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shutterbug

so many questions

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shutterbug

Hi Everyone,

I'm hoping you don't mind a newby that is going to dive right in with the Q's, because my brain is certainly drowning in them (or so it seems.)

Anyway... I'm 29 years old, and the "short" story is that I started seeing this amazing guy about 3 months ago. He has had a vasectomy (we are both divorced with children, and neither of us wants more) and I had been tested for STD's last April when my divorce was final (my ex had been cheating.) The new guy and I had talked about our sexual histories before becoming intimate, and since there was no risk of pregnancy, and we were going to be exclusive, using protection seemed unnecessary.

I am currently sitting in the "waiting seat" while my HSV tests come back. But with the opinions of 2 doctors, I am thinking a negative result is not really going to happen. And judging by all of the reading I have done, I am having my primary outbreak with every single symptom (to a "T"). From what I understand, primary outbreaks happen anywhere between 2-20 days from exposure to the virus, right? Meaning that since my boyfriend is the only person I have been with, it had to come from him, right?

He obviously had no idea. He is devastated at how sick this initial outbreak has made me - I was in the hospital (and he has been by my side the whole time). He is having a really hard time coming to terms with the idea that he passed it along to me. Or that he may have been a "carrier." He has never (to his knowledge) had an outbreak, and has never shown other symptoms...

Is it safe to assume that if the test comes back positive, this would have been my primary outbreak, and that I definitely contracted it from my boyfriend? Is there ANY other possibility of where this could have come from? Since testing negative after my divorce last year, I have only been with my current boyfriend and one other guy (about 3 months prior to meeting my boyfriend - so 6 months ago.)

Any feedback would be so helpful! Thanks so much!!

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skydreams

Although I'm pretty new to H, I can tell you that the virus can be dormant for many years before an outbreak, and can still spread before that due to viral shedding. I got it from someone who thought they were STD free, and who had last slept with someone 6 years before. He was more shocked than me at the news of my diagnosis, but accepted it once it was explained and I put the research in front of him. When you feel up to it, try going to an std clinic with your boyfriend and discuss your questions about its spread, the hardest part is acceptance. That becomes a lot easier to do when you know the answers to your questions and don't feel like it's taboo or something.

I'm sorry to hear your first OB is making you so sick, I hope you get better!

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catiesmom

Like skydreams said, it could have been dormant for years in your body or your boyfriends and neither of you knew it. The thing about "complete std testing" is it's usually not complete -- unless you have the test results in front of you and it SPECIFICALLY says you were both tested for HSV, don't assume. Most "complete" std testing doesn't include testing for HSV. It's possible either of you had it before.

What kind of test did you get? If this is your first outbreak and you got a blood test, there's a chance it will come back negative. If it does, that would indicate a new infection and therefore that you got this recently from your boyfriend. If it comes back positive, there's really no way to tell where or who it came from. You should BOTH get tested for HSV SPECIFICALLY, and take precautions where necessary.

It sounds like you've got a great man to stand beside you through all this, though, which is great!

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shutterbug

Why do I keep reading about "primary outbreaks" then, and why do most sites list that they usually happen between 2 and 20 days post-exposure??

What is that all about?

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catiesmom

When we talk about things hsv related, there's only 1 hard and fast rule: Nothing is ever definite. Some people get those primary outbreaks between 2 and 20 days after exposure. Some people don't. Some people get a primary outbreak after an innocent kiss as a child, and never see symptoms again. Some people get that primary outbreak, and see it resurface at 40 years old. There is no "always" with HSV. TYPICALLY, we see primary outbreaks 2-20 days after exposure, and TYPICALLY they're the worst OBs the person gets, and OBs get milder and milder until they usually go away or occur once a year or so. But there's no definite. What you're reading is "TYPICAL" but certainly not "always". Does that help?

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shutterbug

thanks catiesmom! That makes sense. I have been reading SO MUCH INFO about herpes that it is starting to make me a little crazy. ;) I guess I am just so focused on figuring out where this came from (mostly because I don't want to believe that it came from this AMAZING guy, though the signs are certainly pointing in that direction) And he is dealing with insane amounts of guilt over how sick this "primary outbreak" made me... It's all just messy, and crazy, and I'm beginning to wonder how I will ever go back to "normal" after all of this...

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Claudia

Another thing to keep in mind is even if you did have this for years and were actually tested for HSV just before you became involved with this man, there are some tests whose accuracy rates are quite questionable, as they are especially prone to giving out false negatives.

