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Auntiejessi- I’m back, and highly concerned! Help.

Auntiejessi,

I just wanted to say thank you so much again for helping me out last year. If you recall, I did test negative for HSV-2 via WB confirmation back in October, and figured I could move on.

Fast forward to this month. I’ve been with a new partner. I recently saw him on July 4th, and we had sex. The next day, he presented with a cold sore. No big deal, right? We bought Abreva and went about our day. Now, come Thursday, I started to feel weird down there- I thought it was a yeast infection. I did use the his bathtub a few times, so I figured I caught it via bathing. Then the pain progressed over the course of a few days- I figured there was a small tear. I checked everyday for bumps/lesions, NOTHING popped up. I made an appointment with a NP, in which she examined me and said I have an ulcer, indicative of HSV. She swabbed me, and I just got the test results back- I’m now POSITIVE for HSV-2. HOW?! The test says that the DNA for HSV-1 wasn’t detected.

Now of course I’m spiraling here and freaking out all over again. I’m wondering if this type of test can confuse HSV-1 for HSV-2 if it is found in the genitals? I know HSV-2 is not common orally. I also know that both viruses share similar DNA, so I’m wondering if the test is confusing his cold sore for my pos HSV-2 result. For reference, this was a rapid HSV DNA, skin lesion/blood.

Any thoughts on this? I reached out to the provider but won’t hear back right away. I’d love to know if anyone else has encountered this.

I have no extreme symptoms whatsoever. No lymph node swelling, no flu-like symptoms, nothing. Just one small ulcer that she noticed. I can’t be mad at him- he didn’t know, and it literally popped up the day after we had sex. I just now have to bring up the fact that he gave me genital herpes….

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*also to note, I was tested on Wednesday (7/14)*

I have read that the longer you wait for a swab test, the less accurate it is. I also read that a culture trumps any blood test. So, should I trust the culture? Should I bother with another WB after 4-5 months?
Should my boyfriend even bother with a blood test? Does he need to look out for genital symptoms now, or is he relatively safe? I mean, it was clear as day that he had a cold sore on his bottom lip. I’m just very shocked that I didn’t have any cold sores on my mouth. We kissed, but yet my culture is coming back positive. I obviously don’t want to overload him with all of this information, but I want to make sure when we are able to sit and talk, that I have all of the right information/facts.
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207091 tn?1337709493
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hey - of course I remember you. I'm happy to see you, though not under these circumstances.

So you had a positive culture, which came back as hsv2 - am I understanding this accurately?

Your WB test - did you test negative for hsv1, as well? If you have hsv1, that means that you probably won't get that genitally, as you have antibodies to prevent that from happening. It also means that if you get hsv2, you won't have a true primary outbreak, which are the outbreaks where you get the swollen glands, fever, lots of sores, etc.

You're concerned that you gave him oral hsv2, and I'm thinking that he has an established hsv1 and hsv2 infection, and he gave you hsv2.

Your symptoms appeared 4 days after the 4th, right? That's when you started feeling the symptoms of what you thought were a yeast infection, and that's the perfect time for hsv symptoms to appear.

His cold sore appearing the next day wouldn't be from you - no STD would appear that fast. The minimum incubation period is 2 days.

The thing about waiting for the culture making it less accurate means it would be harder to detect the virus, making it a false negative, not resulting in false positives. There is no such thing as a totally accurate test, so false positives can occur, but false positives on cultures are rare. You can always get a WB again at 12 weeks if you want, but I'd get your bf to test first. If he's positive for hsv2 on an IgG test, that would lend itself to your test being more accurate, right?

Have you had other partners since your test last year? You could always get an IgG test and see what that says. You know you have a history of false positives on that, so don't freak if it's a low positive, but it might be interesting to see if it's risen, if you've had other partners since your WB. That could establish if this is a new infection for you. I think you tested with STDCheck last time to get the index values.

I know this is stressful, but we got you through it last time, and no matter what, we'll get you through it this time. I've had hsv2 for almost 20 years, I can promise you that nothing about it is as bad as you think it is right now.

Sending you hugs.

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Thank you so much for reaching back out!

So for clarification, yes, I had the rapid culture taken yesterday. Results  came back at 10pm with a NEG for HSV-1 and POS for HSV-2.

As for the WB, I tested POS for HSV-1, NEG for HSV-2. This test was done way outside of the 12-16 week mark. I was initially tested back in early March of 2020- I remember because my HSV results arrived on my birthday...woo, and the PCP at the time figured why not? This was due to a cheating ex, if you recall. The HSV-1 was POS, HSV-2 was EQV. I retested through LabCorp in late June from what I can recall, and received results in August. This was done only so that I know my index value, which was 1.31. I took the WB in September, not October- sorry! By mid September, my PCP's office said I was POS for HSV-1, and confirmed NEG for HSV-2 via WB.

I'm concerned that I gave him genital HSV-2, as I've never seen bumps or lesions on him, nor has he complained about any symptoms. But based on the fact that he had a cold sore appear the next day on July 5th, and we had both oral and genital contact on the 4th, and only genital contact on the 6th and 7th (I did give him oral though, he didn't reciprocate for obvious reasons). This leads me to believe he was shedding the virus and obviously didn't know. He's under an immense amount of stress right now, and currently in MD for work. It's been a complete s**t storm of events for him, and I honestly think that's what triggered it. I'm also stressed and anxious- I've been unemployed, looking for work, and I'm back in school.

You are correct, I started to feel symptoms on Thursday, the 8th, the day after I left SoCal (we're currently LDR). I figured it was a yeast infection, as I had that weird, gritty feeling and lots of discharge. My symptoms do not mimic typical yeast infections. My discharge becomes super watery, and I'll sometimes get itchy. I was given the typical Fluconazole and Macrobid, because my UA showed traces of blood. I noticed more of the soreness come Friday/Saturday, and I thought it was just a tear from all the sex. It was more so on the rough side, along with having sex 1 or 2 times during the day.

