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Exposed, now what?

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I was exposed to Herpes, we did use a condom.. and I am having "prodromal" symptoms. I am extremely anxious and can't seem to find out what I should do next? As in when should I seek medical attention? Should I take vitamins? Anything special I should do in regards to hygiene for prevention of blisters?

Also, I really do not want to take anti-viral medication, but I'd like to have it on hand if I have pain.  If I go to an Urgent care will they be able to prescribe me this? How long should I wait to get the blood test?


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First, breathe 🦋. You are okay. It will be okay. 

So I can better help, I have some questions. Also, Yay for using a condom! That's great.

1. What it type 1 or type 2 HSV does the other person have?

2. Did the person tell you before or after sex?

3. What are the prodrome symptoms you are experiencing? If it's redness or sensitivity, it can be due to friction from sex, or even a yeast infection, which is common especially if a condom wasn't changed from anal to vaginal sex, for example, or just from having sex in general. 

4. Which genitalia do you have? Those with female anatomy are more likely to experience symptoms of HSV during initial contracting of the virus.

If you go to an urgent care, they will most likely not give you the medicine because you aren't showing physical blisters. However, if you notice raised bumps or any tingling, they definitely should give it to you. 

Typically you can get diagnosed through a culture swab, when a physical sample of the 'goo' in a sore or the tissue of a sore is taken. This is what you can do of sores appear. If you took antivirals now and didn't end up ever getting that first outbreak, you wouldn't know you had herpes unless you took a blood test, and this can be stressful because you're in limbo, wondering "do I need to disclose this to sex partners now? I have to wait 12-16 weeks for a blood test! Do I have herpes, or do I not?!"

So, it would probably be a good idea to wait and see if sores develop. 


Additional herpes information about some of the topics you mentioned in your question...


People can get three blood tests: IgG, IgM, or Western Blot.

IgG tests test for IgG antibodies that your body makes and accumulates more of as time goes on from when you first contracted herpes. IgG tests are more accurate than IgM tests.

 IgM antibodies are created first when you get herpes, but typically disappear soon after, so IgM tests can actually produce false negatives. Also, IgG tests can tell you which strain of HSV you have, while IgM canno

Because IgG blood tests examine IgG antibodies, which can take weeks or months for the body to produce detectable amounts of, it takes patience for an IgG test 🥺⏲️.

Therefore, the American Sexual Health Association recommends waiting 12-16 weeks from the last possible date of exposure for IgG. Regardless, IgG are the way to go in terms of a blood test!! 

Later down the line if you have outbreaks but keep getting negative tests, you could get the Western Blot which analyzes proteins. You don't need to worry about this now, though! Just some info! 🙂

I hope this helps!!! 

Sending happiness and peace your way! 🦋🌻🌄🌼🍀

-- Grace


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Hi Grace, thank you for your kind reply. 

1. All I know is genital herpes 😕

2. They did tell me, but said they did not have an outbreak so that it would pretty much be ok. I have since found out this is not the case.

3. I am having tickling to all different parts of my genitalia. Intermittent burning. I have had a yeast infection before, and it does not feel like that. I also have no discharge.

4. I am a female



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Okay awesome sauce! Thank you for your answers.

I am so happy the person told you about their HSV. That was the honest and right thing to do. I am so sorry that you now may have it.

Genital herpes could mean HSV-1 or HSV-2 (since HSV-1 can present itself in the genital region). Things get confusing because people call HSV-1 oral herpes and HSV-2 genital herpes, however, they can both appear in oral and genital regions!

To find out if they have HSV-1 or 2, you can ask them. Don't be afraid to ask questions, your health matters ❤️

I'm sorry about the burning and tingling. You don't deserve that at all!

The tickling you are describing sounds like precursors to an outbreak, and/or some viral shedding. Are the tinglings coming from the spine, and are they spreading to the buttocks or thighs? 

Have you noticed any burning while urinating? Also, a fever or col/flu like symptoms are common during the first outbreak, especially with HSV-2. Have you noticed any new symptoms since you were possibly exposed? 

Hang in there, we are all here to support you! ❤️ 

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The tingling does not come from the spine, or spread to the buttocks/thighs. I had one episode where I had a little burning while urinating. However, I am thinking some of this could be because I am so nervous and paying so much attention. I haven't had a fever or flu like symptoms, however this has only been going on a few days.

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Psychosomatic symptoms are certainly possible, especially if you have a history of anxiety or worry around illness. 

Another thing is the vagina is a very delicate microbiome of bacteria with a specific pH. Sex can really throw things off, especially if this is a new sex partner. If you notice anything else accompanying the burning (discharge change, smell, redness, itching, tingling, to name a few) that would be a sign of a bacterial infection, however herpes actually can also cause discharge differences among the classic burning and itching. 

How many days has it been since the sexual encounter? And how many days from that encounter did the burning start? According to the CDC, herpes typically can begin showing symptoms anywhere from 2-12 days from initial contact, with the average incubation period being 4 days.

Stay hopeful!! 🌻 -- Grace



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@NJRunnerMom Hi!! 

I hope you are well ❤️ A UTI totally matches the burning, thank you for bringing that up!

@JaneMo a UTI can be easily diagnosed through a urine sample, if you wanted to go to your PCP or a clinic and submit a urine sample. 

I remember the first time I had sex I actually got a UTI, and the burning was really painful. It burned to urinate and it kinda felt like my bladder was a deflated pool floatie (weird analogy, but fitting analogy).

Also, I would have the feeling like I would have to pee and then only drips would come out and it would just hurt and burn, and it felt uncomfortable even when not going to the bathroom.

Does this sound at all like what you are experiencing, or do you have any other UTI-like symptoms? 

Hope you are feeling better today!

Blessings! 🙂  -- Grace  

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The antibody test is reliable after 3 months, the time it takes to your body to produce antibodies, but you can do it as soon as possible to know about it.
If you do the test soon after exposure and it comes back negative and positive in three months, you can know, for sure, that he gave you herpes.
If you do the test in 10 days after exposur and it comes back positive, it means you already had herpes before. 

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