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Herpes transmission question

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I know it's impossible to tell who passed it to you. Or that the test can't tell you... But I wonder -if I've never noticed any symptoms before and I had very intense symptoms this week which were pretty immediate after I had sex, is it safe to assume that the person I had sex with passed it to me then? He had no symptoms. From what I've read, your first outbreak is the worst and this has been one of the most painful things I've gone through. So I assume this is the first infection. 

Ok thanks!



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I am so sorry about the painful outbreak you've experienced. I hope things have since cleared up!

You have asked a great question. When it comes to transmission, you are correct; the first outbreak/primary outbreak is typically the worst and most extreme. It also can be accompanied with physical symptoms such as fatigue, aches, a fever, or an overall flu-like feeling. Did you experience anything like that? 

If you experienced an outbreak after sex, it's pretty safe to say that person gave it to you. For me personally, I got an outbreak the morning after being intimate with my then boyfriend. We had been exclusive seeing each other for months and he freaked out and was in complete denial about having given it to me. The doctor explained that it definitely was him. The timeline added up and he was the only person I had been with in months. Also this outbreak was ultra severe, and the swab test was positive for HSV-1. So, if this sounds similar to your situation, it is likely this person passed it to you. 

Did you get tested to ensure it was indeed HSV (if so, was it the swab test?). Has he ever been tested for HSV or has he ever experienced an outbreak? Some people are asymptomatic and never show symptoms of having herpes. Others may have it and have symptoms but not realize it's herpes, and assume it's pimples or an ingrown hair, or have them in an area that they cannot see. Have you talked to him about it? Would he be willing to get an IgG blood test? 

Also, if you did get a swab test and it came back positive, especially if it came back positive for for HSV-1, note that it is possible to get herpes on your genitals from receiving oral sex. So, if he's ever had a cold sore and if he had one and preformed oral sex, it's possible to get HSV that way, too. 

I hope this helps!! 

Stay well! Sending blessings your way 🌄!! 

-- Grace

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Hi Grace,

Thanks so much for writing back. So I am awaiting test results on Monday but I'm pretty sure its HSV without knowing the specifics. They already gave me medication (valacyclovir) which is working on clearing it up (they also gave me antibiotics), so I'm taking that as a sign too. If this is not Herpes, it is also very painful and uncomfortable. Yes I got body aches and chills right after having sex last week with a new partner. He said he got tested and I made sure to point out that the herpes test isn't on the STD panel. But he has no symptoms from what he has told me. Ok so outbreaks in the future don't have the body aches/chills. Is that the virus moving into the nervous system body response?

Super interesting...

Thanks again. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, Asya. Your situation is very similar to mine. I began to feel the symptoms on the next day post sex and I never felt anything and did not relate to anyone for almost two years. I had all the known symptoms of a primary infection including swollen groin lymph nodes, fever, flu, itching, pain and all others we already know. It took her three weeks too to pass. I strongly believe that it was this person who passed me, but she also seems asymptomatic. I hope everything is fine out there. This is a bad question to load 😞

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  • mr_hopp changed the title to Herpes transmission question
  • 5 weeks later...

Hi Asya!

I am so sorry I never replied! I just realized that. I apologize!

GHSV-1 is typically the less aggressive type of HSV.

The fact that you had chills, fever, body aches, etc. after intimacy with him totally makes sense, as that was the primary outbreak (which we know now since your test came back positive for HSV-1). It's great that you told him an STI panel does not include HSV testing! So many people do not know that, and educating others is wonderful.

Regarding your question:  To become familiar with your symptoms, you can log them and keep track of them so you know the "warning signs" of your prodrome. Prodrome symptoms are a helpful thing because they act as a little "warning flag" that you are about to have an outbreak, so you can take anitvirals, abstain from sex, etc.  

Future outbreaks may have the same fever. aches, chills symptoms, however they would most likely be much more mild. Prodrome symptoms can include burning, itching, redness, tingling, and any other symptoms you experienced during the primary outbreak. For example, if your lymph nodes in the groin-area were swollen during your primary outbreak, that could happen. during the next/future outbreak(s) as well. 

I hope you are doing well! 

Sending blessings and prayers your way! 🙂 

-- grace


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The test fails in some cases and can give false negatives. Could it be that the test failed or that you got it from someone in the past perhaps? 

This is confusing to me too because if the outbreak was a primary outbreak and the symptoms occurred after sex, isn't that indicative of that person? It's a question I also have.

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