This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding herpes issues such as: Herpes symptoms and treatments, causes, diagnosis, and herpes in men, tests, telling your spouse or partner.
Is it possible to carry the HSV-1 and HSV-2 virus and not have symptoms? I just had the first sore ever on my penis 13 days ago. Is this always from a recent exposure? Or can someone be exposed, carry the virus for years with no symptoms, and just break out? How long have you heard of anyone carrying the virus, but with no symptoms?
The unfortunate thing about the herpes virus is that it has a wide variety of symptoms and latency periods. People who contract genital herpes often don't experience genital symptoms, and yes, can be carriers of the virus without having symptoms. There is something called viral shedding, a period during which the virus can replicate itself without symptoms, and during which period a person can pass on the virus to others through skin-to-skin contact.
For those who do experience symptoms/outbreaks, the first outbreak usually occurs 2-20 days after contracting the virus. You say you had a sore 13 days ago? The answer to your question lies more so in your symptoms. You had only one sore? Have more sores appeared since? Did you feel a tingling sensation and reddening of the skin where the sore appeared prior to the sore itself? Do you have a burning sensation when your urinate? Flu-like symptoms, especially a fever and swollen lymph nodes in your groin? Depending on the appearance of your sore, it could simply be a pimple. I suggest researching more at sites like http://www.herpes-coldsores.com/std/herpes.htm
But to answer your question, the herpes virus can be contracted with little to no symptoms, and lie dormant to days, weeks, and on some occasion years before symptoms appear. I'm sure there are many people who have had the virus for years and are not aware they carry it. Studies have shown that 1 in 5 sexually active Americans have genital herpes. If you're concerned, I'd see a doctor the next time you get a sore, and get a viral culture for HSV. If not, wait 3 months after the time of "exposure" to HSV and get a Igg blood test for HSV1 and HSV2.
On December 28, 2009 I had three small sores, circular, white after showering, quite sensitive and painful when rubbing against clothing, on the left edge of my glans (glands) penis at the urethral opening. I took antibiotics but that did not help. I went to a planned parenthood clinic, and the NP said it looked like herpes. They prescribed Acyclovir and the sores responded almost immediately and started clearing up. Today, January 10, 2010 is the first day that they are not painful, and look almost healed.
The last times I had vaginal sex was 2 days prior, and 9 days prior to the formation of the sores.
It is the first outbreak I have ever had. I have never had a fever blister or cold sore to this day. The first thing I noticed was that my urine would not come out straight, but kept going to the left side and dribbling. This was the first sign. A day or two later, the sores first appeared. I did not have any tingling sensation in the area, although at times I have had very sharp pains shooting to my feet all of a sudden that last about half a minute or so from time to time, since quite a few months ago, about the last 2 years at least.
If a get a blood test now, before antibodies have a chance to develop if this is a "first infection", would that give support that this infection started some time in the past, and not in recent weeks? This could be critical to my marriage. I have already told my wife, and we will both be tested next week.
I assume that if I do not already have antibodies to either HSV-1 or HSV-2, that would support a conclusion that this is a recent and new infection, and if I do have the antibodies, that this would support the vice versa conclusion, that this is the result of an infection that started at some point in the past, not recent.
Is this correct?
I can think of one other possibility. I am a healthcare worker and have had blisters that come up on my fingers for as long as I can remember (about 15 years). I never thought anything about it until I had a patient with similar symptoms about 2 years ago, and told me he had herpes whitlow. Since the blisters I get looked identical to his, I believe for many years I had herpes whitlow without knowing it.
Whenever these blisters would come up, I would immediately pop them with my fingernails and a lot of clear fluid would come out, but the sores would heal and stop hurting after I did this. Sometimes they would be all over several fingers, especially when it was hot outside, and I would work with my hands. I was not particularly careful about what I touched after doing this, because I did not know what the blisters were, but I thought they were benign and harmless.
Could I have autoinnoculated my penis with the herpes witlow without knowing? I had this condition for many years, and broke many of these blisters on my fingers. I think it likely that often I would void while these open blisters were present on my fingers.
When I discovered that I presumably had the herpes whitlow, I did a little research, and came across a website that claimed they could get rid of the herpes vaccine particles by ionizing Acyclovir cream with a small electric device, that would cause the Acyclovir cream to break apart into small molecules that would travel up the nerve cells and attack the virus directly. They claimed that two 20 minute treatments per day, for two weeks would cure the condition.
When I read this, I tried doing just that with a 9 volt transister battery. I wasn't very consistent with doing it, but it must have worked, because I have not had any episode of the blisters coming out on my hands now for several months, and they used to come out very frequently, every few weeks; usually no longer than 6 or 7 weeks apart.
It has now been about 8 months since I had an outbreak on my fingers!
Any possibility with those treatments that I actually moved some of the virus from my finger nerve ganglia to my sacral nerve ganglia?
Please let me know your thoughts, anyone out there!
One more question.
When I get the antibody test, if there is a positive result of either or both HSV-1 and HSV-2, if one is considerably higher than the other, would this support a conclusion as to what type of infection I just went through?
The symptoms you've described fit the profile for genital herpes. If you were to get a blood test now, I can't predict whether or not it would help determine whether the herpes virus is a new or old infection. I suggest getting an Igg blood test for HSV-1 and HSV-2; if you test positive for either, especially 9 days after what you believe to be the encounter of suspect, than it should confirm it to be an old infection. However, depending on the results of the blood test, it may only confirm that you have Herpes whitlow, not necessarily genital herpes. Then again, it could confirm both, but the results are more so up to the interpretation of your doctor and yourself.
Also, from what you've described, if you do have herpes whitlow, I suppose it is possible to "self-innoculate" yourself, especially if you had active open sores on your hands when you touched your genitals; the virus can be spread to different parts of the body. However, I am not well informed on herpes whitlow, so its best to ask your doctor. If there is no possible alternative, such as sexual contact with partners of questionable sexual history, than it very well may be a possibility. Again, please refer to your doctor, and get a blood test to confirm.
To answer your last question: take an Igg blood test, which is more reliable than other blood tests. The results of this test should be interpreted by your doctor: generally, it is clear cut which, if not both, of the herpes viruses you have. For instance, if you test higher than a 0.9 for either, it is indicative of an infection.
If you test positive for HSV-2, more than likely it is affecting your genitals. However, keep in mind HSV-1 can affect both the oral and genital areas.
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