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Just found out I have HSV-1 and looking for answers after feeling overwhelmed.

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Well 2016 has definitely turned into the year from hell. I got a call from my doctor after they ran the round of STD tests that I came back positive for HSV-1 by using an igg test. Naturally I’ve gone from a range of emotions and have read as much material as I could get my hands on in the last 24hours and needless to say I’m overwhelmed and have SO many questions. Little background as 2016 has turned into the year from hell. My long term girlfriend cheated on me which just sent the year into a tailspin. I finally managed to get back on my feet but made some poor decisions along the way one being unprotected sex and another being oral sex. I decided it was time to suck it up and get tested for STDs. This is the second test I got this year as I got tested for it a couple months after everything happened with the ex. All those tests came back negative so when I got this test I assumed I was exposed for HSV-1 after that time. That’s inaccurate because after talking with my doctor and going through the older results…. EVERY… STD test I had prior has NEVER included a test for HSV 1 or 2. NEVER…. I don’t know why they included it this round I must have said something that said run the gambit. It’s beyond frustrating because I have no barometer to judge this on. I didn’t go to the doctors with any specific symptoms I just went out of abundance of caution and got this result.


1- Why aren’t these tests part of the routine STD checks?


2- The test that came back said I had a 59.9 level of HSV-1 and that speaking to the doctor that this means that the anti-bodies have been present in my body for at least 6 weeks. Is there any way to figure out when I originally got this? What I’m trying to figure out is if this is oral or genital HSV-1. The doctors say it’s oral but from what I read online that it can be either. 80/20 ratio...Could this have come from the oral sex I preformed 7-8 weeks ago? Or more than likely this was from kissing or sharing a drink with someone that had it?


3- I really haven’t had an “outbreak” as it’s described. I will say at this moment I have a small sore near my back teeth that’s a little reddish but that’s been there for over a week and I tend to get sores that I have ALWAYS assumed to be canker sores. They’re usually small, shallow and white inside my mouth or at the base of my gum. I typically just get one but sometimes I get a few at a time. I’ve gotten that for as long as I can remember. Could that be HSV-1 and I’ve just had this for much longer without even realizing it? Currently in addition to the sore I have a small runny nose…. Does that happen?


4- About a decade ago (in college) I got Mono which is I believe is labeled as HSV-4. Could that create a false positive on a IGG test for HSV-1? In addition are there any false positives with an IGG test for HSV-1?


5- Assuming the sore is indeed not a canker sore and is an outbreak. Would for instance licking my lips pass the outbreak around? If I drank water and put it back in the fridge and then drank it later would that do anything? I’m trying to figure out what realistically I need to do to my routine without going insane. Every time I touch my lips I feel like I'm going to spread it to anything i touch.


6- I have a friend who is bringing their 3-month year old to stay… Should I not allow that anymore? I read kids til a certain age are high susceptible.



7- What is the likely hood I passed this on to someone already? I've never been concerned with sharing drinks or kissing with random people, friends or family. I can think of a dozen occasions in the last few weeks where that's been the case. Really upset if i exposed anyone unknowingly.


8- Oral sex going forward is going to have to be discussed with any partner as I believe I can pass the HSV-1 to them. I feel like I’m asymptomatic unless that canker sore thing is really the outbreaks…? Is taking Valtrex daily a smart move to limit exposure to others?


I know I just need to take a deep breath, tackle this like you do anything in life and take it one step at a time but this is really overwhelming given everything I’ve read and the range that it can affect you. The other thing is that after speaking with the lap they seemed to be pretty nonchalant about it. Basically saying 90% have it. No need to worry. I feel like that’s true but steps are needed to protect the ones you love and to protect yourself and I’m just looking for answers….




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My question for you was whether this is oral HSV-1 or genital HSV-1, which you said you do not know.

1. I believe they're not in routine STD tests because HSV-1 is so common. There is also no way of deciphering where you have outbreaks from the virus, without having an actual outbreak. I believe they should be included though. Many people assume they do not have it because they've never had an outbreak, and that is just not true.

2. From my understanding there is no real way to tell where HSV-1 is in your body without having an outbreak. Therefore it could be oral or genital. This also means that it could occur from the oral sex you performed (if she has genital HSV-1, however vaginal transmission rates for that are low. Not saying it cannot happen though). Or it could be from kissing someone or sharing a drink (which in my opinion is more likely).

3. I honestly don't know. sorry lol

4. No. Mono is HSV-4 and HSV-1 is something different. IGG tests tend not to give a false positive. I believe it is more likely to get a false negative. But I am not 100% sure.

5. If it were an outbreak, I don't believe you can spread it that way. You can't reinfect yourself with herpes in the same area. So drinking out of the same water bottle the same day should not spread the infection. From my understanding. This may need further research,

6. Don't kiss the baby. She's fine. Still come! :)

7. they've probably already been exposed. Don't put too much emphasis on yourself with that. As you said, HSV-1 is extremely common. You're not going to "pass it/infect" everyone you come in contact with. Also, many more people have it than are aware. It is also possible that they have passed it to you!

8. You can pass HSV-1 to a partner genitally from oral sex. That is actually exactly how I got herpes. So, yes, it would be nice to discuss it with a partner and abstain from sex when you have a known outbreak or prodrome symptoms. I, personally, am not on anti-virals. To each their own. I think if you were to be having numerous outbreaks then anti-virals would be a good idea. However, you haven't had one so it seems like the most likely route of transmission from you to someone else would be through viral shedding (which is also how I got HSV-1 lol). Anti-virals is really your decision, and is maybe something you could discuss with a partner. I've always thought that if I were to be in a committed relationship, I would discuss going on anti-virals with a partner because I do not really have physical herpes symptoms. Therefore, the medication isn't a necessity in my opinion. But to help protect someone else, and increase their comfort level, I would do it! So, really the decision is yours.


Hope this helped a little!

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