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    Gershwin

    Hi all, 

    I am 64 years old and have always assumed that I do not have herpes, since I have never had any symptoms at all. I have had a girlfriend for the past year. Just last week she developed stinging sores in her vaginal area. She went to Planned Parenthood yesterday and was told by the doctor that it "looks like herpes", although she was not certain. We are now awaiting lab test results.

    Here is why I was shocked to hear the doctor's tentative diagnosis...

    1. My girlfriend never had sex with anyone before me. (I know, hard to believe, given my age, but she is MUCH younger than me and I had empirical evidence that it is true.)

    2. We have been in a monogamous relationship since we began having sex nearly one year ago. 

    3. Before I began this current relationship I was in a monogamous relationship for three and a half years, and neither of us ever had any symptoms of herpes. Before that, I was in a monogamous marriage for sixteen years, and neither of us ever had any symptoms of herpes.

    3. My girlfriend is on the pill, so we have been having sex all this time without a condom. So, if I am an asymptomatic carrier, how could I have NOT transmitted it to her sometime during the past year...and only transmitted it to her in the past week or two?

    4. If I am an asymptomatic carrier, it is most likely that I got it forty years ago when I was in my mid-twenties. It was then that I was in a three-year relationship with my first girlfriend. She was the only woman I've ever been with whom I knew to have herpes, and she had FREQUENT outbreaks. She was on the pill for much of that time so we often had sex without a condom, and although we never had sex whenever she had an outbreak, I now know that herpes can be spread even if there is no active outbreak. So, I MUST have had exposure to it. I became very familiar with what the sores look like and with other possible symptoms, yet I have NEVER had any symptoms of any kind.

    5. During the ensuing forty years I have had several long term relationships, having sex without a condom for varying amounts of time during each relationship, and none of my sex partners ever had any symptoms of herpes. 

    I've read that many of the standard herpes tests yield a lot of false positives, so even if this test comes back positive she will get further testing, plus I will get tested myself. Meanwhile, based on everything described above, how likely is it that I am an asymptomatic carrier who never gave it to anyone else over the course of forty years, and didn't give it to my current girlfriend for a year, and now suddenly gave it to her?

    Thanks for your input.

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    WilsoInAus

    The first thing is to positively affirm she has herpes. Visual diagnoses are not more than 75% accurate. I trust they took a swab in this regard.

    If it is herpes the next question is what type? 1 or 2. Make sure they properly type the culture sample. Ask what was the result of the immunofluoresence test!.

    Whatever type it is, then it looks highly likely you have it.

    A not uncommon scenario here is that you have an oral HSV-1 infection and infected her with oral sex.

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    Gershwin
    19 minutes ago, WilsoInAus said:

    A not uncommon scenario here is that you have an oral HSV-1 infection and infected her with oral sex.

    This is unlikely, since I haven't had a cold sore since I was five years old. 

    I appreciate your input. 

     

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    WannaCry

    @Gershwin

    You unfortunately don't know about asymptomatic shedding of the HSV virus it appears.

    If you did in fact have coldsores as a child, you have the virus, and it DOES reactivate and shed viral matter without any type of lesion appearing. This is in fact the most common way GHSV1 is contracted. From a partner who is asymptomatic and does not remember having coldsores or has not had them since being a young child - and not knowing that the virus will randomly reactivate throughout your whole life, without sores.

    If you carry HSV1 you are much more likely to have mild to no symptoms of acquiring HSV2 also.

    Transmission in a YEAR of sexual contact between a man and a woman with no outbreaks or prodomal symptoms is only 10% based on a nearly long decade study of discordant couples. So yes you can go years and years without any medical intervention (antivirals) and not transmit. HSV is not constantly contagious. It is only when shedding (which happens at random) or with an active lesion.

    Another thing is that if your previous partners had HSV1, asymptomatic or not they had a very HIGH resistance to getting a genital infection of it. If your current girlfriend did not have HSV1 before being with you, then she would be at risk for oral and/oral genital infection comparitively.

     

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    Gershwin

    I've been reading so many conflicting things on the internet. Some people say that asymptomatic shedding diminishes over time, so that after many years it is very unlikely to occur. But apparently no one knows the odds about any of this. I've also read that between 50-90% of people have herpes 1 and that the majority of those people are asymptomatic and don't even know that they have it. If that is true - and if it is also true that it can be transmitted at any time when there are no symptoms at all - that means that to be safe, no one should ever kiss anyone, let alone have sex with anyone. This is very dismaying.

