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Diagnosed with oral HSV1; risk elsewhere?

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Good morning,


I recently got oral HSV1. :( Last week of Jan. had a couple bumps under my lip. I had a fever, swollen lymph nodes in neck and under jaw, couldn't eat, went to doc and he thought bacterial follicilitus. I got tested anyway, and found out it was in fact HSV1. I had no prior contact to it.


I couldn't sleep for weeks, and due to stress ran through all the standard STD testing. This isn't a random partner, have known since Sept., and only started having sex in Dec.


Now, trying to educate myself, I have a couple concerns.


I think the reason I got it in those places was due to shaving, and I had relatively fresh cuts open. She knew she had "cold sores" before, but said she hadn't had an outbreak in years. However,we did make out and have sex that night. What is the risk she had it genitally as well?


Next, what is the risk I received it genitally? Of the 10 times we had sex, 1 was unprotected, and another was half unprotected. She had also performed oral on my previously. To note, I've had no pain down there, no real discomfort, no bumps. One or two days I felt something when urinating, but IDK if that was me freaking myself out after reading about all the symptoms online.


Also, what are the odds I contracted HSV2? I simply trying to reassure myself where the issue is. I figure because I've never been exposed I'd actually have some symptoms, but this whole asymptomatic thing I've been reading about has freaked me out.


Thanks! I apologize for the disjointed nature of the writing. I'm just starting to wrap my head around it, and my sores are just starting to heal.

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Allow me to clarify a few things.


1) I got the swab test and blood test. Swab said HSV1. Blood was negative for both.


2) The location is under my lip. Nothing on it.


3) I had just recently shaved that evening, and I'm guessing that would have allowed the openings for this to occur.


4) I was wondering if I acquired it from her oral to oral, or genital to oral as we did 69 for a minute.


5) While I had all these symptoms orally, I didn't feel any different genitally except a bit of redness on my scrotum (which I am chalking up to me freaking out and stretching every couple hours in the middle of the night and looking for something in the mirror) and the day or two I mentioned where I was guessing if I had a burning sensation or not, which I'm assuming if it was truly burning I'd have no doubt.


6) Is it possible I only contracted it orally under all these circumstances?


7) I plan to get tested for HSV2 in a few months just in case.


8) I am finally able to sleep at night. I think, unfortunately, my crazy reaction to all this has ruined the relationship. She said how everyone has it, (she is from S. America), and was very casual about it. She didn't mean to give it to me, but I think my reaction has messed with it.


9) I appreciate any input and thank the lord for this forum. It is a vast pool of information and unfortunately, while I found it too late, it certainly is making me a bit more at ease.

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Everyone practically has it -everywhere in the world-. In fact, if you have oral HSV-1 only, then consider it a blessing as it will help protect you against getting it genitally.


If you got it genitally as well, I would think you would know since you had a pronounced initial outbreak. HSV-1 prefers the mouth much more than the genitals. Obviously we are not infectious disease specialists here though.

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Thank you for the reply.


I understand a lot of people have it. It is simply a shock to me, as I was not aware of the prevalence of it and how it could spread without obvious symptoms showing from someone to someone else. It is scary how ignorant I was, which led to panic in regards to what else I didn't know. All of the asymptomatic people for HSV2, how condoms don't guarantee protection, etc.


I had gotten this far in life without acquiring, and it was a slap to the head when it happened.


I have lost 14 pounds, barely slept, and been chasing phantoms in my head. Thank you again for the advice, and I as shocked as I am by it, I feel embarrassed as well freaking out about it. I understand there is a far worse stigma in regards to having it genitally. Heck, my step-mother just had a stroke a few months ago. Logically, I completely understand what you are saying. Mentally, I'm trying to get myself under control. Thank you for the reply, as it does put my mind a bit more at ease.

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Hi @JohnJay, and welcome. I totally understand the feeling of realizing how much you didn't know when you first start to learn about HSV. Most people don't know much of anything about the virus, which contributes to the stigma and also the panic you're feeling.


The risk of her having it genitally? Well, 1 in 5 or 6 people have HSV2 genitally. I don't believe I've ever read the stats on the number of people with genital HSV1, only that about half of all new cases of genital herpes is HSV1.


Anywhere from 50-90% of the population has oral HSV1. Only aboout a third have visible cold sores. I have HSV1 (and HSV2 for that matter) and I've never had a cold sore in my life. This means that 50-90% of all women you date already have oral HSV1. It's extremely common.


The risk of you having received HSV1 genitally or HSV2 is very low. There is no magic number to use here, but consider the stats for HSV2. The transmission rate from female to male for HSV2 is 4% a year (assuming sex twice a week) with no condoms. Using a condom reduces the risk by about half, as do antivirals. The asymptomatic shedding with oral HSV1 is much less frequent than HSV2. Yes, it's possible to get HSV1 or 2 with just one encounter, but the risk is very low. I found out I have HSV1 and 2 after my divorce (I had absolutely no idea I had either), and my ex later tested negative for both--and we were married for 15 years using no precautions whatsoever.


