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Could do with some Advice on Situation


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Hi,

 

This is a rather long and convoluted story so I'll try to simplify it as much as possible. In December of last year I was dating a girl and we were proceeding to have unprotected oral and vaginal sex throughout our relationship, however at the start of February we decided to part ways, our last sexual contact was the end of January. I then had no sexual contact with anyone else until I started having some difficulty whilst peeing, not stinging just uncomfortable about 5 weeks after our last sexual contact. I decided to visit my local GUM clinic and was tested for the normal panel of STD's, in the week whilst I was waiting for the results I started to notice a small spot on my chin which I thought looked like a coldsore. Having never had one before, I began to panic that what I was experiencing genitally could also be herpes so made an emergency appointment with my GP. She said she was unsure if it was a coldsore or not, but even if it was, the best course of action would be to start me on a course of Acyclovir to which I did. The small spot on my chin disappeared within four days or so and nothing appeared on my penis (I forgot to mention that the difficulty peeing subsided before I started taking Acyclovir) and my results for all other STD's came back negative. Everything was fine, until about a couple of months later when I noticed a red spot forming on the foreskin of my penis. This began on a Friday and the local GUM clinics only operate Mon-Fri in the UK, again I panicked and ordered a home swab test from a private clinic that would PCR test for herpes. I completed this on the Saturday and sent it away and visited my local GUM clinic on the Monday. The Dr told me she thought it looked like a blocked pore (I thought it had healed over by then) and said I was worrying myself into a complete panic about having herpes when clinically I hadn't really presented any symptoms of it. I received the swab test results and they came back negative for both types. Not satisfied with this outcome, I decided to have blood testing done. My IGG at 3 months, 6 months and 8 months post exposure have all come back negative for both types of herpes however I know that herpes is generally not a straight forward diagnosis in that the blood test is generally accurate for HSV2 but misses up to 30% of new HSV1 infections. And what complicates it further is that I'm likely to have little to no outbreaks for genital HSV1 but can still pass on the virus so there is nothing that I can really do about my situation but sit and wait for something to show up. For the past 9 months I've been inspecting my genitals like crazy in the shower for any signs but nothing turns up, but I'm also scared that my symptoms are so mild that I completely miss them. I thought I could complete a Western Blot with Terri Warren, but my financial situation as a student in the UK just makes that impossible at the moment. 

What complicates my sit and wait situation further is that I've been dating a girl for the past two months who I'm completely enamoured by, and we've been getting so close that I know that sex is on the horizon. She's 22, I'm 23 and she told me that she's still a virgin and expressed an interest in having sex with me. I'm completely terrified by the thought of dating this girl and then 7 months down the line she contracts genital herpes, especially with the knowledge that I know of my situation. Having to tell her this whole story that I'm writing now would just make me feel like I've been lying to her the whole time. I would hate for her first sexual experiences with anyone to end in contracting genital herpes. I've spoken with my GP, a student councillor at my university and also the Herpes virus org here in the UK. They've all given me a very straight forward answer in that it's a harmless virus, I've not been diagnosed therefore there is no reason for me to disclose to any partners about my situation. However, from all the herpes literature I've read I know that Dr's tend to downplay herpes therefore I'm unsure as morally what's the correct thing to do. I want to be completely honest, but I'm terrified that she will reject me but on the other hand I almost agree with the Dr's in that I haven't been diagnosed but I'm unsure if that's me just wanting to believe what I want to hear. 

I agree that Herpes is a harmless virus after all of the stories I've read on the internet, however I would never want to take someone's decision away from them. Admittedly, what's caused me the most angst about this whole story at the moment is the uncertainty of whether If I do have it and if I'd pass it onto this girl. If we do decide to have sex, I of course will use a condom but if the relationship progresses further, she may be want to use the pill instead of condom. 

I guess I was really just looking for some advice from real people on my situation and what I should do. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I just don't know what to do. 

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Hi JWGE1995

After reading your post, you seem like a sensible/ reasonable guy.
I think you should say to her pretty much what you have written down.
Explain that you have been tested & have come back negative but you, yourself still have doubts.

I would think that having the disclosure talk without you definitely having it but playing on the safe side
would be quite impressive to another person.

I would never call herpes a harmless virus though, as some people have terrible life changing OB's
& some people are scarred by the emotional side of it for a long time or life.
For most of us though, it is more than manageable.

Good luck bro 🙂

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Hey Amando,

 

I appreciate the response, I think I kind of knew this all along but thanks for confirming what I should do. I'm going to tell her and what to see what she feels. In terms of protection, I spoke to my GP about possibly taking antivirals as a suppressive but she said it would be ridiculous for me to take two tablets every day for a condition that I may not even have. But I'm guessing outside those and condoms there isn't really much protection?

From what I read there doesn't seem to be a huge amount from guys so i appreciate the perspective.

 

Thanks

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Given that you have had all negative testing thus far, and logical explanations for the issues that you have had, I would say that it is pretty safe to say that you do not have herpes 1 or 2. 

Now, if you were only a number of weeks out from possible exposure, I would err on the side of caution, but it's been nearly a year and your testing 8 months past your last possible exposure was negative. Swabs were negative. I think you're freaking yourself out over nothing, personally. In this particular scenario, I don't see a need to disclose because there is nothing to disclose, except perhaps that you might be a tad hypochondriac about this. 

One thing that might change my mind...has your ex-girlfriend been diagnosed with herpes?

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Hi 100918, Thanks for the reply

Yea, I spoke to her and she said to her knowledge she's never had a coldsore before but I know that sometimes people have little to no recurrences if they're infected from a young age. Didn't end on the greatest of terms so felt a bit uncomfortable asking for a blood test if I'm honest. I know I'm probably being a hypochondriac and that's exactly what all the Dr's and nurses have told me, that I need to put this in the back of my mind and move on from it. It's just the thought of this impacting on someone else which scares me the most.

 

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It's also the idea that there could be a 30% chance that the HSV1 test could be wrong but I guess that's the same for everyone so everyone could be operating on the assumption they have it. But I'm I correct in thinking that if I have a negative HSV2 diagnosis, that's generally accurate?

 

Thanks again

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