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    WilsoInAus

    What you say is all true. 

    However to have herpes is to be human.

    Yes a life of sexual activity carries a risk of herpes transmission. 

    However there is something far worse than the risk of herpes transmission in your life.... and that’s no risk of herpes transmission!!

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    Stillme1968

    if I had to take a guess..I would say I got this from a boyfriend that cheated on my when I was 21

    I am now 49 

    I got married at 23  and divorced at 45

    I still have no symptoms but I carry the antibodies for this virus

    my ex husband had a mild outbreak we thought was just an ingrown hair

    about year 18 of our marriage

    we never used condoms so  ...twenty years together with unprotected sex

    and it took 18 for him to get it

    Edited by Stillme1968

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    Gershwin
    9 hours ago, Stillme1968 said:

    if I had to take a guess..I would say I got this from a boyfriend that cheated on my when I was 21

    I am now 49 

    I got married at 23  and divorced at 45

    I still have no symptoms but I carry the antibodies for this virus

    my ex husband had a mild outbreak we thought was just an ingrown hair

    about year 18 of our marriage

    we never used condoms so  ...twenty years together with unprotected sex

    and it took 18 for him to get it

    Did you have symptoms initially when you were 21, and have been asymptomatic ever since? Or have you never had any symptoms whatsoever?

     

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    Gershwin
    10 hours ago, WilsoInAus said:

    What you say is all true. 

    However to have herpes is to be human.

    Yes a life of sexual activity carries a risk of herpes transmission. 

    However there is something far worse than the risk of herpes transmission in your life.... and that’s no risk of herpes transmission!!

    You have a good perspective. I will try to emulate yours. 

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    Stillme1968
    4 hours ago, Gershwin said:

    Did you have symptoms initially when you were 21, and have been asymptomatic ever since? Or have you never had any symptoms whatsoever?

     

    yes I did break out one time which is how I found out that boyfriend was cheating on me. I went to the health clinic on campus and was misdiagnosed with Chlyamydia. I can remember I felt kind of like I had a fever and was tender in the groin area and had two or three things that looked like mini blisters that popped and oozed clear liquid. To my knowledge..I have never had them again.

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    WannaCry

    There is a ton of garbage info on the net about herpes. I think some people take pleasure in terrifying other people with it.

    We are not constantly contagious. Yes shedding diminishes with age but it never stops, just the nature of the virus.

    The 50-90% statistic is true on the worldwide stage. There has recently been a decrease in oral hsv1 in the USA (due to many factors regarding kids and them being in big groups) which is what is accounting for the increase in genital HSV1 in the US. 

    Yes, technically to be 100% safe from HSV you cannot kiss/be sexual with anyone for 12 weeks when with them, KNOW they are monogamous to you only, and both of you get westernblot tests at that point to prove neither have HSV.

    This is dumb and isn't conducive to healthy relationships or mental states. Like Wilso said, HSV is very common and to become terrified of it deprives you of the most important parts of human life - interaction and relationships.

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    PearBlossom

    HSV can hide in your body for a LONG time.  I've been married 18 years and had my first OB last month.  I have another friend on here who has been married 12 years and just had her first OB recently as well.  It's kind of a sneaky virus!

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    Kurtisfleming

    So I have tested positive for hsv1 but I knew that because I have had cold sores since I was a kid.. I have still tested negative for HSV2 and all other stds 3 months after protected oral sex.. My partner did not touch my penis with lips just saliva touched my scrotum. The day after i felt different. Lately my penis shaft look Like it has more veins than before and I have had itching anywhere I have pubic hair down there all day for over 3 months.. I have had warm feelings in the right side of my body. I have taken antibitotics and penicillin shot and nothing.. Doctors say I don't have anything but still have symptoms

     

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    Gershwin
    11 hours ago, Stillme1968 said:

    yes I did break out one time which is how I found out that boyfriend was cheating on me. I went to the health clinic on campus and was misdiagnosed with Chlyamydia. I can remember I felt kind of like I had a fever and was tender in the groin area and had two or three things that looked like mini blisters that popped and oozed clear liquid. To my knowledge..I have never had them again.