The reason your blood test came back negative for HSV1 is due to a couple of things. First, some blood tests tend to give false negatives for HSV1. Second, the blood tests are detecting antibodies your body produces in response to acquiring the new virus. It takes up to 4 months for you to produce enough antibodies to be detected with a blood test. If you test for HSV2 before four months, you may get a false negative. But in the end, you don't even know if she has HSV2. 80-90% of people with HSV2 don't know they have it.


Chances are you acquired oral HSV1 from her mouth. HSV1 prefers to live in the mouth, even though genital HSV1 is becoming more common. Plus, you've likely kissed her far more often than you've given her oral.


Yes, it's possible you only contracted it orally under all of the circumstances you described.


Time and knowledge will help with the anxiety you're feeling. I think it's great that you're doing so much research on HSV. Keep doing the things you enjoy because life does go on. ;-) {hugs}






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Thank you very much for the reply!


Considering I only had sex unprotected once, well, twice I guess, and only ten times total; I'm thinking I might be somewhat safe considering I did have an outbreak on my face and that certainly shows symptoms.


I will definitely get tested again. I guess it is just odd for me to have acquired it. I've never slept with a lot of people, but I have made out with a lot of girls. Guess luck of the draw and the recent shaving etc.


The fact you mention that I probably contracted it orally makes me feel better. One of my other concerns was that if I had gotten in both places I'd have no way of knowing, and my main concern going forward (and a matter of a lot of anguish) was not spreading it to someone else.


Thank you again for the reply!

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I will definitely get tested again. I guess it is just odd for me to have acquired it. I've never slept with a lot of people, but I have made out with a lot of girls. Guess luck of the draw and the recent shaving etc.


That's just it. It's not at all odd for you to have acquired herpes. (Especially oral herpes, but this would be the same conversation if we were talking exclusively about genital herpes.) The HSV1 and HSV2 viruses are extremely common and easily spread. They're not reserved for the careless or the promiscuous. I only had a few partners before my ex, and always used condoms. If you're kissing people and having sex, the risk is ALWAYS there. The only thing that has changed is now you're aware of it.


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Oh yes, I'm aware of that now. I'm just shaking my head because no one ever told me all this in regards to herpes. Just kind of weird that I was oblivious to the risk. I know I'm lucky as far as this is concerned (as far as I know).


I just always assumed if you had it you knew. That whole asymptomatic thing has really thrown me for a loop mentally.


Maybe there will be a cure in a few years and then we will all feel better. :)

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The crazy part is that considering how small my breakout was, a handful of spots on my face, the doc didn't even think it was that. I mentioned the fever and stuff and that is the only reason he asked if wanted to test it. I only told one other person and he was shocked, because he couldn't even tell it was that, just figured bad razor burn or a couple cuts.


If I had been less paranoid I'd probably have never known, which in itself is a mind you know what.


Of course my paranoia led to additional research and me being here. The additional research also kept me from sleeping for a couple weeks as I frantically inspected myself down below at random intervals of the night.


At least the one thing that has calmed me is that because I didn't have antibodies, and I have an outbreak, it would be noticeable in some way, if I had it down there. That has basically been the only thing that has kept me sane after learning that information.

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Minor panic attack. Would this make any sense?


Found a bump about the size of a quarter between my ...actually looked up the term perineum. I've had not contact since Jan., and I'm assuming if I contracted something, say gHSV1, I would have noticed before now. It would also be where there was actual contact, right?


I've been assuming I'm fine and it is just oHSV1 despite my earlier fears and just want someone to tell me I'm being stupid! :)

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An outbreak can occur anywhere in the boxer shorts region. Not necessarily where the virus initially enetered the body. Do you have any tenderness, stinging or itching with the bump? You could always ask your doctor to swab it to find out. I'm not sure if the bump/skin has to be broken open to swab.

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Not any of those symptoms. Feels like an oversized lump. It is also hard and does not have a head, but does have a bit of irritation on the side which I think has to do with my underwear seam.


It is also large, the ones on my face where pimple sized. This thing is at least a quarter and oval-ish.

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Yeah, I embarrassingly took a pic and sent it to a buddy who's wife is a nurse. She said it looks like a cyst or ingrown hair and supposedly got some other opinions as well.


I tend to think of the worst case scenario. My friend jokes hypochondriacs shouldn't have sex, which is why I show my std results to the person and they show me theirs. I figured since I got it orally, I must have contracted it genitally.


Despite her being tested before, I went from oHSV1 ---->Ch/Gon/Syp that was neg ------> HIV that was neg (had her get tested too) -----> gHSV1 because of bump, seems neg -----> still wonder if I contracted gHSV2 bc all that asymptomatic crap scared and scarred the beejesus out of me.


I can half chuckle about it, but learning more really messed with my head. Plus, I had been cautious before, and the Doc and her cavalier attitude towards it freaked me out.


I know people will shake their heads over it. Kind of like someone with Hodgkins vs Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Okay not that bad, but while similar, differences as well.


Thanks for the reply! :)

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