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HSV1 questions

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Hi everyone, I have really bad health anxiety and about a month ago I had myself convinced that I had HIV...no I had no reason to think that no exposure nothing like that. It was just stuck in my head. I decided that instead of worrying myself sick over it that I should judt get tested for everything. I ordered a test through STD express.com and went to the lab the next day. When I got the results back I was pretty shocked to find out that I was negative for everything besides HSV1. I have never had any symptoms of it by my mouth or my genitals but, I was really freaked out and still am. I am just waiting and dreading the day I find out whether I have it orally or genitally. I am also super paranoid to give it to my son. I know he has been exposed to this before as my mom gets cold sores and he goes to daycare but, I am more scared that he will get it from me if I have it genitally. I wash the toilet after each time I use it and wash the bathtub after I shower. I have heard that you cant get it through water but what about from the bottom of the bathtub? What if he uses the toilet right after me? I also make sure any towel I use is not left out for fear that he would grab it and use it(we don't share towels but he is 3 he doesn't care where he wipes his hands or face.) I am still so paranoid that he will somehow get it. I do not know how to live my life normally or how I will ever have any healthy relationships in the future. I feel like a gross diseased person.

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Hi, @Kaem6 and @CaliDreamin. If you haven’t already seen this handbook (https://www.westoverheights.com/herpes/the-updated-herpes-handbook/), it’s an easy read and a great source of information for those who are overwhelmed with questions. (The author also has a full book, which I found extremely helpful.). Many people have said that the more they read and got educated about herpes, the better they felt. That was certainly true for me!


HSV is far more common than the average person realizes. This great info graphic says it all: http://projectaccept.org/who-gets-hsv/. The majority of adults have oral HSV1, yet only a third of those individuals ever have a cold sore. Likewise, nearly 90% of those with genital HSV2 either have no symptoms at all, or their symptoms are so mild they’re mistaken for other things. If everyone knew their status, HSV would not have a stigma. It’s ironic, isn’t it? So many people have it....unaware.


The good news is that you unequivocally cannot transmit HSV through toilet seats and showers. The virus just doesn’t live that long outside the body. There are no documented cases of transmission from sharing a towel. Now, if you have an **active lesion**, sharing towels is not recommended on the remote chance that the virus (which loves warm, moist environments) hangs out a few seconds longer on the towel and then is used immediately by the next person.


If you don’t have genital outbreaks to swab, or cold sores, you may never know *where* you have each type. I also have both types, and have very mild genital outbreaks, which I mistook for yeast infections and general itchiness for over 20 years. My sores aren’t severe enough to swab, so I’m left to assume I have oral HSV1 and genital HSV2 because that is the most likely scenario, statistically speaking. It is true that some people acquire herpes with their very first sexual encounter. It’s also true that there are couples who have been together for years without transmission (just ask my ex-husband).


Be sure to spend some time reading the success stories on this forum. I’ve only been around about a year, but my perspective has changed drastically hearing the positive stories that are shared within this community. You will not feel like this forever. And there is no reason to think you won’t have an awesome, fulfilling life (with romantic love and sex!). :) {{{hugs}}}

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@hikinggirl So happy you answered this. (Sorry not trying to hijack your post OP) thank you for all of the information and for putting my mind to rest a little more. I was able to find someone on another website I go on who i remembered had confessed having herpes and I contacted her. She really made me feel better as well seeing as she had it for already 10 years, found a husband and had a baby. She was living a very happy and normal life. I cant help, but have these scary thoughts come back into my head every day so far, but I have a feeling they will lessen. I asked a friend today if he would consider having sex with a woman who has herpes. And he said yes, the chance of spreading is very little with protection. I didn't know people really know that. I feel so uneducated about stds. Now its time to learn i guess.

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Me too. I thought I was educated about STDs, yet literally everything about HSV was a surprise to me! I’m so glad to hear you reached out to your friend. It is SO helpful to know life goes on in a very normal way. That sounds dramatic, but when your world has been turned upside down, it’s the best kind of comfort there is. :)

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