    At least you knew that you had it, based on the initial outbreak. I have never had any symptoms at all, and no one I've been with has ever experienced any symptoms during the forty years since I was with the one ond only woman whom I knew to have herpes (and with frequent outbreaks to boot). That's why I was shocked to hear that my current girlfriend was tentatively diagnosed with herpes. But I understand now that it is POSSIBLE that I gave it to her. We are awaiting the result of the swab that the doctor did. Meanwhile, yesterday I went to a doctor and got two blood tests done for herpes. 

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    Gershwin
    10 hours ago, PearBlossom said:

    HSV can hide in your body for a LONG time.  I've been married 18 years and had my first OB last month.  I have another friend on here who has been married 12 years and just had her first OB recently as well.  It's kind of a sneaky virus!

    Was your husband aware that he had herpes all along? Did he have outbreaks periodically during those 18 years? Or was he like me: never had any symptoms or any indication that he had it, and then gave it to you to your mutual shock?

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    PearBlossom
    1 hour ago, Gershwin said:

    Was your husband aware that he had herpes all along? Did he have outbreaks periodically during those 18 years? Or was he like me: never had any symptoms or any indication that he had it, and then gave it to you to your mutual shock?

    Mutual shock for sure! Same with my other friend on here and her husband. 

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    Gershwin
    On 12/23/2017 at 2:19 AM, PearBlossom said:

    Mutual shock for sure! Same with my other friend on here and her husband. 

    Mutual shock meaning that your husband - like me - never had an initial outbreak and was always asymptomatic and was completely unaware that he had herpes?

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    IcantThinkofaName

    @Gershwin

    Maybe you did pass it to someone else who also was lucky enough to be asymptomatic

    I got it from my fiancee who is generally asymptomatic (meaning that he only had 1 OB ever- the one where I caught it- and not another one so far, nor ever in the past, he says)

    I just told him I hated him and that he ruined my life.

    Is that unfair of me?

    I don't think I will ever really get over this and my quality of life has diminished. I resent him. We have sex and I get Obs after, he gets nothing. Everyday is a reminder with constant symptoms or Obs. I don't think I can truly forgive him or "just get over it"

     Tomorrow (christmas) is my 1 year anniversary for the gift that keeps on giving.  And I've had 2 Obs this month... I've had it all fucking month (only 3 days Ob free)

     

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    Gershwin
    8 hours ago, IcantThinkofaName said:

    @Gershwin

    Maybe you did pass it to someone else who also was lucky enough to be asymptomatic

    I got it from my fiancee who is generally asymptomatic (meaning that he only had 1 OB ever- the one where I caught it- and not another one so far, nor ever in the past, he says)

    I just told him I hated him and that he ruined my life.

    Is that unfair of me?

    I don't think I will ever really get over this and my quality of life has diminished. I resent him. We have sex and I get Obs after, he gets nothing. Everyday is a reminder with constant symptoms or Obs. I don't think I can truly forgive him or "just get over it"

     Tomorrow (christmas) is my 1 year anniversary for the gift that keeps on giving.  And I've had 2 Obs this month... I've had it all fucking month (only 3 days Ob free)

     

    I'm sorry that this has been so distressing for you. But you say that you caught it from your boyfriend while he had his first and only OB ever, yes? If so, I wonder why you did not abstain from sex while he had the OB. Did both of you think that his symptoms were something else other than herpes? And if so, why are you so angry at him? Both of you made a very unfortunate mistake, out of ignorance, if that is the case. 

    Or do you believe that your boyfriend lied to you about this? Do you believe that he knew he had herpes and did not tell you? If so, then I absolutely understand why you would be furious at him, and I would not understand why you would want to stay with him. 

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    IcantThinkofaName
    8 hours ago, Gershwin said:

    I'm sorry that this has been so distressing for you. But you say that you caught it from your boyfriend while he had his first and only OB ever, yes? If so, I wonder why you did not abstain from sex while he had the OB. Did both of you think that his symptoms were something else other than herpes? And if so, why are you so angry at him? Both of you made a very unfortunate mistake, out of ignorance, if that is the case. 

    Or do you believe that your boyfriend lied to you about this? Do you believe that he knew he had herpes and did not tell you? If so, then I absolutely understand why you would be furious at him, and I would not understand why you would want to stay with him. 

    we had sex one night and the next day he said something weird...that "we hurt his penis during sex somehow." I looked at it and it had a big open sore (which wasn't there the night before). I said we "didn't hurt it , but that it looked like herpes", but considering I never had herpes before, I wasn't certain. He said it didn't hurt or anything. It healed up in about 4-5 days.