I haven't had any partners since then- I've only been with him, and I'd hope he hasn't done anything that I don't know about either. I do plan on asking him if he did know or if he had any contact while I wasn't around. While I don't think he would do that, you just never know. Now's the time to come clean.

And yes, I tested with the website you referred me to! I'll ask him to test for it, but he's unfortunately stuck on the east coast until the end of July. My NP messaged me back about an hour ago and said she can prescribe more Valtrex as a daily dose, but I hear that a lot of people take it 3 days prior and 3 days after sex. Is that normal? Given my circumstances, I'm not having sex everyday or as often as others due to distance. Don't know if it's worthwhile taking 1000mg a day for that. I wonder if he should take them as well. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks again :) I hope all is well!
Okay, so you both have hsv1, which means you both could have really mild hsv2 infections. Some people have hsv2 and never even know it. He could be one of them.

I'm a little confused as to how you think you gave hsv2 to him, though. You were negative on your WB, and this is your only partner since your WB, so you can't give him something you don't have. You are now testing positive for hsv2, so he has to be your source partner.

This isn't about blame, as he probably doesn't even know he has it. (We hope - we hope he didn't keep this information from you, so we'll assume that for the time being.)  He could have had it for years without knowing, so unless he admits to being with someone else, we'll also assume that for the time being. There are lots of people who have not known until they transmit it. He could easily be one of them. So, for now, benefit of the doubt.

As for Valtrex - that's up to you. If you both have it, and you're staying together, you don't really need it unless you want to prevent outbreaks. You can take a wait and see approach to see if you get a lot of outbreaks, and take it when you get outbreaks to help them heal faster. Or not - that's a valid approach, too.

The suppressive dose of Valtrex is usually 500 mg a day, unless you have more than 4-5 outbreaks a year.

And lord, taking it 3 days before and after sex - that is not correct, and hurts my soul lol. For it to work to reduce shedding and reduce transmission, it has to be taken for at least 5 days. I don't even know what the 3 days after sex is for. Is that to prevent outbreaks or something?

I take it daily, but that's my choice. I had really frequent outbreaks, I am one of the few that doesn't have hsv1 to help keep my hsv2 mild, so for me, I use it so I don't deal with that. I stopped taking it for a couple of years a while back, and did okay for a bit, and things got really stressful for me - my dad was dying, along with some other stuff, so I went back on it, and have no plans to stop. It's a personal decision. Every body is different, and your decision is yours.

Your partner can test with STDCheck where he is - it's nationwide. You said he was in MD, so I put in a Baltimore zip code, and there are labs all over Baltimore he could use. I don't know if he's in Baltimore, obviously, but it's a start. He can also use https://www.letsgetchecked.com/us/en/ - they can mail him a kit and he just mails it back.  Or he can wait til he's home - doing this while working obviously can be tricky.

Hang in there.





Alrighty, I just spoke to my NP over the phone- she's basically saying there's no need for him to do a blood test, because we know I have it, and medication is the answer. She's said she's seen patients who test positive on the swab but negative on the blood test, even at the 18th month mark. She also said that my infection was so mild, and usually primary genital flareups are really bad, so she's thinking I had HSV-2 antibodies beforehand, which prevented such a severe outbreak. That's leading her to the conclusion of him most likely not being my primary source of infection. That's why I'm scared/nervous.

Now I'm really confused...I tested negative way past the 12-16 week span on the WB. I haven't had sexual contact with anyone until March of this year. Even then, we had no issues. She prescribe meds for me, if I want to take them.

I don't know, I still think it's wise for him to test. I know it can cause issues obviously, because what if he tests negative or has a low positive? He'd have to re-test, and that would lead down the rabbit hole I went through. But, the timing just seems so right for this to occur. He's shedding, doesn't know, we have sex, there's bodily fluids and friction, and I caught it. I'm not understanding how she think I had prior exposure when my test was negative. Unless I magically produced antibodies to HSV-2 from September until now. But we know all of my tests for it have been negative.
Just to note, I've only had sex with him, both in March and in July. No one else. That's why I'm lost as to why she's assuming he's not the primary contact? HSV doesn't magically pop up out of thin air.

Could he have passed it to me in March? Perhaps. I'll never know. But I cannot wrap my head around her logic.
Omg who are these providers that you keep going to? Remember how I kept saying I hate how practitioners deal with herpes? I still do, and I'm sorry you keep going through this.

So first, you can get a positive hsv1 culture and test negative on the IgG, because the hsv1 IgG misses 30% of infections. In those cases, it would make sense. On the hsv2 IgG, it misses 8% of infections. If she has patients who have questionable results, she should be getting them the WB.

Her theory makes no sense for you. You had a negative WB in Oct. You had no other partners until this partner. If you have hsv2 now, he is your source. You're right - otherwise, it would be a magical infection.

Going on symptoms, it makes sense that you have a new infection, though it doesn't make much of a difference. You had sex with him in March and July. You got symptoms in July, so it seems logical that it's a new infection for you.

How are you handling all this? Ask me anything, seriously. I'm an open book.

In the meantime, you can read the Herpes Handbook. I can't remember if I linked it before, but it's written by Terri Warren, one of the leading experts and it's free - https://westoverheights.com/herpes/the-updated-herpes-handbook/

Girl, that's exactly what I said! UGH, I'M SO FRUSTRATED. This is a top teaching hospital and well known for its advances in medicine and patient care, yet, I'm being told false information to some extent. What's so funny is that I mention to providers that I'm also in the medical field, so I'm not a complete idiot. I may not hold a MD license, but I've done research and have spoken to knowledgeable individuals on here.

I'm at my wits end. Honestly if I had the money and time, I'd go off to medical school and dedicate my time to infectious disease. This is so ridiculous, which is one of the main reasons why I'm trying to separate myself from direct patient care and go into public health. I've seen and heard it all, and healthcare here is subpar to an extent. I could delve into it more, but I'm sure you've had plenty of experience dealing with uncaring or uneducated medical professionals.