If you got the Western Blot, a false negative is highly unlikely. There are some others that are pretty decent in terms of accuracy. But then there are others still that are not great in terms of accuracy. I recommend finding out what test you had and researching its accuracy. Also, if that test was a high quality test but it was taken within months of a previous exposure, even it might come up negative, as it can take a few months for the body to create detectable levels of antibodies.

Take care of yourself. I hope you feel better.

Claudia

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shutterbug

I guess I am just mainly trying to figure out if I got herpes from my current boyfriend, or if I've had it since my ex-hub's affair. It would not surprise me, as the girl he was cheating was with other men at the same time, and not using protection of any kind. With the severity of how sick this disease made me, I am thinking if I did get infected by my ex, I would have gotten sick a LONG time ago...

I'm not even the slightest bit angry at my current boyfriend. He clearly had no idea and is in the same boat as me right now, he is waiting to see his doctor to get himself tested as well. He has never had any visual outbreaks, but has had some of the milder symptoms (who HASN'T been itchy "down there" occasionally?? Even without herpes??)

Ugh, what a mess. I know it will eventually be ok... Just trying to figure it all out.

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goodkid

Need to know

So, what's the answer to this? Could you have got it from your Ex or what? I need to know as I'm trying to put my puzzle together since my bf says he doesn't have it but I have never had an ob before either. Thanks

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lilanne19

Since you have been to 2 doctors and they've both agreed that it may be herpes. I'm wondering if they tested one of your bumps (sores). If you got there in time then a culture test is usually accurate. If the culture test comes back positive and the blood test comes back negative then it's a new infection since it (and I'm going to borrow from Catiesmom) typically take 3 months to build enough antibodies to test positive. That's one way to know if it's a new infection. Definitely get a copy of your last std test to see if you were tested. If you were (but mostly likely not) then you'd know if it came from your ex.

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shutterbug

Yes... they did swab a sore, and last week the results came back positive. I am still uncertain of the type, which is going to be my next Q for my doc, and hopefully I can have that tested as well...

I am healed up now responding fairly well to the Valtrex (though not positive I want to treat this way...), and just working on getting as much knowledge about the virus and about ways to prevent and treat, and ways to get back to a normal life with my boyfriend. In some ways this has brought us closer, and in some ways posed some new challenges, but I am feeling positive about it right now...

I am actually headed to the doc to talk about options and so she can check me out again. My boyfriend is meeting with his doctor on Wednesday to get tested as well (I'm assuming the antibody screen.)

Life goes on... Just trying to learn how. :)

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austintxee

Just to add a thought... I have read on here quite a few times that when you go get tested for stds you have to tell them specifically to test for herpes. If you did not tell them to do so it is likely that they didnt test you or your boyfriend. Many people dont have symptoms at all so keep in mind it could have been there and he didnt even know... even if he was tested for stds.

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shutterbug

I am actually appauled that docs do not include HSV in a request to test for STD's. When I found out my ex husband was cheating (2 years ago) I immediately went and asked for the full gamut of STD tests... last week when I double checked with my doc, I discovered that HSV was NOT included in that!! WTF?! You think you are 'in the clear' and that is totally NOT the case. That's just WRONG!

I know (and believe) that if my boyfriends test comes back positive, he had absolutely no idea he was carrying the herp. We are both victims of infidelity with very strong feelings about it, so I absolutely believe he was not cheating, and I know I wasn't. Our thoughts are that he caught HSV from his ex wife when she was cheating on him, and he passed it to me.

It just freaken figures that when I finally feel ready to move on from my failed marriage & cheating ex husband, with this AMAZING guy (none-the-less), I break out in herpes... Sometimes I just gotta laugh at how cruel life can be. :)

But, I will rise. I always do.

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Bea
I am actually appauled that docs do not include HSV in a request to test for STD's. When I found out my ex husband was cheating (2 years ago) I immediately went and asked for the full gamut of STD tests... last week when I double checked with my doc, I discovered that HSV was NOT included in that!! WTF?! You think you are 'in the clear' and that is totally NOT the case. That's just WRONG!

I know (and believe) that if my boyfriends test comes back positive, he had absolutely no idea he was carrying the herp. We are both victims of infidelity with very strong feelings about it, so I absolutely believe he was not cheating, and I know I wasn't. Our thoughts are that he caught HSV from his ex wife when she was cheating on him, and he passed it to me.

It just freaken figures that when I finally feel ready to move on from my failed marriage & cheating ex husband, with this AMAZING guy (none-the-less), I break out in herpes... Sometimes I just gotta laugh at how cruel life can be. :)

But, I will rise. I always do.

I think part of it is that it is considered an infection, not a disease, and so when you ask to be tested for STD's, it is not one. Sad but true.

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