Jump to content
  • Want to be a part of a supportive community? Join the H Opp community for free.

    Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

Genital herpes (HSV-1): Questions about outbreaks


Recommended Posts

I was infected by oral sex in 1994. I've not had any further outbreak until 2 days ago. I had always been thinking (when I thought, that was, which wasn't often) how lucky I had been. 19 years is a long time and it's why I didn't recognise straight away what was happening and then I suddenly twigged. Herpes virus come back! So now that it has reappeared, is it likely that I will get frequent further bouts, or is this anybody's guess? I had a severe cold recently and Herpes Virus appeared just as I was getting better. Over those 19 years, I've obviously had flu and colds from time to time but with no reappearance of Herpes. Does this mean now that I'm older that my immune system is weakened? I'm not quite sure on treatment. I have bought Zovirax from the pharmacy, but am reading that zinc ointment might be better. I'm in UK by the way. When I was first infected, I was in France. I was quite ill with it at the time, with chills, fever and fatigue. I did go to a STD clinic when I felt well enough, but it was then too late to take medication. When I got back to UK, I went to another STD clinic near where I live. I was told, it was probably just as well I didn't take oral medication as it would give my immune system a chance to produce anti-bodies. What is the thought on that now?

Link to comment

I've had HSV1 since childhood, and like you, I haven't had a cold sore since 1995. Still knocking on wood on that one.

 

I was recently gifted with 2, and my OB was straight from a Hollywood horror movie. Zinc ointment, aloe, lysine, and lots of water got me through it. My logic was the same as back then with the antibody production and letting my immune system wrangle it first, etc. and I decided to forego medicine for the first one. Maybe I'll go 19 years...hang on while I bang the wooden floors for a moment...

 

Everyone's body is different. Some get frequent OB's, some once a year, others once a decade...and 80% never get OB's. It's a crap shoot and I wouldn't start diagnosing yourself with cancer or some immunosuppressant condition just yet.

 

Go see your doctor, get some bloodwork but it's most likely just a fluke of the virus and nothing to worry about.

 

Link to comment

Thank you for your response. I'm sorry you had this recent problem, but see you are over it now. The medication list is useful, so thanks again.

 

My problem is that I have genital herpes and am now aged 74! As said I've not had an outbreak since initial infection via oral sex 20 years previously. I find it very hard to go to my doctor at my age with this problem. Why I was worried about immune system was my age - with increasing age, you get decreasing immune system. I already have worsening osteoarthritis, which is a deficient immune system disease, not just wear and tear. Psychologically at 74 an outbreak of Genital Herpes is not easy to cope with.

Link to comment

I understand. At 74, you shouldn't be embarrassed to go to your doctor about this. In fact, STD's among people of your age are actually increasing and so your doctor should be quite familiar with what you are dealing with. Autoimmune deficiencies can of course exacerbate herpes, but can be managed if you treat the autoimmune disorder first.

 

Psychologically at any age an outbreak is hard, but it can be managed with a positive attitude, healthy diet, and relaxation techniques. Try and relax your mind and you'll find it becomes much easier at any age, bet it 74 or 104.

 

You acquired the herps via oral, so I'm going to assume you have type 1 as it would be rare for type 2 to be transmitted via oral. Fortunately, 1 is less active in the genital region which could also be one of the reasons you've gone 20 years without an OB, but you should get a PCR to confirm which type you have if you haven't already. Again, a one time deal I wouldn't worry about just yet; if it starts happening every week, then you might want to get serious with your doctor about it.

Link to comment

Thank you for reply. Firstly a comment on another post I read, but couldn't see how to reply to. Someone was talking about getting herpes OB on her breasts and was really worried about recurrence. When I first contracted Herpes I also had it on my nipples - but with recent outbreak, this didn't recur.