I figured her theory was off. I may not be a MENSA genius, but even I can do basic arithmetic, lol You are correct about my HSV results- while I did have the equivocal, the  low "positive" and then the confirmatory test in September that came back negative, I was in fact negative up until this year. Unless there's some magical strain floating around that I'm unaware of that gave me HSV-2, I highly doubt I contracted anything at that time. Though I am curious, but I'm not sure if this is possible- do you know if even a WB wouldn't pick up a low index value for HSV? I wonder if it misses some tests. I know no test is prefect, but I wonder if this can happen, or is it so sensitive that even a low index value would still trigger a true negative result?

I figured it was a new infection from him, and that the NP is entirely incorrect. I just have to disclose it somehow. Again, I haven't had the chance to speak to him. I'm honestly upset that I've pretty much been ghosted while he's dealing with a heavy work and school load, but it's not hard to send a quick text to see how I'm doing. If he can be on social media, he can easily check in. It shouldn't be my job to initiate every time. So right now, I'm upset at him for lack of communication, and I'm of course upset that I have another thing to tackle in my life...For now, I'm leaving him be, and whenever he decides to realize that I exist again, I'll have to bring this communication issues up plus the HSV. Literal bombs being thrown at him in every direction. Poor guy can't catch a break, but hell, neither can I. Welcome to adulthood, lol

I'm not handling it too well. I get so fixated on it to the point where I've been up for a couple days now crying on and off. I don't eat when I'm anxious either. I'm so worked up and shaky, and I'm dreading having to tell him because of the current situation with his work/school. I can't comfort him, and he can't comfort me. He's also more avoidant when it comes to conflict; he doesn't handle it too well. That stems from other personal issues which he's trying to work on, but I don't want to upset him even more. I know stress makes outbreaks way worse. It's not good for either one of us. I know it has to be done, and it takes two people to have sex. I would never play the blame game; this is just a part of life that we'll have to come to terms with. I guess what I'm fearing the most is the rejection factor- while he does have it and so do I, I've been through the whole stigma/judgement phase before, and it was not fun. I'm trying to think about how to bring this up to him gently. I know he'd at least trust me and seek testing if I asked for him to pursue it. It may not be right away, nor do I expect him to right now. I don't know if the VA offers the IgG or IgM, but he's exclusively using his VA benefits instead of paying out of pocket for insurance. I guess when the time comes, I can look at the results and see what type of test they ordered.

As for symptoms, I'm just wondering why I didn't experience the terrible side effects like most do. As stated before, are you saying that because we both have HSV-1 that it's quite common that when you get HSV-2 that symptoms aren't as bad? Or even present in his case.

Since my infection was so mild- literally only one small ulcer that the NP saw, what's the average number of times a person experiences an OB? I'm guessing it varies from person to person. Not sure if it'll be lower or even non existent for me because of my status or because my OB was so mild.

Is the super watery vaginal discharge normal with HSV-2? I feel like a leaky faucet, to say the least. No odor, no greenish color whatsoever. No burning or itching.

If I experience an OB, will I know the onset of symptoms next time IF I actually ever have an OB again? Or will I be in the same predicament as I am now? I know a lot of individuals experience tinging and sensitivity before the sores pop up, none of which I had. I know flu-like symptoms and back pain is normal, but I have a chronic spinal condition, so my back always hurts. There's no way I could distinguish the two.

When and if he decides to listen to my advice on testing, what if he falls in the low index range like myself? Do we proceed with more testing, or just leave it at that? I know even index values as high as a 5 or above have tested negative, or do you think based on this experience that one test is sufficient? We obviously can't do a swab test unless he presents with lesions.

Thank you for sending the link! Maybe I can have him read over it and it'll help calm the nerves...I'd at least hope so. I'd love to discuss this in person, and that's the other thing I'm wrestling with in my head is to tell him now, or wait until I can possibly see him by the end of this month? I'm not the type to hide anything, but I feel like disclosing is always better in person. Again, I feel so stuck.

207091 tn?1337709493
COMMUNITY LEADER
The WB works totally different than the IgG. The IgG looks for a single antibody protein. In order to to test positive on the WB, you have to have 16 antibody proteins.

https://westoverheights.com/forum/question/western-blot-results-2/

The WB is the absolute gold standard. No, it's not perfect, but I haven't heard of it ever being wrong. I can't imagine you'd be the first.

So yes, you were negative, herpes-free in Sept. You had no other partners until March, had sex again until July. You got symptoms in July. Your source has to be your current BF.

Like you, I'm not in MENSA, nor am I a doctor, but your NP's theory just makes no sense. Since it can't be magic, it has to be your BF. He's not a bad person for having herpes - I'd be really hypocritical for saying that, right? - but it's just facts.

Okay, I'm the cynical one here, right? Could he be avoiding you because he got an hsv2 outbreak and is freaking out? I've seen it here before. Could whatever triggered his hsv1 oral outbreak have triggered an hsv2 outbreak?

And yes, welcome to adulthood. Work, school, relationship issues - that's what we all deal with. Avoiding confrontation isn't always a choice. If someone wants to spend time with you, they make time. If there's an issue, they solve it or work to solve it.

Yes, it is well-known that having hsv1 can keep hsv2 milder. It's not true for everyone, but it can help. You already have antibodies for an hsv infection, so it offers some control. You might get frequent outbreaks, but typically - and everyone is different, obviously, they might be milder.

Your discharge could mean you have internal sores. It's very common to get them on your cervix. I think - don't quote me on this stat - something like 80% of women get them internally. I can't find that stat now, so it might be incorrect. In any case, the discharge is normal. If it changes color, gets an odor, etc., get it checked. Getting yeast or bv with an outbreak is also pretty common.

You may get prodrome symptoms - those are the warning signs. Some people get really clear signs, others don't. I've never figured mine out. My ex used to get a deep ache in his thighs. Others get a weird tingle.

If he gets a low-positive (God help us), then he can get a WB, unless you both are satisfied with it. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that he gets a super clear result, like 38.8 or something.

I can't tell you how to handle it. I don't know him. I'm often a bull in a china shop, and probably wouldn't be able to wait, so I'm probably not the best one to advise you. The only reason I'd advise not waiting is because if he tests now and is negative, but is positive later, you have evidence that he's been with someone else. Then again, someone can test positive in as little as 10 days, so at this point, it might not make any difference.

