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sex with an ex who later told me he had genital herpes

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2 weeks ago i stupidly ended up in bed with my ex after a drunken night out. I felt some bumps on his penis and said they werent there before and he said it was nothing - the following week he told me that he had been to the doctors a few weeks previously and had been told he has genital herpes and it was nothing to worry about. I suggested he go to the GUM clinic to get it checked and they confirmed he had genital herpes - i guess from looking at it. I went the following day to get checked out and was told there was nothing they could do without having an outbreak and they didnt offer blood tests. His reaction to me was i probably gave it to him anyway! I have HSV1 as I get coldsores. My question is - what are my chances of catching genital herpes? I am not sure if he was having an outbreak but guessing he was. If he has HSV 1 on his genitals am I right in thinking I cant catch it? Thanks for any help

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Hello and Welcome!


So you are in the UK??? Sadly it's VERY hard to get them to do blood testing and give out antivirals there ... *sigh*


So - it IS possible that if you have had cold sores that you could well have given it to him ... BUT, without the swab/blood test, you don't know if he has HSV1 or 2 ... and it's important for you to know if you continue having sex with him so you know what your risks are ... so I suggest that you ask him to insist on a swab if he has an open sore, or a blood test if he doesn't ... and if he won't do it, well, doesn't that tell you something??? And you want to SEE the results ... as it sounds like he's not been exactly forthcoming with giving you any information in the past :(


As for your risk - IF it's HSV1, the risk is far smaller simply because you already have the antibodies for that one ... a very limited number of people do get it in both places but it's pretty rare and I wonder if most have got it in both places at the same time (ie, same exposure).


If he has HSV2, H1 doesn't give you much protection, in which case 1) you didn't give it to him and 2) yes, you COULD get it from him, in which case you need to figure out whether you want to continue that relationship and what risks you are willing to take for it ...whether he would go on anti-virals (IF the GUM clinic will give them to him) and/or condom use .... so get him to get tested ... and then you can take it from there...



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Yes I'm in the UK - I have got some antivirals for myself from the docs in case of a potential break out as I have read on here the first one can be the worst. I have also asked for a blood test and the doc is going to find out where it can be done as he presumed the GUM clinic did them! I understand that I will have to wait 4 months after exposure for the best results (If I can find out where to have one done) I have cut all contact with the ex so not likely to find out whether he has 1 or 2 in the immediate future. Thank you so much for taking time to answer my question

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Well, to a Doctor, Herpes isn't a big deal ... it's a nuisance skin condition in a really inconvenient place. They have much more important things to worry about like Cancer and Mental Illness. BUT, the lack of proper education feeds into the stigma that then causes a lot of mental anguish which is often FAR worse that the symptoms... AND ... a limited number of people DO suffer a lot physically with it with post herpatic nerve pain ... which is all but ignored by the Dr's too ....


For 95% of people with Herpes, it becomes a nuisance issue that makes for some uncomfortable conversations when you are getting into a relationship... but even that has a silver lining...because Herpes makes a great Wingman... because you learn a lot about a person when you disclose :)

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