the same type and you already have it orally so having performed oral sex on her isnt a big deal for you as you already have it orally. For her, however, I am not so sure......if she has type 2 genitally and performs oral sex on you there is no risk for you. However, there is a small risk for you perforing oral sex on her that you can give her a second type of herpes....type 1, if she already has type 2. It is less common but still possible to aquire both types of herpes so just be aware of that. And yes, you can still contract type 2 genitally from having intercourse with her, even without her having symptoms, and even though you already have type 1 orally. Id reccomend talking to a doctor who actually knows what they are talking about (a lot of docs. out there with out-dated or incomplete understanding of the virus). But the bottom line is that you already have oral herpes and she has genital (if her blood test confirms it) and there is still a risk of passing each form of the virus to one another but due to the fact you both have HSV of some form there is some immunity from the antibodies you each have that can lessen your chance of getting an additional type, but that is not a 100% guarantee you or/and her will not end up getting a second type. Its really up to both of you to decide but starting with herpes type specific blood tests is the best way to start things so you can find out what type you each have and take it from there. Hope this wasnt too confusing.

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That wasn't too confusing at all, BoxOfRain, and I appreciate the response. Hopefully we will both be able to make it in to a clinic to get tested this week. From what I understand, she never had a blood test which I find kind of odd. Can a Doctor diagnose herpes, or the type of herpes, without a blood test?

Also, does it take about 2 weeks to get results back from the tests? And do free clinics usually test for STD's?

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That wasn't too confusing at all, BoxOfRain, and I appreciate the response. Hopefully we will both be able to make it in to a clinic to get tested this week. From what I understand, she never had a blood test which I find kind of odd. Can a Doctor diagnose herpes, or the type of herpes, without a blood test?

Also, does it take about 2 weeks to get results back from the tests? And do free clinics usually test for STD's?

A doctor can "diagnose" herpes if she is experienced enough to know what herpes looks like and from the patient's clinical history. Unfortunately, herpes doesn't always present itself with textbook symptoms. The type of herpes cannot be determined without tests, either culture swab, blood test, or PCR test (the last one being the most rare test).

My trip to the free clinic took about 2 weeks for me to get my results back. And yes, free clinics will test for the typical STD screen. Some clinics only test for herpes if you have an active lesion, but the one I went to was really nice, and tested me for herpes just because I was worried. If your free clinic doesn't do it, I would go to a Planned Parenthood to get the test. Good luck!

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nope, by sight a doctor cannot diagnose the "type" of herpes. They can make an assumption of whether or not "THEY" think its herpes but to be safe and know for sure a type specific blood test is necessary. I know it sounds odd that a doc. diagnosed her by sight and not blood test, but I dont think that is an appropriate way at all. Often times they do so to prescribe meds early on, which I also dont agree with, but MOST doctors also tell you to come back for a blood test in a few weeks to confirm for sure...the reason a lot of docs. dont do the blood test right then is because sometimes it takes a few weeks for the antibodies to show up, even though they begin to produce once the virus enters the body and is recognized as a threat after a first exposure to the virus. My doc. however looked at me, and while my symptoms never present as blisters/sores, the rash I get doesnt typically look like what some would think herpes looks like, my doc. had me get a blood test immediately the same day (but for my case, Id had the "rash" for longer than 10 days when I had my appointment).... so lucky for me my doc. was on top of things and understood that just because it doesnt look like the typical text book picture or idea of herpes, doesnt mean it isnt herpes...Im glad she was smart enough not to just dismiss the rash as a yeast infection, like a lot of other doctors sometimes do at first. Good luck to you guys. I hope everything works out for you both.

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