Hang in there!







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Ok, I figured this was the case. I was just curious if you've ever heard of that scenario before. At least I know who the source of infection is. I'm still dumbfounded that the NP would basically just say this is all on me when it's clear as day who the source of infection is.

As for the boyfriend, we had a conversation about it last night. I just told him to at least briefly communicate with me so I know what's going on and how he's doing. I don't think he'd hide the infection from me, but if he has anything, he may just think it's a rash and continue on. He has other dermatological issues, so I wouldn't be shocked if he thought it wasn't something super serious that needed treatment. Apparently he's been working very late, so now he's getting a taste of what a 12 hour shift feels like, lol He did say when he has a moment to settle down, we'll be able to talk in depth about other things, and that's when I'll be able to speak to him about the HSV and testing. He's stuck on a secure base where no electronics of any kind are allowed, and his signal sucks. Makes sense why I haven't heard from him. Either way, a brief text is fine with me. At least let me know you're alive. Sheesh.

Good to know that mine may not be as bad- the NP wrote an Rx for Valtrex, so I'm waiting on it to be filled. Do you know any common side effects with this medication? My friend was on the 10 day dose and now she has a permanent bald spot. Does it do some damage to the kidneys? I'm not sure if it is advised to cycle on and off the meds so your body has a break from it. Also, does your body ever develop a resistance to it? Seems like it would if you are on it continuously.

My discharge has drastically lessened since we've been messaging one another on this thread. I am getting dull/pinching cramps sporadically, so I'm sure I have internal sores that I cannot see. That kinda scares me...I'm glad I cannot see them at all or else I'd probably break down and cry. No other symptoms though. No odor or off color yet. Luckily now I'm able to sit on the toilet and wipe without tearing up.


I was thinking about that whole scenario in terms of blood tests and whatnot. This man has no patience nor the time to do the WB. I'd be the one to help him, which is totally fine, but I know he wouldn't seek further testing on his own. I'd be the one to advise him and push him to do it. When we have the talk, I'll let him know about the testing services and hopefully he'll make the time to go. I think this is his last week in MD, and he's off to some island in VA for two weeks. I know he's pretty far from the main city. I'll do what I can to guide him, though. It's either that or he waits until he's back in CA. As long as he doesn't refuse testing (he's an anxious mess in general lol) or decide to get it done 3 months later, we won't have any problems. This affects his health but also mine now. It would be a little selfish in my opinion if he didn't bother to test. But, we all know how men are when it comes to taking care of themselves!
I'm glad you talked to your bf, but how is he able to get on social media if he isn't allowed devices and has no signal?

Side effects of valtrex can be hair loss - I haven't experienced it, but some do. If you have healthy kidneys, there aren't any issues. There's no resistance to antivirals like there are with antibiotics or other meds.

You can find a list here, but I've never heard of anyone having most of these - https://www.rxlist.com/valtrex-side-effects-drug-center.htm

If you have a hard time in the future will urinating, get a water bottle and squirt it over yourself as you pee. You can also squirt it on yourself after instead of wiping. Or you can get a bidet attachment for your toilet (something I just found out was an actual thing lol).

Your bf sounds like he's military or something. Surely, for you and your health, he can step up and get some blood work done, even if that includes the WB. It does make sense, though, that if he has other derm issues, he might mistake herpes symptoms for something else. His doctors might, too.

Do something nice for yourself this weekend. Don't forget that self-care is important.
He uses signal at the hotel he's staying at. Even with the hotel wifi, it's still crappy. Then again, he has T-Mobile. Coverage sucks for him in general. But at least I was able to briefly speak to him. He is former military, but a contractor so he does work on secure networks for a living. I really hope he handles the news well. Guess I'll find out soon enough. It's important for everyone to know their status and take care of themselves. I know I'm clean- well, in terms of other diseases.

It's weird, it didn't burn when I had to pee, it was the literal pain of having to sit on the toilet seat and also blotting myself carefully. It literally felt like I had a tear down there, and with every movement it felt like someone was squeezing lemon juice on an open wound. I couldn't even exercise because I was sore down there. I still don't feel up to it because of the dull ache and cramping. I thought about investing in a bidet- they became super popular in the beginning of the pandemic. Makes sense since everyone was panic buying TP. Looks like a cool gadget to use though!

Hopefully I don't experience a ton of hair loss. I already feel like I shed a lot, and I believe that's linked to my PCOS. I swear, I cannot win here. I have to go in for labs soon too, which'll take a good 3 hours to complete. Get this, the specialty clinic doesn't have openings until December 2021 or January of next year. Apparently, they only take a small group of patients once per month! What's the point of operating a clinic if you cannot handle a full patient load? They also can't apparently just put me on the books until I complete my labs, which makes no sense whatsoever. It sucks because I had to stop my meds for a month, then I have to get my blood drawn, then once the clinic receives my lab work, I will be able to schedule an appointment. Man, I cannot stand healthcare sometimes. They make everything twice as complicated when it shouldn't be. I'm mentally and physically drained from everything.

As for the weekend, I spend my Saturdays cleaning lol Nothing special. Sunday I'll be seeing a friend at least. I hope you enjoy your weekend too!
Hotel wifi sucks. I've never been in one that's any good. My sister has T-mobile, and even in a larger city in Florida, she can sometimes lose coverage sitting outside at a restaurant.

You must have had a sore internally  - maybe on a nerve or something - that was causing that kind of feeling. Even though you have hsv1 already, your first outbreak of hsv2 is always the worst. Subsequent outbreaks shouldn't be this bad.

Oh healthcare. I've had pain in my shoulder for a month or so, and I had to go to my primary first, then she ordered the MRI, and the ortho wouldn't even make the appt until the MRI was done. I have a torn labrum and a bunch of other things and have my first appt Monday.

I can't believe, though, that with a known condition, as an established patient, you can't make the appt. without the labs done. And Dec/Jan? That's insane.

