I am 63 years old and just diagnosed with Herpes--both 1 and 2 via a blood test. My GYN tested me after examining me for a very long term (about 6 week) intractable genital and thigh and pubic area rash and intense itching. I have had vaginal area itching before in my life---what woman on the face of the earth hasn't?!-- but never something this intense that didn't either go away with the use of over the counter topicals like Vagisil or cortisone, or cleared after visit to the gyn tested positive for yeast infection or some other type of vaginal infection treated with an antifungal. My nurse practitioner I saw last year told me my culture also tested for herpes, but was not present. I have never had any blisters or sores--not even a fever blister ever in my life and no visit to the gyn for a problem has ever even suggested presence of herpes. I have been with my husband for 16 years. The last time I have had sex before him was almost 20 years ago. My husband and I haven't even had sex of any kind for about 7-9 months and I have absolutely no reason to suspect or believe that he cheated on me ever. So, my question is---how is this possible? I understand herpes can lie dormant for years, but DECADES??? My current gyn doc suggested that I probably did have outbreaks before but did not recognize it as herpes and identified it as something else. She also said cultures don't always pick up herpes, which is why when she saw what clearly looked like herpes to her, she ordered the blood test. Reading about herpes on line informs me that the first outbreak (which generally occurs several to 20 days after exposure) is generally the worst and all subsequent outbreaks will likely be more minor, due to build up of immune response. But this recent outbreak was definitely by far the worst and most serious of any such symptoms I have ever had. This all seems so backwards.
Has anyone else had a similar experience or can anyone help me understand this better? My one relief is that I am as old as I am and in a long term and solid marriage (my husband took the news very nonchalantly and lightly) and so I do not have to worry about the perils of dating and having to tackle this issue with others. I just can't understand how this can pop up so long after my sexually active period of life.