 

Yes I could get the tests done, but am happy in mind that it was HSV1 - because I discussed the issue very thoroughly with my partner at the time. He had never had genital Herpes, but suffered quite regularly from Mouth cold sores. At time of my infection, he admitted that he had a very small mouth Herpes. He also had a beard, so small cold sore didn't show. He didn't know that the virus was passed on by physical contact (neither did I at the time.) The strange thing about it is though, I didn't pick it up on my mouth. During the next 20 years he has been very careful not even to kiss me if he has the tiniest of cold sores.

 

It is unfortunate that this virus makes you feel very unclean. If I have mouth ulcers, I don't feel this way - it must be to do with this very sensitive, private, intimate parts of our bodies which makes us feel this way. I didn't feel like it, when I contracted Herpes. Worried yes, and I realised straight away what it possibly was. So I read up about it, and also went to STD clinics both in France and where I live in UK. So psychologically why at 74 do I seem more upset. I understand, it's always upsetting. It is because in general I've been feeling quite vulnerable physically recently - increasing age is bringing problems. Then a new/old one arrived. I'll get over it.

Link to comment

Winchester:

 

First, Welcome to the forum! Glad to meet you.

 

Harry pretty well covered the bases... and he is quite right - don't be embarrassed to go to your Dr... Herpes is present in 80% of the population. However, I WILL say many GP's/Family Practitioners are waaay behind the times with regards to Herpes so if you find your Dr is not that savvy, you may want to try a Urologist or Infectious Disease specialist (in fact, the latter may be an idea for you because of your age and Osteoarthritis issues).

 

Odds are, yes, you are and compromised system from the arthritis are putting extra stress on your body and that allowed it to come back up. HSV1 usually settles down a lot faster because it's not crazy about the genitals which is why you went so long w/o and OB.

 

As someone who has also had this for over 35 years, I agree - when I got divorced and got back into the dating scene, I was MUCH more affected by the H bug emotionally than I ever was when I was originally diagnosed. 35 years ago, there wasn't much of a stigma attached to Herpes - it was just a nuisance skin condition (which it still is!). It's thanks to the internet (google images are the WORST!) and groups like the Yahoo H community (where there is a LOT of misinformation) and the drug companies making it seem like H is a ghastly disease in their marketing that has changed the public perception.

 

(((HUGS))) my friend.... hope this helps a bit :)

Link to comment

Hello WCS Dancer,

 

Thanks so much for your reply. There are now issues about which I'm not sure, and maybe you'll be able answer these. After first episode (1994) read quite a bit on subject. It was then said that if yourself and partner had Herpes, then the infection passed backward and forwards continually between you with frequent outbreaks. From what I now read, it seems that this is not the case because Herpes virus is already in the human system and auto-infection recurs when "the immune system is down" and doesn't necessarily recur via sex. Is this correct? 2. I am now uncertain can I : "inadvertently infect other parts of body." I read that the Herpes virus always returns to the primary infection site. However can it also be transferred to other areas of the body with subsequent infections, by touch? i.e. eyes, lips? 3. Although I originally contracted Herpes via oral sex, can I now give the same partner genital herpes via straight sex if Herpes was in a viral shedding period?

 

I have taken on board what you say re: dr. visit, but here in UK, you an walk into a STD clinic and be treated free, although it might be a good idea to let my GP know as an overall picture of health, so made an appt. for next week.

 

From soul searching Winchester, UK.

Link to comment

Winchester:

 

1&2) Regarding your past info - yeah - it's waaay out of date. If you both have HSV1, then it's a non issue because you BOTH have antibodies to it (ie, you are not passing it back and forth...it just hides in the Nerve Ganglion (near the base of the nerve where it meets the spine) when it's not throwing a blistering temper tantrum .... because you have the antibodies it's unlikely you will pass it anywhere else because your body will fight it off...however, you still want to take precautions to not get any seminal fluids/etc in your eyes just for safety... that's the one area I would be cautious of because of the proximity to the brain. Even so, your immune system would have to be pretty compromised for it to autoinoculate there.