I don't doubt that you're mentally drained. I hope the cleaning is therapeutic, and you have a wonderful time with your friend on Sunday. :)
Yeah, apparently the internet keeps cutting in and out for him too, and he's trying to get homework done. I feel bad for him, but I can't do anything.

As for the symptoms, it's hard to describe the ache- like along with the sporadic cramps, my genital area and right underneath my butt cheeks ache. You know when you've been sitting in a chair, for example, and after a few hours it just has that dull kind of ache? That's the best way to describe the type of pain I'm feeling. It's tolerable. Could always be way worse. I'm not sure if people experience this type of pain, and I won't even bother with ibuprofen because this is dealing with nerves, not so much muscles. I have no fatigue or muscle pain luckily.

As for your shoulder issue, yeah that's the typical protocol. You always have to go through your PCP first. When I had my disk injury, I had the appointment set up first to be seen by my spinal surgeon that I worked with during clinicals. After I had the referral, I had an initial appointment with him to discuss my symptoms, he evaluated me, wrote the order for an MRI and Xray, and we set up a second follow-up to discuss the findings and treatment plan. It went smoothly. It usually doesn't pan out that way, and it's so upsetting that I have to usually do the work of those who should know what they're doing. I hope everything goes well on Monday! Hopefully it doesn't require surgery, though I can say I've assisted in muscle repair surgery and it usually doesn't take too long.

Yeah, the clinic won't accept the labs I just took back in May because they want something within 6 months of the appointment date. I'm like...but I can't even schedule and appointment! Why make me complete the labs ASAP when I don't even have a guaranteed spot. Makes no sense. I've gone in circles with the people who run the clinic. They had my lab requisition wrong, and it took them THREE weeks to fix the spelling of my name, along with having to tell them multiple times that I am not going outside of the hospital lab to do these tests. That makes no sense whatsoever. I'm so over all of this. Believe me, I'd perform my own blood draws if I could.

I'm more excited about going out on Sunday than cleaning, but I gotta do it lol
*UPDATE*

I disclosed to my partner. He was in shock, to the point of where he dropped his food on the floor. I explained everything to him as detailed as possible. He asked questions in terms of us being able to have oral sex, if it affects pregnancy, etc. I assured him that everything will be fine, and that we can live a normal life, with or without the medications. He even said he'd go get tested once he's back in CA because he fears he may have other issues - the paranoia has set in. He's fearful only because he wants to make sure he hasn't given anything else to me, which is reasonable and responsible.


He had that gut feeling something was up and feared that the discomfort I was experiencing was due to his cold sore, only because it had appeared the day after we had sex. He thought I gave it to him, but I told him there's no way I could've given it to him. The timeline and everything just falls perfectly into place, especially since we both have HSV-1. He's not mad, just in disbelief. Regardless, he still loves me and still wants to be by my side. I told him that he can pick my brain about it if he wants. I'm glad that instead of hiding or avoiding it, that he faced this situation like an adult and asked how he can support me, as I'm the one in pain/discomfort. It's nice seeing someone step up to the plate and want to help no matter what. :)

I hope when we do see each other, that it's not awkward between us in terms of intimacy. I'm sure it's normal to feel hesitant to have sex after finding out about this, I just hope it's a mental hurdle that we can overcome, more so him than me. In terms of symptoms, how long does a primary infection last? I'm going on a good 2+ weeks here and still feel random cramps here and there, and the dull ache has subsided quite a bit.
Awww I'm glad he's not acting like an ass, and I mean that sincerely. I'm sure you know I have seen that a lot here. I'm really glad he's not mad and he still loves you - why wouldn't he? Is that an irrational fear of yours? We all have those. :(

The first outbreak can last 2-3 weeks. Are you still on Valtrex? Did you take it at all? I know you said she'd prescribe it to you if you wanted it, but did you take it at all? The dose for an initial outbreak is 10 days, and it can help it heal faster, but at this point it wouldn't do much.

It is very normal to feel hesitant to have sex. A lot of what you are both feeling will settle with time and information. There may be some bumps when he tests positive.

Just hang in there, and you'll get through it. <3



Yeah, fortunately we're still in good standing. Nothing awkward between us, and he hasn't had any other questions. It's kind of a fear, only because of the crap that I had to deal with last year. I know there's a stigma surrounding HSV, and going through the drama I did, makes me nervous when having to now disclose to a partner, even if they love me. Things can change with a blink of an eye.

As for the Valtrex, I'm still on the 10 day dose. Almost done with it! My symptoms are slowly subsiding. Everything seems fine so far! I haven't picked up the meds yet- my insurance delayed it since I just picked up the 10 day dose last week. Makes sense. I may just pick it up when it's ready and have it handy when I wanna use it.

I hope with some time, it'll get better. We are planning on cohabiting and also planning a trip in September to Jamaica, so that'll be fun. Seems like with all of these serious talks going on, that this HSV situation doesn't really bother him entirely. I'm sure it's in the back of his mind, especially since he does want to get tested, but he seems ok as far as I can tell.
You keep talking as if he might not be okay with it, which is concerning me. Is that because you think he won't accept you, or because you think he might get upset at infecting you?

Insurance sucks. Let's not make it convenient. It's an absolutely different dose, but whatever. Definitely pick it up so you can have it. There are also lots of websites that you can use to get it - totally legit, reputable sites - Wisp, Nurx, Get Roman. You consult with a doctor online, (basically answer some questions on a form that say you have hsv2, want to reduce transmission or get a bunch of outbreaks - say yes), and it's delivered to your house. Depending on your insurance, it might be cheaper. Some are self-pay, some can use insurance. I used one when my dad died - I had enough for the daily dose, but I started getting outbreaks, and I had just moved, and didn't have enough for outbreak doses, or a doctor yet, so I got some extra.

Ohh Jamaica. That sounds awesome. And living together. That's awesome, too. Sounds great. :)

How's your job going now with things going back up?





Eh, I think I’m still carrying the uncertainty and crap that I had dealt with last year. Ever since I dealt with someone who became really weird and childish about the whole situation, it’s in the back of my mind from time to time that my partner may feel weird about it still. But, if he’s planning to move me in and support me through school, that outweighs the negative thoughts in my mind. He clearly cares for me.

