My ex passed the virus to me about 18 years ago after our first unprotected sex after marriage. We had both been tested for STDs before getting married, but of course they did not then and do not now test for HSV, so we both came up clear. I went to the doctor 4 days later when I had my first outbreak. She said it was "probably" herpes, took a swab then never gave me the test results or any useful information on how to manage it or what to do. I changed doctors soon afterwards.
Got divorced 4 years later. For the last 14 years I struggled with a weight problem and was too fat to attract anyone, so knowing I had genital herpes was a nonissue. After the first painful outbreak, they became fewer, very minor and very far apart. My outbreaks now are one about every five years, one small sore only on the labia that goes away in about five days.
I've now lost a lot of weight and am beginning to get some attention from men. Went to my doctor to ask about getting tested. I want to know whether I have HSV1 or HSV2, as my symptoms are very mild and infrequent, indicating the possibility of HSV1 genitally, but I don't know for sure until I'm tested. I also want to know if my ex passed on anything else that I don't know about.
My doctor was amazingly unhelpful. I told him my story and he said, "oh, yeah, you have it." But he said tests are inconclusive, so I shouldn't bother. Obviously he is not up to date on the latest developments in STD testing. He also did not have any useful information to give me about what sexual practices were safe. He said with the infrequency of my outbreaks, there was no point even in taking any medication for it. The only thing he did say was if I took Valtrex, it would decrease the possibility of asymptomatic shedding and passing it on to a partner to about 1%.
I did not pursue the testing issue at that time because I wasn't seeing anyone, and I felt I could wait until I found someone and was at the point of disclosure. At that point, we would both get tested and I would have a recent test to go on.
I'm interested to know how others got tested and what tests they asked for. I know of a clinic near where I live that will perform a 10 panel STD test, including HSV1 and HSV2 for around $200. I think they do the ELISA test for HSV. Am still going to wait until I find someone who's serious, as right now $200 is a lot of money and I'd just have to do it again for recent results when the right time comes. Thanks in advance for your input and advice.