    He allegedly had STd testing and he said he was negative for everything including herpes so I assumed it could not be herpes then because of the testing and the quick heal time.  I assumed a person knew if they had herpes or not (to be in tune enough with his body to know what was going on) and I trusted him to be certain before we were sexually active. But when I got a UTI and a classic first OB, 10 days later, I knew it was herpes. I asked to see his test results. he "can't find them" /doesn't have them. Maybe he never got tested.  I asked him to call his dr to get the results. he said they dont keep records in his country.

    He blamed me for awhile saying I gave him herpes.  I asked him several times, over months, to get tested after my OB. He refused to get tested. Now he says he's sure he has it and there is nothing he can do so he won't bother to get tested. He doesn't want to see it on paper. He also said he was tired of hearing my crying about having it and didn't talk to me for over a month.

    Thanks for saying I'm ignorant . I know it already . I picked the wrong person to have a relationship with and now I'm gonna pay forever.  yes, its my fault.

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    PearBlossom
    On 12/24/2017 at 1:35 PM, Gershwin said:

    Mutual shock meaning that your husband - like me - never had an initial outbreak and was always asymptomatic and was completely unaware that he had herpes?

    Yes

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    Gershwin
    15 hours ago, IcantThinkofaName said:

    we had sex one night and the next day he said something weird...that "we hurt his penis during sex somehow." I looked at it and it had a big open sore (which wasn't there the night before). I said we "didn't hurt it , but that it looked like herpes", but considering I never had herpes before, I wasn't certain. He said it didn't hurt or anything. It healed up in about 4-5 days.

    He allegedly had STd testing and he said he was negative for everything including herpes so I assumed it could not be herpes then because of the testing and the quick heal time.  I assumed a person knew if they had herpes or not (to be in tune enough with his body to know what was going on) and I trusted him to be certain before we were sexually active. But when I got a UTI and a classic first OB, 10 days later, I knew it was herpes. I asked to see his test results. he "can't find them" /doesn't have them. Maybe he never got tested.  I asked him to call his dr to get the results. he said they dont keep records in his country.

    He blamed me for awhile saying I gave him herpes.  I asked him several times, over months, to get tested after my OB. He refused to get tested. Now he says he's sure he has it and there is nothing he can do so he won't bother to get tested. He doesn't want to see it on paper. He also said he was tired of hearing my crying about having it and didn't talk to me for over a month.

    Thanks for saying I'm ignorant . I know it already . I picked the wrong person to have a relationship with and now I'm gonna pay forever.  yes, its my fault.

    I did not mean to insult you. Most people are ignorant about herpes, including me until very recently. But your description of your boyfriend's behavior is very alarming. According to your description he did not make an honest mistake out of ignorance about herpes; he LIED to you, and continues to lie to you. That is despicable, frankly. I don't know why you would want to stay with someone who is so unethical and uncaring about you. But, of course, it is your choice. 

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    Gershwin
    12 hours ago, PearBlossom said:

    Yes

    So, to clarify, if you don't mind my asking...you and your husband both assumed that neither of you had herpes? Then after all those years together you one day had symptoms that were then confirmed to be herpes? And to this day, your husband has still never had any symptoms? 

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    PearBlossom
    On 12/26/2017 at 6:31 AM, Gershwin said:

    So, to clarify, if you don't mind my asking...you and your husband both assumed that neither of you had herpes? Then after all those years together you one day had symptoms that were then confirmed to be herpes? And to this day, your husband has still never had any symptoms? 

    A few years ago he had a small sore on his penis.  Looking back, it may have been a herpes lesion.  That was only like 2 years ago though. 

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    Gershwin

    Update: My girlfriend's swab came back negative for herpes 1 or 2. And my blood tests (two different ones) both came back negative for herpes 2 and positive for herpes 1. I'm not surprised by the herpes 1 positive, since I remember having one cold sore as a child, though I've been asymptomatic ever since.

    I was also tested for every other STD for which they can test, and everything came back negative.

    So, the doctor's visual diagnosis was wrong...my gf does not have herpes. Those bumps have since gone away, whatever they were. I suspect that they were just skin irritations. Apparently WilsonAus is correct: doctors often are wrong in their visual diagnoses of herpes. 

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