I used to use Nurx actually! But, when I had to go on unemployment and sign up for Medi-Cal, I couldn’t use their services anymore. I had a job for a good year until our testing site shut down. Honestly, it was a blessing in disguise. The stuff I had seen and dealt with would NOT fly in a hospital setting…I’d at least hope not, but based on my time on both sides of healthcare, I probably wouldn’t be surprised to see the same behaviors I witnessed. Job hunting is still tough- I had a few callbacks and even took assessments for a couple major hospitals where I live, but it’s been over a month and the hiring manager hasn’t gotten back to anyone or the recruiters I applied through. I’ve been told it takes ages to get through the hospital system. But, since I’m planning on moving this year- we’re aiming for October, I see no point in trying to take on a job any further. I tried these past couple of months ever since I was laid off in June. I started to apply and get my feelers out there in late May, but no luck. I was told, however, that my résumé is impressive. In my head I’m like…So, why don’t you hire me then?! Crazy and so infuriating. Also, with cases surging again, I have a feeling it’ll be difficult to work my way into facilities, especially private practices if they’re forced to shut down again.

My partner says he will support me 100% while I finish school, so I won’t have to stress about taking on a job. Honestly, it’s awesome, but I’m so used to making my own money, paying bills, etc. It’s going to be an adjustment for sure, and I’m sure there will be bumps along the way. I’ve literally had no support from my mother, so having someone step in and say “I’m here for you and support you no matter what” is jarring in a way.

I’ll definitely grab that Rx once it’s ready. I’m officially done with my last dose tomorrow! I’ve been feeling 100% these past couple days, so I’m planning on going back into running come Monday.

How was your appointment on Monday?
Oh I've been meaning to ask you about your job now. Job hunting is awful. It's dehumanizing on so many levels. It can have great results but the process can stink.

I think you can use Wisp without any insurance, and you can use GetRoman without it. You may not need it now, but it's good to know in a pinch. Ohhh I could write a book about parental support, or the lack of it, but really, in the end, I'm happy to know I'm absolutely self-sufficient, and I'm better for it. I have siblings who can't say the same.

I don't need surgery, thankfully - I was absolutely dreading it. I start PT next week. Not looking forward to that, but I need some relief.

Glad your symptoms are better!!

Sorry for the late response- I've been busy taking care of things. I spent a good 3-4 hours at the hospital lab for my blood tests that were ordered.  I know I won't be seeing anyone for months at the clinic. Plus on top of relocating, that means I'll have to find specialists who will take me, along with a new PCP. It's all too much in a short amount of time. I just figured I would complete these labs, have the results with me, and then bring them to another provider so I don't have to retest. The fun part will be finding a PCOS specialist in SoCal. I was thinking of talking to others on here to see if they could recommend anyone. Or even if there are specialists who float around on that board, they can take a look at my labs. I can only interpret them so much, but all signs point to that I'm still not ovulating as I should be and my periods may still be irregular. I'm off the pill, so it'll be interesting to see how my body handles this shift.

As for the job hunting, I'm now FINALLY receiving responses from hospitals. Took them about three months to reach back out. Not to mention, it takes about 2 months to get through the interview process and onboarding. Unfortunately, they're a little too late, since I'm planning on leaving by October. In a way, it's good to know that my resume is being noticed, but it's not benefitting me now when I have a major event popping up in about three months as well. Bad timing, I guess. While my partner says he wants me to be happy and do what I wanna do, we already know that staying at my current place yields little benefits, such as the convenience of transportation and of course, school. Other than that, there's not much else. I'm taking a huge leap here and basically uprooting my life and the plans I had for this person, and they're promising me a home, and full on support when it comes to school and stuff. I am not used to that whatsoever, and it is scary. I've never really had that from a person, and having to rely on them is somewhat uncomfortable.

I'm glad you don't need surgery! That's always a plus. I hope the PT works out for you. :) Are you receiving any shots for the pain or just over the counter meds?

I'll look into Wisp and GetRoman if I need the meds- thanks for the tip. That's the other thing, I'll have to transfer my other Rx to a pharmacy when I move. Way easier than dealing with finding a new provider though.

Moving sucks. Even if it's a great move and will be wonderful at the end, it's very stressful. It ranks up there with divorce and death as far as stress. Added to that is you are putting such faith in him - yeah, it's a lot.

I for sure haven't had anyone let me lean on them that way. Wouldn't know what to do with it if it happened lol. He seems like a great guy. :)

PT is not fun, and I got cortisone shots at the doc's office, but not since. It did really help a lot.

If you use Walgreens or CVS or one of those, you won't need to transfer it. They should be able to find it in their records, and fill it in your new location. If you use a local pharmacy, you'll have to transfer it. Maybe transfer them to a national chain before you leave if you use a local?

Glad you are doing well!! :)
Oh I meant to say - things like PCOS must have association sites, FB groups, reddit subs, etc. Look on those sites and see if anyone can rec a doc in SoCal. :)
Yeah, it is stressful! It'll be a first for me and for him when it comes to living with a partner. At the same time though, I know I'll eventually settle in and my stress won't be as bad, which can also contribute to my symptoms of PCOS. My labs are slowly pouring in still, some good, some questionable. I am not super educated on the topic, so I can only interpret my labs so much before going crazy.

I've set up the trays for cortisone shots and they do not look pleasant. But, if it helps, that's great! Hopefully you won't need them often and I hope PT helps.

I do actually use Walgreens, which is why I'm not too worried about my Rx. It's mainly finding a new provider/care team all over again. That's what is going to be the most stressful on top of the move. I had extensive labs done, and need to get them to someone ASAP. It's either that or I catch a flight back down to the city to be seen when the time comes. Labs are only good for so long before specialists want to retest you. Not to mention, I had a transvaginal ultrasound done back in 2019- this clinic still wouldn't take it! My ovaries haven't changed in the slightest. They've looked the same since I was first diagnosed when I was 13.

