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How old is my infection?

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I recently got diagnosed with hsv through a blood test. I did the test to confirm I had no STIs before starting a sexual relationship with my partner and was shocked when it came back positive.
I have had 2 sexual partners in the last 20 years (apart from my new partner), a one night stand a year ago, and my ex wife. I have not had any symptoms or outbreaks, although I had a red abrasion which I thought nothing of about4 months after my one night stand, whch my new partner thought might have been a sign of hsv.
Anyway, I am aware that the contagiousness of hsv reduces over time, so it is very significant to me whether I got infected a year ago or upto 30 years ago. So...

Without leisions or any symptoms, is there any way to tell when I was infected. Or, more importantly, is there any way to know how contagious I might be. My partner has had terrible symptoms which have not been 100% identified as hsv. So if there is anything I can do to reduce the chances of passing it on, of course, I want to do it. I can wear a condom, I'm trying to get antivirals (my gp refused them to me innitially so I'm going to see a specialist) and I'll do anything else to protect my SO.

Any help would be greaty appreciated. Thanks.

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Hi!! 🙂 

That is a great question. Because herpes can infect people and lay dormant, it is hard to identify when you first came into contact with herpes.

However, if you wanted to do some personal research, you could ask your ex-wife and the other person if they have ever tested positive for your strain of herpes. Obviously, that may be uncomfortable to do, so if you don't want to do that, don't do it! 🙂

You said you noticed a red lesion at one point about four months after your connection with the one person, so four months prior to that could have been when you contracted it, especially if your ex-wife does not have herpes.  

Regardless, just know that it is okay to not know how/when you got it. It is so frustrating sometimes, but it is totally understandable. 

I am so sorry your partner has been having terrible symptoms, and I hope she is doing better! Have they done any tests to help exclude any possible diagnoses? Oh, another test that may be good is Lyme Disease. It can give people a wide range of symptoms, and is very hard to detect as the illness "hides" behind other cells when examined under a microscope. 

I do not know if you can tell how contagious you are. I mean, if you start showing symptoms of an outbreak or prodrome, then I would say you are very contagious at that point. However, asymptomatic shedding can occur, which is contagious as well.

If your partner does end up coming back positive for your herpes strain, need not worry since you'll both have it. If she comes back negative after waiting for a while before testing (and retesting if needed) viral suppressants can help you reduce risk of transmission because it reduces likelihood of outbreaks (both symptomatic and asymptomtic). 

I hope this helps!! 🙂 




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