 

3) Yes - you could pass it on genitally through straight sex.... the "good" thing is HSV1 in the genital region doesn't shed as much because it's not it's preferred home. If you use the supressive therapy that should drastically reduce your risk. I'm not going to suggest condoms because I am pretty practical about the physiology of the older gentleman and I know that the darned things may be great for young guys with raging hormones but the Mature Willy doesn't like being restricted :p Just do what you can - perhaps wash right after and don't have sex if you have ANY concerns that you are having an OB.... (That is the perfect time to start getting creative in your sex life anyway... hint hint ;) )

Link to comment

Hi again, well I wrote a bit, saved to drafts, came back and it had disappeared. First what you say re: 35 years ago there was not the stigma that there is today. Well 20 years ago there was. Why should this be? I think it was because of hyped up media coverage with regards to HIV.

 

On your last comment - get creative. Well he's 21 years younger than me and we've been together for 20 years.......owing to a huge miscarriage of French justice, I now have to be resident in UK and he is French in France. I can live there though 6 months of the year. Interestingly, thankfully, mercifully he's never caught genital Herpes from me. I take it that shedding only occurs at the actual site where the blisters present. On further recent reading and careful recollection I may have had other mild outbreaks but on the bum, like a couple of spots coming to a head, which I thought very strange and thought they were like minor boils which soon cleared up.

 

I contracted the virus a few months into the relationship and was told by French clinic that there was no way that this could have been passed to me without the perpetrator knowing that he had the virus. I didn't believe this fortunately. UK clinic was better informed saying that genital Herpes was mainly contracted via oral sex.

 

On medication, topical Zovirax seems to have cleared up present OB. I don't usually take any medication other than Vitamin D prescribed by dr. But now I've gone rummaging around in past collections and am now taking Royal Jelly (immune system) cold liver oil, multivitamins, glucosamine sulphate (for arthritis) which I gave up some years ago as wasn't sure about it.

 

I think the fact that you caught the virus 35 years ago is a real shame. I think though there is probably quite a stigma having facial Herpes also. Genital Herpes is hidden in our clothes whereas facial Herpes is not. I know that facial Herpes gets people down a lot - I remember from school days seeing others. The sores need continual attention and are painful. Fortunately today there is better medication.

 

Thanks again for your replies and info.

Link to comment

Hey @Winchester!

 

To answer the question posed in your first paragraph there, herpes stigma was invented by drug companies in order to market their drugs. How considerate of them, huh? ;)

 

Check out this blog article for the scoop on that:

http://herpeslife.com/inventing-herpes/

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. 

Link to comment

I take it that shedding only occurs at the actual site where the blisters present.

 

The shedding CAN occur at any time - with our without blisters present.

 

was told by French clinic that there was no way that this could have been passed to me without the perpetrator knowing that he had the virus. I didn't believe this fortunately. UK clinic was better informed saying that genital Herpes was mainly contracted via oral sex.

 

Oh. My.GAWD. *Sigh*. This is what we are dealing with. So many Dr's and clinics who have not idea of the truth - and many in our age brackets who were given bad info many years ago like you were who then lived blissfully with the idea that all is fine and they pass it on through sheer ignorance.

 

I think the fact that you caught the virus 35 years ago is a real shame. I think though there is probably quite a stigma having facial Herpes also. Genital Herpes is hidden in our clothes whereas facial Herpes is not. I know that facial Herpes gets people down a lot - I remember from school days seeing others. The sores need continual attention and are painful. Fortunately today there is better medication.

 

No shame - just bad luck. And no - actually, there is almost no stigma with facial herpes...people call them "cold sores" and see them as a nuisance and most don't equate them with the Herpes virus. The one good thing now IS that there are better meds...but the stigma has gotten worse...as Adrial says, thanks to Big Pharma. When I got it, people just thought of is as a nuisance and it wasn't a big topic. HIV surely didn't help but think about it, there is less stigma and more correct information around HIV now than there is around HSV. Now how screwed up is that???

 

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...