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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » STI concerns and Herpes testing confusion

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Author Topic: STI concerns and Herpes testing confusion
Pancake
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Member # 36529

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Hey Scarleteen,

I recently got out of a relationship in which the risk I am worried about was unprotected oral sex. My last parter claimed to be tested regularly but you can never know for sure. I am asymptomatic in all domains (I have a sore throat but that could be from many things), but I would like to cover the bases.

i have gotten urine tests as well as throat swabs for Gonnorhea and Chlamydia and will hear results for those within a week. Now, I have made an appointment for a blood test to identify any HIV, Herpes or Syphylis but I have a few questions about this, notably Herpes.

I have had coldsores as a kid. Wouldn't these just make my Herpes test positive therefore freaking me out for possibly no reason? I know it differs between HSV-1 and and 2 but I know either type can be found on the genitals as well :\.

I also want to know as for Herpes, wouldn't the only way I could get it be from his penis to my mouth (therefore HSV-2 herpes on my mouth). Could this spread to my genitals if we never had unprotected vaginal sex?

I've read a lot about the Herpes blood test online, and I am not sure if it is something worth getting done if it is mostly asymptomatic (+ me being completely asymptomatic as well as my last partner) and highly stigmatized in our society. Would you recommend it? Is it better to do just a culture test for Herpes if I ever had an outbreak?

I also have an all over general question. As opposed to unprotected vaginal sex, does unprotected oral sex pose less of a risk for STIs?

[ 08-15-2012, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: Pancake ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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So, if you are going to get tested for oral herpes, yes, you will test positive because -- if you've had cold sores -- you already have it. Even if it were to appear genitally, that wouldn't change that you had it before, and will still have it now, know what I mean?

A test for HSV-2, however, would be the one to get, because that's one you don't know if you have or not.

I'd say that if it's worth getting more than a visual exam done for Herpes is mostly going to be up to you as a patient and the person paying for that test if it wasn't specifically ordered.

But if I get you right, the stigma put on Herpes and other STIs isn't a sound reason, IMO, to avoid testing. Tests don't change if we have something or not, testing is confidential, and really, we and any partners we might have need to know when we can know.

Oral sex, indeed, poses lower risks of STIs, and risks from less STIs than vaginal or anal intercourse does, absolutely.

And yes: if you were to have a partner with HSV (or a partner you, since you have one type), and only have oral-genital contact, then what contact like that you had would be the sites where symptoms could appear.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Pancake
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Member # 36529

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Thank you heather I really appreciate you replying! I'm confused about the answer for the herpes spreading from my mouth to my vulva. If I had acquired it through oral and not had any other risk, it can't spread to the genitals?

Ahhh I know what you mean. Still not sure whether to test for it though [Frown]

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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
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Your genitals would have to come in contact with someone who had oral herpes, usually through oral sex. In that case, it would still be 'oral herpes" or rather the HSV-I strain as opposed to the HSV-II strain which is known as genital herpes.

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Robin

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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In terms of whether or not you should get tested for it, why don't you ask the advice of your sexual healthcare provider on that?

Ideally, when we're getting tested for STIs, that provider should ask a bit about our sexual history (or do so o intake forms), about anything we know or think we have been exposed to, then suggest what tests we should get. If we want or don't want something they suggest, we can have a conversation with them about that to come to a decision.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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