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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Emergencies and Crises » Possible Herpes? Very scared.

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Author Topic: Possible Herpes? Very scared.
LadyLuck77
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I am very confused and scared right now. I found three small, reddish bumps on the outside of my vagina about three days ago. Kind of painful, but not excruciating. I went to two different doctors. One just immediately diagnosed it as genital herpes (no blood work or sampling), and another said absolutely not, that it was just vaginal pimples, after giving me a blood screen. (Quite confusing.) I had an STD screening close to a year ago, was found "clean", and have not had any sexual encounters without a condom since then. None. He is the only person I have been with since the last screening.

I called my now ex-boyfriend two days ago and asked him more in-depth about his STD exposure history. He sounded very, very scared. (Turns out he wasn't quite truthful about EVERYTHING.) I asked him why he was nervous, and he broke down and told me a story about HIS ex-girlfriend. (One of the ones he never wore a condom with.) Apparently, she has full-fledged genital herpes. Suffers from outbreaks repeatedly. They were together for four years. She had told him, when they first got together, that he had given it to her! Since he had several more unprotected partners than she had, he believed it instantly. Never got tested to check it out, even though he had NEVER had an outbreak. Over the years, he found out that she had cheated on him and had a one-night stand on Spring Break during college. This was right before her first outbreak. Anyway, so they broke up years later and he started dating me. He was very nervous to date me and give it to me, so he always wore a condom with me, even though he was scared of them, for pregnancy purposes.

Two days ago he went in to a clinic and had blood taken to test for the herpes virus, both HSV1 and HSV2. Apparently they can detect an antibody in your blood to the virus if you've had it for awhile. Since he has never had any outbreaks to go by or refer to. He was given a negative result for each type. He was so surprised that he went to another clinic and they gave him the same negative result. He told me this today and showed me the paperwork for proof.

What in the world? He told me that he always slept with his girlfriend unprotected, but she wouldn't let him come near her during her outbreaks. (He thinks this is because she knew where she probably got the virus -- the other guy -- and didn't want to pass it on to him.) And she took medication to suppress her outbreaks and "shedding". Could the tests he took be wrong? Could he have somehow given it to me, even though he tested as negative? I am so baffled right now. And scared. Having two conflicting medical opinions, I don't know what on earth to think.

And opinions, from experts, welcome. I sit here very freaked out. Because I have always used condoms for sexual encounters.

Thank you.

[ 01-19-2007, 06:13 PM: Message edited by: LadyLuck77 ]

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Heather
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Setting the boyfriend issues aside, are these sores on the genital tissue --inner labia, vaginal opening, perinuem -- or on the mons or outer labia (read: the hairy bits)?

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LadyLuck77
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Inner labia. Three in a row.
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Heather
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Okay.

Pimples on the inner labia....well, that's pretty iffy, just because genital tissue doesn't really work like the rest of your skin does.

So -- while I know it's tough to wait -- I think your best bet would be to make no conclusions until you get your blood tests back.

if when you do, you've got one doc saying herpes, and another saying no, I'm afraid (again, I know, total pain, especially when you're already freaking) I'd suggest seeing one more different doctor for an opinion.

So sorry you're having to go through this, Lady, w/everything else. It's especially got to sting for this to be related to this guy who could not stop freaking out about pregnancy risks, but didn't seem to give a moments thought to his or your STI risks, even the ones he knew full well were present. [Frown]

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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

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LadyLuck77
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I did get my blood test back, and it was negative. So I called the other doctor (who instantly pegged it as herpes) and asked him, and he said that possibly I hadn't yet developed an antibody in my blood.

So I'm going to take your advice and see a third doctor.

Thanks for your words, seriously. You're so good to the people on here.

I am just in shock. But really, if my ex tested negative in two different clinics, he couldn't possibly have given it to me anyway, right? And I haven't had ONE sexual encounter without him since my last screening. So really, if the diagnosis is that I do have herpes, what could've happened? Is it possible that they missed something in my screening one year ago?

[ 01-19-2007, 07:22 PM: Message edited by: LadyLuck77 ]

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LadyLuck77
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I just thought of something. Unless he had cheated on me very recently and acquired the virus. That way the antibody wouldn't show up in either of our blood samples.

Yikes. What the hell.

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Heather
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You know, my general advice in a scenario like this, especially when you're no longer with the partner, is not to even concern yourself with their test results. It's just too many variables, and not all that relevant to you per your docs figuring out what your sitch.

The relevant information is that you have recently been sexually active with a partner who had no had any screenings, and who knows -- albiet (grrrr!) he didn't inform you until now -- that he has been exposed to genital herpes. That information IS relevant to your healthcare pros. The rest? Not so much, and you've got enough to worry about, okay?

If you end up with a postive diagnosis of herpes, a lot of things could have happened. One, yes, the last tests simply may not have detected it (though I'm a bit confised: you were sexually active with him since your screening, just not without condoms, right?), or you may not have developed it until now. Obviously, it's always possible with anyone that a partner did cheat.

So sorry you're having to be shuttled round like this, gal.

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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

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LadyLuck77
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Yes, you're right, I need to just focus on what's going on with me now. Not him. But it's just SO hard to understand how this could've happened without putting him in the equation.

To answer your question, yes, I have only been sexually active with him since my last screening in February of last year ('06). And each and every single time was with a condom. No exceptions. I have a sinking feeling that he DID cheat, based off of things that only I have been privy to, that don't need to be mentioned here. But obviously, I'll never know for sure, especially now that I know he has been less than honest with me about his past sexual history/exposure. It's just starting to add up.

Oh well. I'll just wait it out and see. Thank you for your advice and help...as usual. Have a good weekend, Heather.

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Heather
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Okay.

Thing is, when it comes to Herpes and HPV -- two viruses which aren't passed via fluid, but via contact -- while condoms make a big difference per prevention, they don't offer the same protection as they do for fluid-borne STIs, because condoms only cover so much of the genitals.

I hope you have a good weekend as well: such a pity you have to deal with this after the other stuff you struggled through with this relationship. be sure and do something nice for yourself this weekend, okay?

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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

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LadyLuck77
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I got my results (blood screen) back from the third doctor -- and he says I tested negative. He didn't do a swab because my sores/whatever they are were basically gone by then. He thinks it might have been genital irritation from spermicidal condoms.

Should I wait another month or two to see if the antibody in my blood would show up? (If contraction was a recent thing.) Or should I just go on until another batch of sores show up? Not really sure how to move forward at this point...or what would be best for the sake of my next partner, if I should happen to have one.

Thanks.

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Heather
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The best plan of action here would just be to stay current with your regular screenings: if you feel better doing twice a year right now instead of once, go right ahead. If you get a new partner, you can do another screen additionally before you get sexual if you like.

Otherwise, just once a year for your full screenings, and keep an eye out for any other sores.

One other possibility, by the by, is that you were exposed to genital herpes but didn't actually "catch" it. As I understand it, sometimes that can happen, and a little sore will show up, but your body managed to bypass actually incorporating the virus.

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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

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