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So many questions


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I was recently diagnosed with genital hsv1. At least that is what I assume it is. Let me start this long story. My boyfriend and I have been together for alost a year now. Before him I was with this guy who said he was clean for all stds. My boyfriend also got tested recently for stds (maybe three months ago) and he was clean for herpes. We recently just had oral sex. About a month ago. And he moved to Atlanta for work. When i went to visit he was sick because of the cold weather but we had sex. Two days later a rash appeared onmy vagina. At first i thought it was that we were too rough but then when I examined it I noticed there were bumps. When I got back home I went to the doctor (one week later) and he says that it looks like herpes and he took swabs. The next day I immediately went ond got blood and urine tests for all stds. I got the results back yesterday and it says my antibodies for hsv1 is >5. My boyfriend is going to get tested so i dont know his results yet but I ahve so many questions:

1) he said his ex has had cold sores before but I don't know the extent of their sexual relations because I read it is hard to transfer oral hsv genital to genital. Also I never saw my ex with cold sores.

2) if the case is that she never gave him oral sex before would that mean that I had it previously?

3) I have never had an outbreak before so this I have now would be my primary. However what caused it to happen so soon? Because if I remember correctly my flu started the day after the symptoms appeared. Sore throat and all.

4) he has no symptoms at all so we dont know if he is just asymptomatic or if he is not infected.

5) if we find out he has hsv1 (and remember, he has no symptoms) how does that limit us sexually. Because if he has it orally does that mean he can't kiss me? He never had a cold sore ebfore but i read it sheds 80% of the time? Also if he has it genitally would that mean that I can't perform oral sex on him? Is it possible for me to get hsv1 in both places?

6) I read that it takes three months for antibodies to form to be detected in blood. Mine was >5. He was previously clean three months ago. Does that mean I got it from my ex?


Please help me in this very confusing time

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, @ash23. I'm no expert on transmission, especially since there are so many variables. I found it really helpful to read Terri Warren's book (available on Amazon in the Kindle version) to get it all straight. There are also several good sources of information on the web, including this site, but I found the book to be easily accessible and comprehensive yet still very readable for the average person.


I can tell you that you can have HSV1 or HSV2 without any symptoms at all. I have HSV1 and have never had a cold sore in my life (I'm 43). I also have HSV2 (turns out I've had it over 20 years but just got the diagnosis a year ago) and while I now think I had some mild outbreaks I attributed to being a yeast infection, I never had a primary outbreak.


Without knowing the definitive lab results of your previous partner, and without knowing if your boyfriend had a reliable test three months ago (IgG for HSV1 and HSV2), there may not be any way to know exactly how or from whom you contracted the virus. Developing an outbreak two days after receiving oral sex from your boyfriend is suspect though. Did his results come back yet? Knowing what exactly he has and which type will help to answer questions about transmission.


From what I've read (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong), it doesn't necessarily take three months for antibodies to be found in your blood through testing. I believe it depends on the person. My understanding is that if you have HSV, testing will show a positive result for some people much earlier, then show a positive result for most people within four months. As your body develops more antibodies, the easier it is for the blood test to pick it up.


The best way to answer some of your questions is to take a closer look at the lab results from your bf's test three months ago, and the one he just had. You're looking to see if he was indeed tested for HSV1 and HSV2 and by a reliable test (IgG blood test). IgM blood tests and swabs are notoriously unreliable.



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@ash23 Was your test a swab test or a blood test? And how long after your genital outbreak were you tested?


Edit: I just read your original post again. Looks like you tested positive (>5.0) for HSV1 by blood test one week after your genital outbreak. That would reflect an established infection, not a new infection. Was your swab test also positive for HSV1? If not, did the doctor explain you should retest in a few months to determine whether your recent genital outbreak was due to HSV1 or HSV2?

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