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Just diagnosed today :(


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I'm 44 years old and have been married for almost 17 years - monogamous relationship. Last week I started to get terrible hemorrhoids - this has happened before but this time it was worse than ever. I called my primary for something and she prescribed some cream. The next day the sores appeared. 2 days later (last Friday) I was in my GYN's office. She knew immediately what it was and I just burst out in tears. The pain is SO bad, she gave me percocet - I'm sure she would've given me anything at that point. She also prescribed the valtrex and the cream. I cried all weekend and couldn't tell my husband until I got the results. Today I found out I have hsv-1. I have no idea how I got it and that is what's making me crazy. How could I get it vaginally without having oral sex? This outbreak is the most painful thing I have ever experienced. I am still in shock and feel disgusting. When will the pain and sores go away? I have had 7 doses of valtrex. Tomorrow will mark one week since the symptoms began with last Wed/Thurs/Fri being the absolute worst pain imaginable.

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Hi there, welcome to the website.

How were you tested? If you had a blood test and it was positive for hsv1 you may just have it oral (like 90% of the population) because a blood test cannot tell you where you have it, only what you have.

Have you ever received oral sex? If so, you could have gotten it then from someone who had it oral. You don't always have an outbreak shortly after being exposed to this.

Were you diagnosed by visual only? If so, definitely get at least a blood test to confirm. Visual diagnosis is the least accurate.

If you were diagnosed via a swab test have never received oral sex in your life then you are one of the very rare people to have gotten ghsv1 via intercourse. You probably got it from you husband and he probably doesn't know he has it. Most people get it from someone who doesn't know they have it. Most people who have it don't know because they have never been tested and never had an outbreak.

Herpes is nothing to cry about. It is only a very common, mostly harmless virus. Having ghsv1 is like winning the herpes lottery. You may never have another outbreak in your life because hsv1 doesn't like to be genital.

Herpes has been around for a million years and 90% of all adults have it in one form or another. Anyone who has ever had mono, chicken pox or a cold sore has herpes.

Do you have any pets? Most vertebrate animals can get a virus called herpes. Not exactly the same kind as we have but still a virus called herpes. And they are treated with lysine. Dogs, cats, horses and even penguins can get herpes. I swear there is a beluga whale here at the Georgia Aquarium that gets cold sores :)

And if you have children, don't worry. They will not catch it from you. The only way to transmit this virus is from skin to skin contact, so keep them away from your genitals and they will be fine.

Come to the chat room, there you will find many nice fellow Herpsters who can offer you their support.

Good luck!


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JB - thank you so much for responding. I had the lab culture done. She did a scraping at my appointment on Friday. I have had oral sex, just not recently. I just thought usually the initial outbreak occurs w/in 6 months of being infected and we haven't in the last 6 months. We do have a dog and thanks for the info about my kids - they are 15, 13 ,and 10. And the main reason I'm crying here is because of the ridiculous amount of pain I am in. I've read a lot of other posts here and the pain seems to be a constant that everyone has but it is truly the worst pain I've ever had. In between going to the BR, I feel like I did when I had just given birth (very bruised and swollen) but when I actually go the BR, it's worse than labor :(

Thanks again for responding!

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    • WilsoInAus
      I really suggest that the best thing is for both you and your boyfriend to obtain the Westernblot HSV test. He has a 50%+ chance of being positive and you have a 50% chance of being negative
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @kpn the first thing to note is that it is all OK to have HSV-1 or indeed any HSV type. It is not negligence, it is just being human. Oral HSV-1 is not an STD in the sense that the primary transmission is non sexual and the majority of it occurs between parents to children. If any of your children contracted HSV, you would know it. It wouldn't be a silent infection for children. HSV-2 tends not to shed from the oral region for people who have it there in any event. At age 73, about 80% of the population has HSV-1. There is no reason to believe that your mother isn't one of those people. About half of all carriers of oral HSV-1 do not realise they have it and have no living memory of cold sores as they were infected when very young. The most logical explanation is that your mother has oral HSV-1 from her childhood and that your daughter doesn't have oral HSV. Not that it is relevant to anyone but yourself, but your wife might find she actually has genital HSV-1 having had an untyped swab when she was diagnosed.
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @Dylan86 and welcome to the website. First note that you cannot pragmatically become infected with HSV-1 from sharing a drink. If you carry HSV-1, it did not come from that episode. As such it is extremely unlikely HSV-1 is the primary cause of your issues. Can the WB miss a HSV-1 infection? Rarely but its feasible in less than 1% of carriers who test with WB. Note that the WB does not have values, it has positive or negative as you say. It is way more accurate than IgG as it looks for all 30+ antibodies that are in your blood for HSV. Could you have HSV-1? Yes it is feasible, but it would be a very old childhood infection. Could HSV-1 be causing your oral issues? No herpes will not cause the burning mouth syndrome you describe. Could some of the lesions be herpes related? It is feasible if you are a carrier. But it is unlikely to be the primary cause of the issues, but its an opportunistic virus that can cause issues when something else is taxing your immune system. The best thing you can do is the PCR test on a oral lesion and that will be pretty definitive. Either way, in summary. I'd suggest there is <1% chance you are part of about 70% of the population that has HSV-1. Further there is less than a 1% chance that herpes is the primary cause of your issues.   
    • kpn
      My wife has had hsv 2 for around 8 years. We have two young children 3 years old and 18 months old. My wife only had one outbreak when she was first infected so we didn't worry too much about passing it on to our children. I understand the risk to be pretty low under those circumstances. I don't believe my wife took antivirals during either pregnancy. My younger child has diaper rashes pretty often and has had what I thought was hand foot and mouth disease. That was going around the daycare a while back. I haven't really given it much concern though.  About a week ago, my mother kissed my youngest on the lips. My kid was congested at the time but they pretty much always are. About 3 days later, my mother developed a cold sore on her mouth. She has never had cold sores in her life and she is 73 and happily married so she is not going around messing with anyone. She pointed to the fact she had kissed my youngest and presumed that is where she was infected. At first I said that's not possible since my child has never had any cold sores but since then I have really started to consider that maybe it is possible she contracted it from my daughter. This has me worried that my daughter does indeed have hsv2 and was shedding in her mouth. Does anyone have any experience with this? I am really losing sleep about this. Two people I care so much about got hsv from my negligence. I am fine if I were to contract it, I am not worried about what others think at this point in my life. I just don't want anyone else to have it. 
    • CHT
      Hello DavidGua.... based on the two pictures, I'm not seeing anything that resembles a typical herpes outbreak.  I am not sure what those spots are on your penis.  Please have a doctor take a look and I'm sure you'll get a proper diagnosis.  Have you ever received an HSV antibody test (IgG)?  Again, I doubt your symptoms are herpes-related but, if you'd like some peace of mind, you could request the IgG antibody test for HSV2.   Best of luck.... let us know if you have any other questions/concerns.
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