I'm actually on a few groups online, such as FB (they're not super helpful surprisingly) and Reddit. Both groups primarily consist of weight loss tips and pregnancy. I've posted a few times to see if anyone would respond, but no bites. I'll try again for doctor recommendations.
Ohhh have you checked twitter for a doc? Maybe there's one with a social media presence. Maybe try San Diego PCOS or Los Angeles PCOS, or whatever part of Socal you're going to be in.

I may end up with more shots. They only like to do a limited number in each joint in a short amount of time, so we'll see. They are NOT pleasant. That's absolutely correct lol. They do help, though.

Tip for living together, though you didn't ask lol:  Talk about everything. What are your expectations, who's doing the chores, paying bills, is one of you thinking of getting a pet and the other not, what if one of you wants a new comforter.- how do you pick one you both like? Seriously, you'll be surprised at what comes up.

And really, talk about herpes. He must be back in SoCal, or headed back soon. Has he made any appts?

Have a great weekend. :)
I’m still waiting to see if either board on FB or Reddit will have a response. The other option could be asking my care team if they know of any specialists in SoCal. Last option is obviously asking my insurance, as I’m going to have to cancel/switch plans. It’s going to be sucky for the time being as I’m transitioning to a new place.

I remember my mom talking about those shots but she got them in her knee. They didn’t even bother to numb her, which I know is an option. Fluid or anything going into a joint is extremely uncomfortable and painful. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. She was willing to pay out of pocket for the lidocaine just so she could be comfortable. Nope, didn’t happen.

We’ve talked about the whole dynamic and what is expected. I’m going to help budget and manage finances, help clean up and meal prep. My main focus will be school. He’s not concerned about me working FT since he’s able to support the both of us. He thinks I should start my own Etsy (I sculpt and sometimes paint) and he said I’d make a little cash for what I do. I’ve sold a painting in the past, so I know I could do it, I guess it’s just a matter of how to start something like that. Either way, at least I have support.

As for the herpes, he wants to proceed with testing. Since he switched to the VA from private insurance, he’s now in the same boat as I am with finding a new PCP and therapist. He’s coming up here on the 6th, so I’ll bring it up again. All in all, he seems very levelheaded about it all, and insists he is not going anywhere regardless.
No lidocaine for a cortisone shot? Wow. Bless her. They sprayed some freezing stuff on me this time, which worked really well.

If he wants, he can go to STDCheck.com and get the herpes testing done as he tries to get a PCP. This is the link for the herpes test -

https://www.stdcheck.com/herpes-i-ii-test.php

He can get other testing there, too, if he wants.  I'm glad he's being levelheaded. :)

Ohh on the 6th - that's very soon. That's exciting!

Yep, us folks in healthcare love to torture people! I'll let my mom know about the spray you received. Maybe she can request that if they constantly deny her of the lidocaine, which is still insane in my opinion.

The boyfriend has finally squared away a visit with his new PCP, but it's not until September. I'll ask him Friday if he wants to pursue testing outside of his new provider/care team and see if he can be reimbursed, or just wait. In the end it's his decision, but I'm sure he'd pursue it sooner if it made me happy and at ease.

Also, no bites on social media in terms of PCOS care teams. One lady did suggest a naturopathic/holistic doctor out in SoCal, but obviously it isn't covered by insurance. That may be an option, but I'd prefer something that uses insurance. While one of my friends was able to pay $150/visit and deemed it "inexpensive", for most, that's way too expensive. It's not feasible for everyone.
No, I suppose in theory, $150 is not a lot, but that's before all the lab tests, etc. That's just the office visit, probably. Health care in this country sucks. The fact that your bf can't see a PCP until Sept proves it. Sigh.

Keep me posted :)

Hey girlie,

I think I'm having another outbreak... :( I discovered a small ulcer from the looks of it on my labia. There's no fluid, but there's a small indent in my skin and it hurts if i scratch it. I only discovered it while I was showering and washing myself. Not sure if this is normal after just having an OB? I also just finished my period, too. I don't see a hair coming out from the area, which leads me to believe it's not an ingrown.

I guess I should be on antivirals if this will be a common occurrence....ugh
Yes, it's normal, especially in the beginning. Things will calm down, but this is still a new infection. It's barely been a month. It could also be hormonal - didn't you just stop your PCOS meds for testing?

You don't have to be on antivirals forever. Maybe just try them for a bit while this is new and you're doing the testing, and getting ready to move, and all the stress.

I'm sorry - I know it sucks. :(
Yeah, I figured I'd try them out for the remainder of the year. It's a 90 day supply, so that'll give me a decent amount of time before I need to refill. I just have too much going on right now. My partner just recently fell ill, so he was unable to make it up here to see me. He's been quarantined, and I'm hoping his symptoms do not get worse. I'm monitoring him and making sure he updates me in terms of any symptom changes. The second week is critical, as a lot of individuals think they're turning the corner, and then they're really hit with the symptoms. So far, his seem mild. I urged him to fill the Rx for the albuterol and the vitamins, along with the cough suppressant. I don't know why the VA doc prescribed Dexamethasone. That's only given to those with severe cases of COVID. CDC and WHO state to NOT give this steroid to those with mild illness. It actually can suppress the immune system and cause more harm than good for those who are otherwise healthy.

Fortunately, I wasn't on any meds like Metformin for PCOS these past few years, minus birth control, but that was more so for preventing possible pregnancy. When I lost a decent amount of weight, my symptoms seemed to subside and I was no longer insulin resistant or pre-diabetic, so I stopped the Metformin. I'm just on a baby dose of Spironolactone for acne. I haven't been on birth control since late March or April? I know hormonal changes, periods, and stress can cause an OB. Again, just seems like the right timing once more for things to pop up. Luckily, all I saw was one little spot, and nothing more. No abnormal discharge this time either. Hopefully I caught it quickly enough. I just started taking the meds a couple days ago.

