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Genital H-1.. So confused!

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About a month ago I was diagnosed with HSV genitally. At the time we thought it was hsv-2, but since my bloodwork came back, I only tested positive for hsv-1. I've never had a cold sore or anything like that, just the initial genital outbreak about a month ago. Since I now know that I have hsv-1 genitally, will I be prone to cold sores too? Or will it just be genitally? I'm so confused!!

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Hi, sorry you're going through this and welcome. There's bad news and good news here.


Bad news: unless there's some other reason you know this isn't hsv2, it's very possible you haven't seroconverted yet, meaning the hsv2 antibodies aren't detectable even though you have the virus. You should generally wait at least 12 weeks before you can definitively say you don't have a certain strain.


Good news: provided you don't have hsv2, then no, you won't get cold sores, unless you happened to be infected orally at the same time as genitally (unlikely but possible). Also hsv1 genitally sheds really infrequently so you shouldn't get many outbreaks there either.

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@hsucks Did you get swabbed at the time of your outbreak or did they just diagnose you visually? Visually, there is no way to tell the difference between HSV1 and HSV2, but a swab test would've been able to differentiate between types, if it was HSV at all.


It is best to wait 16 weeks from infection to be blood tested. It takes time for antibodies to build to a detectable level.


If your blood test (hopefully IgG) came back positive for HSV1, given the timeframe, it's not possible to know if that's a reflection of an older oral infection (if you've ever had a cold sore, this would be a good bet) or a reflection of what may be a recent genital infection.

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