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Difference between gHSV-1 and gHSV-2?

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Got my first "you have herpes" diagnosis but have to wait a month for the results to differentiate between HSV-1 and HSV-2. Doctor really didn't tell me much at all, "don't get overwhelmed" and handed me 7 days dosage of Valtrex and a pamphlet.

I'm certain I picked it up from an encounter a few days before the outbreak, I'm a female and received oral sex from a guy who came out with a coldsore a day after we were together, he's had cold sores before but never genital herpes. I've never had a coldsore before so I'm assuming the virus spread from what was developing on his lip. Doctor agreed here. From what I've read, it sounds like I have gHSV-1.


My doctor never mentioned the two types so everything I know comes from the internet, shocked at how uninformed she left me. I'm finding it hard to figure out what I can expect if the test comes back HSV-1 positive. Am I going to have less recurring episodes than HSV-2 would come with? Are the transmission rates less?


Some of the HSV-1 stories I'm reading seem quite different from my experience, I've got what seems to be near 10 lesions and couldn't sleep for four days with the pain. Am waiting on the "crusting over" stage to kick in at the moment. This makes me question whether it is HSV-1 and, even if it is, whether I'm going to get off any lighter than the typical HSV-2 experiences.


Would love if anybody could enlighten me here, I don't feel confident that my doctor could offer much insight at all judging by how she dealt with the initial diagnosis.

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Hi derpes,


Sending you a warm hug. Sorry you are here, but glad you found us. :)


I'm going to link you to a booklet that I wish every doctor gave out, but sadly most are terribly inept at delivering this diagnosis with any compassion. I am sorry that was the case for you. It was for me as well, and it hurt as much as my girly bits did if not more. All of us here are hoping to do something to change that, but in the mean time, I am REALLY glad you found us and want you to know you are in the right place.


Here's the link to the booklet:



It will take you right to the pdf download and it explains both types of H, tests to diagnose, etc. Almost every question you are probably asking right now can be answered in there, questions your doctor should have taken the time to answer for you. Please feel free to post any other questions you have as well as your feelings and other concerns. We are here for you. ((((derpes))))


I am so sorry you are having so much discomfort. One thing that helps when I am having an outbreak are Epsom Salts baths. They dry out the blisters and help you get to the crusting over stage you are talking about. You can get Epsom Salts at Wal-Mart, Target or any drug store. They are cheap and very comforting and effective. Also, go commando as much as possible right now. When you sleep, or at home just hanging out, etc. That will help your healing by keeping things dry and aired out. :D


Again, keep posting and welcome.



aka breatheandletgo

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derpes, I have HSV 1 and my first episode was very similar to yours. I had a bunch of lesions and it was very painful, I also got flu like symptoms.I also got mine from someone who had a coldsore and spread it through oral sex.

The episodes whether they're bad or mild kind of depend on you and your body more than what type it is. gHSV1 typically shows up less often than HSV2, but then again depends on your body. I had a really terrible episode the 1st time, 3 months ago and haven't had one since.

I hope this helps out :)

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Hey Derpes! Welcome to the site. Love your screen name.


Here's a blog article on the differences of HSV-1 and HSV-2:



And to your questions specifically, 50% of new genital herpes cases are due to oral sex and passing it from a cold sore on the mouth to the genitals. Just goes to show how uninformed not just doctors are, but much of our general population, too. And yes, there's plenty of talk out there that gHSV-1 will have you develop less herpes outbreaks than gHSV-2, but what really is your motivation behind that question? Your outbreaks will be what they are. And the amount of outbreaks you have will be determined a lot by your health and physiology. As far as rates of transmission, I have heard there is less of a chance, but ultimately there's less science to back that up, so when you are disclosing, go with the numbers for genital herpes in general. You're still going to have viral shedding in between outbreaks that happens about 10% of the time and same rate of transmission.


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. 

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kticatt, great to see somebody in the (expected) same boat! Have you taken any measures to prevent outbreaks or just your natural order?


Motivation lies in deciding whether or not I'm going to ask for a suppressive prescription. I want to do as much as possible to lower transmission but I've never been one for taking any kind of medication so the idea of popping daily pills is really unappealing to me. I'm trying to weigh out the pros and cons. Having this virus doesn't make a difference to the person I'm with at the moment so I'm under less pressure to take a suppressive drug but I'm conscious about the next person. If it was going to make a huge difference to outbreaks, that would probably make my decision, but if I'm not going to have many outbreaks as it is, perhaps leave it.

I think I'll leave myself a 6/12 month test period to see how my body is going to naturally respond to this and go from there but I'd like to hear what I can expect. Seems quite like every experience is unique though.


This is a fantastic resource by the way, feel a lot safer now I've found this! Thank you all.

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My doctor gave my a prescription for valacyclovir and told me to take it whenever I feel an outbreak coming on. Like I said, I haven't gotten another outbreak so I haven't had to take the pills again. I hated the way the pills made me feel when i first took them, so I'd rather not take the daily pill! I'm also not with anyone so I haven't had to worry too much about spreading it yet.

I think giving yourself a 6 1/2 month test period is a good idea. You might only get one outbreak or just a few, it really is unique to every individual. I'm still learning what to expect as I've only had it for 3 months, so I wish I was more of help, but I mean so far it hasn't been terrible!

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I have found that Lecithin & Lysine help keep me from having outbreaks and vitamin C, Onions, garlic and zinc all boost your immune systems which helps (onions and garlic are also anti-virals) so no burning effects from the Valtrex like I had when I took it. I am much happier with natural supplements.

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i have herpes 1 too but for me it run quit bad but i always have been bit sick in my live,Normally they say that 2 is much worse the 1 but i cant confirm that.But if you have a stable imunsystem it should be fine.There are a lot of things you can try but everyone react diffrently.For some people L-Lysine helps already for some not...you have to find your cure.I had some good experience of eating all my meals with coconut oil, it didnt solved the problem but it make the outbreaks much less...and i read that couple of people got outbreak free at the end...give it a try.

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Cheers all! Guess I'll just have to see how my body reacts.


While I have you, (this may get a bit TMI), is it possible my lesions are healing without crusting? My lesions have been on the inside of my outer labia, so naturally it's been difficult to keep them dry. However, several of the blisters burst in the bath and I haven't had any pain since in comparison to the agony involved in urinating before this. Is it best I just leave them be? I did bathe with epsom salts but don't always have access to a bath unfortunately.

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Yes, it is possible. The ones on the parts of your girly bits that stay moist won't crust over. (no such thing as TMI here, derpes)


Here is a trick I learned when I had my babies and things were rather sore-ish down there. Pour warm water over your cooch after you pee, or during if it stings. Urine is sterile, so its not dirty, but depending on what you may have eaten, etc it can sting when you pee. So...try the warm water trick if it is sore. It will stop any stinging and is very soothing.


You are gonna get better. I know it feels slow. Sending you big hugs, honey.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Many many thanks for all the advice you guys gave!

I'm doing great since after a bad outbreak and have had no trouble with it but I'm trying to get my facts straight for future disclosing. So I'm going by the herpes handbook breatheandletgo linked above and it says ghsv1 has a 3-5% transmission rate which can be lowered by condoms and suppressive therapy. Oral hsv1 has a 9-18% rate here. Does that mean there is a much higher chance somebody could get ghsv1 by receiving oral from anybody with oral hsv1 (a huge amount of people it seems) than by having sex with a ghsv-1 carrier? Or have I muddled up my facts?

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