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A question I can't seem to get a clear answer to

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I was recently diagnosed with herpes - type HSV1 but it appeared as a genital outbreak. Symptoms appeared about 3 days after I had sex with my partner of just over two years - after we had broken up for a couple of months. Based on the symptoms I exhibited (flu like, high fever, very painful urination), I was told it was very likely a brand new infection.


My (now ex) partner insisted that he was always being tested for 'everything' and was fine (which now leads me to wonder why he was 'always being tested'..., but that's another story). I had to be the one to tell him that HSV is never routinely tested for (something I was also not aware of). He eventually texted me to tell me that he had been tested for everything, including herpes and that 'thank goodness' he doesn't have it.


I'll never know whether or not he is telling the truth, just as I'll never know if I've been carrying the virus around myself for years without showing any symptoms.


I understand that the INITIAL infection (at least with the HSV1 strain) would have been caused by having oral sex or perhaps digital penetration with someone who has the virus. Whether they were symptomatic, or asymptomatic but shedding at the time.


What I'm still not clear on is SUBSEQUENT outbreaks. Will they only be brought on under the same scenarios as above, or can they occur spontaneously brought on by things like stress? I can't seem to get a clear answer on this. I know people who have had oral cold sores (the same strain of herpes) and the cold sores seem to appear randomly.


Any enlightenment would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you.

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I have hvs2, but I think both hvs can be brought on by the same things such as friction from sex, stress, different foods etc....however, hvs1 recurrence is very much less frequent and severe as hvs2. From what I've read, most with hvs1 (genitally) only ever have one ob. Shedding is less frequent as well.

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Thanks. From what I've read, about 40% of people will only ever have one hsv1 genital outbreak. It would be somewhat comforting to know what category I fall into but I guess I'll have to learn to live with not ever knowing that, on top of not ever knowing for sure how I got infected. AS a 60+ woman who was married for almost 40 years to one man, this is the last thing I ever expected I would have to deal with in my life.......

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There is so much that I have trouble with.


1) Herpes is a virus, in the same family as chickenpox and mononucleosis (plus a few more). The only difference seems to be that the others are air borne and this one is transmitted via skin to skin contact.


Why are we, the general public, still so uneducated about it? When I experienced my outbreak and told my (now ex) partner about it, he informed me that he was tested for std's every year as part of his annual physical. When I asked him if he had ever paid for herpes testing, he was taken aback. He was completely unaware (as was I) that herpes is not routinely tested for - ever - unless you specifically request it and are willing to pay for it. When I spoke to a much younger woman (early 30's) in my circle about herpes - she was familiar with herpes and the fact there are two types (oral and genital) yet, she was also completely unaware that herpes is not routinely tested for.


2) Why is a cold sore on the lip acceptable (albeit unpleasant), yet the same cold sore on my genitals makes me a promiscuous whore (I was married for almost 40 years to one man and yet now, in the eyes of one person who was never properly educated - I am nothing but a filthy germ)?


3) Why is the medical profession itself so uneducated about it? I had STD testing done when my marriage ended, assuming STD testing tested for ALL possible sexually transmitted diseases. Why I am only NOW - 8 years and one more ex partner later - finding out that herpes is not included in STD testing? Why would NO ONE in the medical profession tell someone that?


It is quite possible I was exposed to the HSV virus as a child. Since my outbreak 3-1/2 months ago, I have spoken to my 91 year old mother about cold sores and, sure enough, she confirmed my vaguely recalled memory that she used to have cold sores. Oral cold sores.


I NEVER experienced a cold sore, in 62 years of living, until 3-1/2 months ago. Within 3 days of having sex (including oral), with my (now ex) partner of over two years, I experienced the classic symptoms of a 'brand new'/'first time' infection:


Genital lesions

Extremely painful urination

High fever

Flu Like symptoms (aches, hot episodes followed by extreme chills)




I have difficulty believing that I have carried this virus since childhood, or since the days of my marriage, without ever experiencing some kind of similar episode (which I never did).


My (now ex) partner is gone. He refused to even try to understand.


My doctor tells me I should just 'get over it' and accept it as part of life.


The sexual health clinic can't tell me for sure which is the best test I should get (all they can tell me - their words, not mine - is that they know there are tests available but they don't know which tests the labs actually use).


4) I'm just generally pissed off that I'm supposed to feel ashamed (which I don't). I'm a good and decent person. Something shitty happened to me. Why do I have to bear society's ignorant stigmas as a result?





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That's a drag, but you can use this as opportunity to start with a clean slate and find people that appreciate you more. Herpes is just a part of life and it really isn't much of a big deal in general- the stigma is the worst part of it, but the stigma ain't shit. It isn't based on anything that real, and the stigma isn't even all that bad.. at least in my experience. Herpes used to not be such a big deal in society, then it was in the 1980s as stds were brought into the spotlight because of HIV. Soon it will be back to normal and people probably won't give a shit. Hell, doctors recommend against herpes testing- that's got to say something about how important it's considered.. low priority.

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