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Too much information to sift through, trying to understand

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Hi there -

I have been dating someone for a month. He is an amazing person and we have so much fun together. We had really only kissed the whole first month, minus some hand play, and I was trying to understand like does this guy even like me? He was pulling back and I thought it was just the normal reason people pull back. 

He had been out of town visiting friends and came home. I was so excited to see him and planned a fun and romantic date. We drank substantially too much. After our date he came over and one thing led to another. We ended up having unprotected sex, which I wish I remembered. Too many tequila shots and that is definitely my fault for losing sight to my a safe consciousness. But I care for him and trusted being with him after all the conversations we had.

The next morning felt different. We woke up and laid in bed talking and he seemed off. We got coffee and then sat on my porch talking. He was basically in tears trying to hold it in. I was trying to comfort him and he kept saying he was going to tell me something and it would eventually come out why he’s so upset. 

Eventually he told me he had hpv. I knew that was wildly common and I’ve been vaccinated so I was ok. He then said, “but there’s more, I have hsv-2. I can’t even look at you right now”. My body went into shock. We didn’t use protection. We hadn’t talked about this prior to having sex. My mind was going a million miles a minute but I was trying to be calm and there for him because I know how hard this is for him to tell me, especially after the fact. 

My anxiety is unbelievably off the wall. This happened 5 nights ago and I have only slept because of Xanax. He is a mess right now. He feels so bad because he even has condoms but didn’t use them. I was once told I had HPV and that makes me more concerned about the transmission of hsv2. My doctor told me I would never have a negative test for hpv after a positive since it was a virus but I have numerous times so I hope that was just a false positive. 

I have read SO much content about hsv-2. I feel like my brain is going to explode. I feel like I’m causing him so much stress because I have nobody to talk to about it and I’m trying to get answers. 

I called my OBs office the next day and talked with their Np and gave her the details. 
- He had an out break 2 weeks prior but had been cleared for 7 days

- we did not use condoms

- he is on once daily Valtrex 

I’ve also read about the duration and intensity of sex can be a factor. Rough sex causing possible tears. Shorter duration having less possible exposure. 

Ive read the 10-20% rate of transmission information but what I understand is that’s on an annual basis? This was one time.

My OBs office said I was at very high risk of getting it since it had been 7 days since he had healed. I also spoke with planned parenthood and they told me I’m probably fine.

I just have so much anxiety and stress. I’m trying to be there for him because I really care about him. I am watching him crumble and it’s breaking my heart. My brain just won’t stop running.

He is praying I don’t have it. I’m trying to figure out the chances of a single occurrence.

I did read several posts on here about transmission but just hoping for some clarification for my scenario. Do you recommend getting the igM blood test or just waiting for igG? Or should I wait to see if I get an outbreak? 

Thank you 💗

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I need to also add, I’m not ready to give up on the relationship yet. I just know we were not being safe so I am trying to understand the risk and have anxiety with all of it.

I told him I still want him in my life I just wanted to pump the breaks and go slow. I understand that’s hard when you’ve already had sex but I just want to be more clear of our future and be as safe as we can.

I’ve asked him a lot of questions and he seems semi not educated on any of it. He said when he was diagnosed the doctor just gave him medicine and sent him on his way. I’ve been telling him stuff I read and it seems like it’s all new information to him but he was diagnosed 10 years ago. 

I want him to be a part of this community. He is so down on himself and reading everyone’s posts and comments has been very uplifting. He is so hard on himself and I really want him to see how great he is.

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Hello! 🙂 

Welcome to the community. 

I am so sorry to hear about the stress and worry you are experiencing, and I am sorry for the anxiety and shame that your partner is feeling. Please know everything will work out. Things may seem so chaotic right now, but with understanding, communication, education, and kindness to yourselves and to one another, the relationship can still thrive. ❤️ 

In regards to what happened, please know that it must be SO anxiety-causing to have been in that situation! Alcohol reduces out ability to make judgments and often causes us to act impulsively. Alcohol really inhibits the brain's ability to think critically! If anything, it seems he is really into you, and when the alcohol came into everything, he was able to let go of his worries (you mentioned that he was holding/pulling back during intimate moments).

