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What is considered an outbreak exactly?

Hi everyone,
I have a question for the HSV experts on this board: what is considered an outbreak?

Is it only when sores and blisters appear that someone can say "I had an outbreak?"

Or can also itching and burning (without blisters ever appearing) be considered a mild outbreak?

1 Responses
207091 tn?1337709493
COMMUNITY LEADER
Have you been diagnosed with herpes?

Is this a continuation of your risk questions from your encounter of unprotected oral sex?

If that's the case, then your risk for herpes would be genital hsv1. If you already have hsv1 orally, you can't get it again genitally.

I'd suggest getting a type specific IgG blood test from your doctor if you are able to get one, and can't remember ever having a cold sore or fever blister. (90% of those with hsv1 never get any symptoms, and about half the adult population has hsv1.) If you are in Canada, the UK, and some other areas, it's not easy to get this test.

If you only have itching and burning, that can be many, many things, including being hyper-aware of the area since you are concerned. If it's constant, and you haven't had an outbreak, that's not herpes.

Have you been tested for gonorrhea and NGU? Those are both a risk from receiving unprotected oral.

5 Comments
Thanks auntiejessi.

It's not really a continuation of that thread, I am just trying to understand what is going on with me :)
I tested negative IGG for both 1 and 2 at 12 weeks, and I tested negative for NGU and gono as well (no HIV testing since I was told that it was not a risk).

I know that IGG misses 30% of HSV1 infections and that's why I am still trying to investigate what I have.

Since my exposure (unprotected oral) I never got blisters or sores, just a lot of itching  in my genital area and burning  on my thighs/calves, that lasts maybe a week or two and then subsides for another week... then comes back.
My glans is red and looks slightly inflamed - it's been like that for 3 months - , other than the tests I have been visually examined by 3 doctors (one of them and STD specialist) who didn't notice anything unusual.

That's why I asked the question... if these periods of itching and discomfort can be considered an outbreak or if you need to have blisters for it to be an outbreak.

Thank you
Statistically, if you haven't had any outbreaks, and you are testing negative, you probably don't have ghsv1.

You said your glans is red and slightly inflamed, but 3 docs say it looks normal. Have you told them you think it looks red and inflamed?

Do you have some sort of guilt or shame over this event? I'm not at all diminishing your symptoms, but anxiety can cause real physical symptoms. I don't know if you have a regular partner and went outside the relationship, or feel guilty that you did something with a sex worker, or if anxiety is something you deal with usually, but don't discount that if you think it applies.

HIV isn't a risk for oral, so there's no need to test for that.

It was a CSW but guilt/anxiety are not a factor... I had actually made plans to see her again the week after if I hadn't experienced all those symptoms.

So going back to the opening question, technically my symptoms (very similar to prodrome) are not outbreaks?
Only the presence of sores would qualify as an outbreak?

Thank you
Glad to hear guilt/anxiety aren't issues.

It's not similar to prodrome if it's not followed by an outbreak of sores, blisters, or anything on the skin. Prodrome only lasts 2 days max.

Lots of things can cause things that feel the same - nerve issues (pinched nerves, for example), prostatitis, anal fissures, among many other things.

Only the presence of sores would qualify as an outbreak.
Alright, thank you.
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