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HSV-1 Oral or Genital?

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I recently tested positive for HSV-1. I got tested because I had a new partner about a month ago and we did not use protection. I was having some discomfort (itching, redness) so I got tested and results came back as HIGH for HSV-1.

I immediately assumed this indicated genital and freaked out, felt depressed and scared. I did a lot of research and even posted on this forum about it when I was feeling so lost about what this meant for my future. When I received my results I immediately paid to have the phone call consultation from a doctor about them. It took a couple days to get that call, which in that time I had already informed my 2 most recent partners and gone down the rabbit hole. The call lasted less than 2 minutes and the doctor informed me that I tested positive for HSV-1 but no STDs and that I was fine, no need to worry....

Hence my confusion. I asked her if she was sure that it was not genital herpes and proceeded to share that I have redness kind of like a rash but no blistering. She told me that I likely have something else going on that I should get checked locally but other than that I am fine. This left me with only more questions. How do I know for sure that I am not misinformed? Should I be relieved? I am slightly more frustrated with myself for paying $95 for a consultation that told me no more than I could find on the internet and left me even more confused. All in, what am I supposed to think now? What does this mean about disclosure? I plan on going to see a specialist but that may take some time, especially in the pandemic. Can anyone shed some light?

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The truth is, it's impossible to tell where the original site of infection was (and hence where you are contagious) without an actual outbreak that is swabbable. So the doctor should have said that instead of saying you don't have any STIs. (Which gets into a whole other cockamamy discussion around how something isn't an STI when it's on your lip, but it becomes an STI if it traverses below the belt.) This is the gray area a lot of people are in who get a blood test but haven't had an identifiable outbreak. The best thing to do is to tell future partners exactly these details that you shared here. That you got a blood test that is positive for HSV-1 but you haven't had an outbreak, so you don't know where the original site of infection was, whether orally or genitally. Then share the details from the handouts that comes with the free e-book about shedding rates and possibility of transmission from either location. 

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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