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Recently diagnosed, confused about herpes transmission

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So a few days ago I was diagnosed with genital herpes. I don't know which kind, the doctor said the initial test did not specify which type (HSV-1 or HSV-2); I go in for a follow up next week. I have been in a relationship with a new guy for the last 5 months. As far as I know he has been faithful. Before that, I was with the same guy for 7 years, and then had a few partners before getting in my current relationship.


My symptoms started two days after having vaginal sex and oral sex with my boyfriend. The next day I started feeling pain down there and there was what looked like a cut outside the labia. The cut kept getting worse and then seemed to open up, I just assumed it was because it was such a sensitive area and hard to heal. Then after about 3 days I started having a fever, pain on urination, general flu-like symptoms, sore throat, swollen gums. I assumed it was a UTI and that the sore throat and swollen gums was a weird coincidence. The fever didn't go away with antibiotics (but they were old) for what I thought was a UTI (my urine had white blood cells in it, but no protein or nitrates, which usually indicate a UTI). I made a doctors appointment, this was 5 days after sex, still had pain on urination, pain down there, the cut was still there, still a sore throat and fever. The doctor took a urine test, she said she didn't think it was a UTI based on the initial testing but sent it off for a culture. When she did an exam down there she saw the cut and said that sometimes herpes can present like that (she said the cut had ulcerated) and she wanted to test for that. She prescribed a new antibiotic in case it was a UTI, but also meds for herpes. She wanted me to start them before the results.


I went home, told my boyfriend and we were both confused and unsure about what was going on. He has never had symptoms, and still didn't. I looked at pictures online and it looked nothing like the cut I had so I really didn't think it was herpes. I didn't even start the herpes medication right away. Then I started getting more sores down there, I was still in denial, but in my gut I was thinking maybe she was right. I also got two sores in my mouth, once inside my upper lip, high up, and one on my tongue. But I've had canker sores all my life, I've been to doctors for them, and they always said they were definitely canker sores, not herpes. I have never had any on my lip.


Anyway, of course, the herpes test was positive, the urine culture was negative. I told my boyfriend and he was still confused, saying he's never had symptoms. He's been great, told me it was not a big deal. When I apologized he said that we didn't even know how it happened, and for all he knew he should be the one who was sorry. He said he didn't cheat, and believed me when I said that I hadn't cheated.


To make my long story short, I am wondering how I might have gotten herpes. Did I get it from my new boyfriend, and he just doesn't know he has it because he has no symptoms? Or did I have it all this time and not know, and it just happened to show up now? The doctor is pretty sure this is my initial outbreak because I have never had symptoms and because I had the fever and flu like symptoms.


Does anyone have any insight into how herpes could have been passed to me? I don't want to blame my new boyfriend, but if it's possible he gave it to me I want him to get tested.



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I did the same thing. I had just thought my first ob was a uti and it even showed that I did so I kept taking the antibiotics and it kept getting worse. They never did an exam on me cuz I just thought the bumps were a rash from something and didn't even think to mention it to my doctor. I went in for my yearly pap and that's when I found out I had type 2. I felt the same way as you do. My boyfriend went and got tested the same day and his came back positive as well. So yes your boyfriend should definitely get tested. It's nerve wracking not knowing if he could've given it to you or if you could've given it to him. There isn't a for sure way of knowing unless his comes back negative but then you still don't know who you did get it from. I know for sure that I got it from my current boyfriend because his came back positive and the guy I was with before him is one of my good friends who didn't have it. I also know that with the known common triggers being stress, fatigue, and illness, and with knowing how my body reacts to everything.. I would've had symptoms a long time ago. So the only way to know for sure is to have him get tested too. Which he should want to do anyway.

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For most people, "Who gave me herpes?" is an almost impossible question to answer if there have been multiple partners in a lifetime and herpes tends to stay dormant for a while before initial outbreaks (and even initial outbreaks tend to be mistaken for cuts while shaving or ingrown hairs). But in your situation, I'd have your boyfriend get a herpes blood test. Preferably the Western Blot test (the most accurate one ahead of the IgG and IgM tests). Usually antibodies take about 3 months to develop to detectable levels on a blood test, so if his tests come back positive, he's most likely had herpes before you. If his tests come back negative, then that most likely means you've had herpes before him. But then there's always that possibility of cheating, but it sounds like you both trust each other and that possibility is thrown out the window. I agree with LuckyCharms ... have him get tested so that you two can get on the same page, not to assign blame or anything, but to just get it straight and see if you need to be more protected with each other or not. If he has herpes, too, and you two are monogamous, then no need to be as protective.

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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