Speaking of testing, I honestly think the lab screwed up my order or they lost them. I'm missing two or three more panels. It's been over a week, and I haven't seen anything pop up in my chart. At this point, I'm ready to give up. It shouldn't be this hard. I literally sat in a hospital for almost 4 hours to get this done, and yet I'm getting nothing out of it besides hassle and headache.
Omg Bird, reading all this might give me enough stress to cause an outbreak lol.

Is your bf vaxxed? If he was, hopefully, he'll stay with the mild symptoms. It's stunning how we still don't have consistency in treatment, and that doctors still aren't aware of protocols. I'm sorry you didn't get to see him, though.

I think it's a good idea to do the meds for the rest of the year. You have so much going on for the next several months.

Ugh on your testing. How frustrating. :( I'm sorry.

You have a lot going on - don't forget the self-care, whatever that looks like for you. :)

He's planning on getting the vaccine in a couple weeks. After speaking to me about it and me answering as many questions as possible, he feels a little bit better. Still not 100%, but he at least wants to do it now and his mind is somewhat at ease. I definitely understand the uncertainty and fear people have, so I try not to place judgement on those who aren't vaccinated- it's the ones who aren't taking precaution, like partying and gathering in large groups that I have a problem with. He just wasn't sure about the outcomes and data on antibodies. I pulled up a couple studies for the vaccine and how long antibodies last, so I think that was his main concern is exactly how long we're protected for, and probably saw no point if there wasn't extensive research. Good news for him is that he actually has a leg up on us who haven't been sick. He's already got the antibodies, and a shot is essentially a booster for him. While some people will not carry the antibody after 4 weeks, it's been recognized that some still test POS on a PCR after 3 months. I spoke to someone, who, 11 months out STILL has antibodies!

In the end, I cannot force someone to get it. Luckily he stays away from people and WFH, so it was surprising that he got it from a VAXXED coworker, who was touching his phone. Then of course my boyfriend touched the phone, probably touched his face and everything else the one day he had to go into the lab, and bam, symptoms appeared on the 2nd. Yeah, this stuff spreads fast. Crazy how things happen like this.

He's doing better. Most of the symptoms have cleared, minus his small cough. Other than that, he's ok and I'm hoping it stays that way. He now has to get a medical clearance for any sort of travel and I'm sure he'll need one for work even though he's scheduled to be fully vexed by September 4th. I was the one who scheduled his PCR, along with the appt for his vaccine. We're obviously both stressed out, but I've been the one figuring out testing, appts, and playing nurse from almost 500 miles away. I told him to just hire me at this point, lol

Well, that has to be something - you, who've worked in the field, dating someone with vax hesitations lol.

I hope he doesn't get too sick. This is crazy, scary stuff. Don't get too caught up in taking care of him - especially from a distance - that you don't take care of yourself. :)
At least he’s going this week to get it done! I dunno, I guess he just needed to hear the facts and whatnot from someone he trusts. Nowadays you can’t believe much of what you read, hear or see and you always have to do your research. He’s not anti vax, but I guess just kinda scared or hesitant of this particular one. I explained the possible side effects, what to expect, and what an mRNA vaccine is. Luckily he’s not the type to believe this stuff alters DNA, he just needed that reassurance. Honestly, I was surprised he brought the whole vaccine thing up and wanted to get it done. I’d never lie to him about this stuff just so he’d get vaccinated. In the end, it’s his choice.

I’ve been taking care of myself as best as possible. I’m preparing for my fall semester on top of everything else. Hope you’re doing well!

The disinformation with this is strong. It's scary.

And you're moving in the middle of a semester. You're a tough one, I swear.

I'm hanging in there. It's a busy week, and I need the weekend in a big way. Sigh.
It's the weekend! Enjoy it as much as you can :) You have any plans?

I've been trying to hold off on moving until the end of the semester honestly. To me, it makes more sense. My partner just wants me out of the city for safety and security reasons, along with me saving on rent along with whatever sanity I have left, lol I figure I may as well stick it out until my semester ends. If it does get worse, then I will leave earlier. I'm trying to take things one step at a time. My classes are are virtual, and I'm kinda weary since I'm taking a science class that's held via Zoom. How they expect us to learn, I have no idea. I don't even think the teachers still have a good grasp of this stuff. It's all chaotic. In a way, it's helpful that it's all online, as I can easily move or work around school, if necessary. That's the only benefit I see. Other than that, I prefer in-person and was looking forward to it. They couldn't even bother to notify us that our in-person class changed to online. I had to look on the school's website myself!

As for my parter, I'm glad he's not like my friend's boyfriend's family- they're on the complete opposite end of the spectrum (I think their tin foil hat is on a little too tight, lol). Their beliefs are so extreme that someone on their side of the family gives their infant child goat milk instead of breastmilk because they think it's healthier and more nutritious. They're also the type to fully believe in herbal remedies to "cure" you of ailments. I have no words...all I can say is, I'm glad my partner is not that crazy, just scared of what could happen. I did just read a study about how males ages 19-29 are experiencing myocarditis and pericarditis from the Pfizer vaccine. That is kinda alarming, and it's scary to see it happening now all of the sudden. I can see why people are hesitant. I mean I felt like complete crap for 3 days when I got the vaccine, but luckily it was nothing serious that involved hospitalization.

All I can say is to research as much as possible. If you're that curious about vaccines, read a few medical journals/studies so you can see what is being reported. Don't rely on social media. I feel like medical professionals are backed into a corner- we're seen as evil sheep who are pushing people to get vaccinated, as if we're getting a kickback for doing so or are being held responsible for "poisoning" people. I don't side with either the pro-vaxxers or anti-vaxxers. Pushing any sort of agenda onto someone is wrong, but that's just me. There's bias on either side, and I try to remain as neutral as possible. All I can do is educate those who have questions and leave the decision up to the individual.
The myocarditis and pericarditis is actually happening in males up to age 29, in both mRNA vaxxes, but it's around 1300 of the over 2 million doses in the US, and it's self-resolving.

I'm admittedly not that understanding about anti-vaxxers. Without getting too much into it on this forum, I have a family member with autism, and his mother has been told all his life that she shouldn't have had him vaxxed. People have been awful to her.

How are you feeling?
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