Honestly, your forgiveness and kindness is amazing. Many people in this situation would feel like they were taken advantage of or lied to or put in danger... you seem to really see it as a humanizing situation in which understanding and kindness need to shine through. Thank you for being so kind. ❤️ 

I cannot even imagine the sadness he is feeling. He is so lucky to have such a kind and understanding human like you who wants to educate him about things and boost his self-esteem. Joining this community would totally help him! We are an understanding and kind bunch ❤️.

In regards to if you should get tested...

You could go get the IgM test now and the IgG later. Or, you could wait 12 weeks. The IgM actually may be useful since he had a fairly recent outbreak and you had unprotected sex. 

Even though you had the HPV vaccine, the vaccine only protects against 90% of HPV strains. It can take weeks, months, or even years for HPV to show up in a cell sample, however if you start experiencing symptoms, then obviously a swab would be needed to be done. Regardless, each year during your annual OBGYN visit when they do a PAP smear, you can ask them to test for HPV since you have been exposed to it.

Stay strong ❤️ It will be okay. I am sending you (and your partner!) prayers and blessings! 🙂 

-- Grace

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Sadly, a lot of places refuse to do blood testing for herpes in general, unless symptoms are actively present. This is absurd, because 1) swab tests can produce false negatives, and 2) half of the time, you have to book a week out, and by then sores are gone 😑. Plus, you're the patient, and I think you should be allowed to request blood work! 

Anyways, I'll get off my soap box now. If Planned Parenthood doesn't want to do an IgM, you could go to another clinic or ask your primary doctor to write a referral for you to get blood-work done at a blood-draw facility. Most places won't draw blood without a doctor's referral. You could ask your primary physician or even your OBGYN.

I hope this helps! 



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You can schedule an appointemtnt in QuestDiagnostics, for example. You don't need a doctor. You pay for the test, thwy take your blood, and that's all. I think, it's $80, the test. This is really helpful to do because doctors don't want to test you for herpes. Just some of them will test you for it. They give you the results in one day.


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The IgM test is a very sassy test because it is only useful if taken right away during your first outbreak, because it tests for antibodies that spike in numbers during initial infection, but then start to decrease to numbers that aren't detectable. This can cause false negatives to occur.

That is why many people opt to wait 12+ weeks for the IgG test, since it isn't time sensitive. Instead, it requires patience (ugh!) to wait until 12 or more weeks for the antibodies to build up to detectable numbers. 

In terms of chicken pox and other herpesvirus-family viruses, blood tests test for specific proteins that are crated by the body in response to the virus in question. If tests can differentiate between HSV-1 and HSV-2, I would imagine that they can differentiate herpes from shingles from mono (I also have had mono and it sucks)! 

Note: I am not a medical professional! If it comes down to it, it could never hurt to ask your doctor about it 🙂 

I hope this helps! 🙂 

-- Grace

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Thanks! My doctors office gave me vastly different information than I got from planned parenthood and from online so I don’t think they are the place for me to be asking. They deliver babies and seem like they are not knowledgeable about stuff behind that. Thank you for all the info! I appreciate it!!!

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  • 1 year later...

First of all....thank you everyone for writing in and supporting me and others. I am here to do the same. I recommend getting both the HSV 1 IgG and IgM anitbody test and the HSV2 IgG and IgM antibody test within 5 days of a breakout or initial case. Just ask for it!! It is really worth knowing. ASAP. Seven days after symptoms started....I got a blood test.... I was positive HSV 2 IgM only....with negative HSV2 Ig G.............which means this was my very first outbreak and had never had it before.  ...My doctor stated that and said my boyfriend passed it to me (based on his HSV 2 IgG ....which meant he had longer).  It was very revealing and coincided with my clinical (the visual assessment) . My boyfriend got the same test and he was positive HSV 2 IgG. That means he had it first. Mine was a really strong first outbreak of HSV2!!!!!!!!  He didn't know it and I believed him. It is a psychological and physical condition. Many things to handle for the first time. I wish all of you the best and hang in there and hope for healing and tolerance to move forward. 

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