Herpes Expert Forum
Convinced I'm in the 2%
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Convinced I'm in the 2%

Hello,

I recently started a relationship with a woman who informed me that she has genital HSV2. She has had it for 20 years, is on 1g Valtrex daily and knows her prodrome symptoms when she is getting an outbreak. Because of all this, she said she has never transmitted it to anyone else.

We started having unprotected sex on a Friday, and did it 3 times a day until Monday. On Monday, I noticed the right side of my glans (glands) near the widest part felt raw. Everything looked normal. We took a 3 day break from sex then repeated the 3 times a day the following weekend. The raw feeling in my penis got worse to the point I went to the dr. It literally felt like I had a raw sore, but nothing was there. She confirmed everything looked normal, but said it was probably herpes based on my symptoms and my girlfriend's status. She prescribed acyclovir, which I didn't start taking yet.

I repeatedly checked myself every day, and at around the 12-13 day mark, I noticed a possible darker spot in the area where it was raw. If I pull the skin in that area tight, I can see what look like two very tiny sores. Although, if the light is not right and I don't pull the skin tight, it looks pretty normal. At the 15 day point I started taking the acyclovir. The following two days the raw feeling was pretty bad. It feels ok at night and in the morning, but gets worse during the day. Now I'm at the 18 day point, 3 days into the acyclovir, the two very tiny sores are unchanged, but the raw feeling is slightly better today for the first time (but I've thought that before).

I'm convinced this is an initial outbreak (I tested negative with HerpeSelect the week before we started having sex), but I still hold on to a sliver of hope. In your opinion is this an outbreak? Obviously, I'll get tested again at the 3-4 month mark, but I'm trying to resolve myself until then.
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55646_tn?1263664409
Your symptoms don't sound herpetic to me.  I believe that as carefully as you are looking, you would likely notice something more than what you've seen if you had first infection with herpes.  Your symptoms to me sound like lots, perhaps too much, sex, in a short period of time.  The fact that she is on very adequate suppression to reduce the risk of transmitting to you, though it is not perfect, as you know.  

I would stay off acyclovir until you have a confirmed diagnosis as it may impact the speed with which you seroconvert, if you are going to do that.  

At 4 months post exposure, I would retest and see what's going on.  If you need to test earlier, you can do it again at 6 weeks post exposure and get some degree of reassurance as well.

Was any swabbing done of the irritated area?

Terri
5 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
U cant take herpes test with acyclovir... U can get a false negative.
If u have any more more for to doctor or std clinic to swab it.
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Avatar_m_tn
Do you have an opinion on this? The raw feeling is gone, but the two tiny spots are unchanged. I don't know if they are normal spots that I am mistaking for sores or not. I think the timing in all this is indicative of herpes. Also, the fact that the rawness started to subside 3 days after starting to take the acyclovir. I stopped taking it after that. Although I've pretty much made up my mind on this, I'd still really like your opinion so I can get on with it. This has been really stressing me out. Unfortunately, I am one of the guys whose self is very strongly tied to my sexual identity. I'm really struggling.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you. You have greatly eased my mind. I do plan to get a test at 6 weeks even though I know I'll need to test again later to be more reliable. Although, I understand it may take longer for antibodies to show up because I have HSV1? Actually, now that I think of it, does the fact that I have HSV1 change your opinion at all? I got it in wrestling when I was 17 on the side of my head (I'm 34 now). I remember the outbreak very well as it was pretty bad, but I've never had a recurrence. If I were to contract HSV2 from her, would the symptoms be similar to what I remember of the HSV1 outbreak (very itchy rash which progressed to blisters that were very painful to touch)?

There was no swabbing of the area. When I saw the NP, there were no physical signs of anything wrong, it just felt really raw/irritated to me. We had sex last night and this morning I felt some irritation in the same spot so hopefully you are right that it is just too much sex. I stopped taking the acyclovir after 3 days.
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55646_tn?1263664409
The HSV 1 you already have would make the symptoms less remarkable, but if there was nothing for the NP to see, that is also encouraging, though none of this is a guarantee, just a good opinion.

Terri
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55646_tn?1263664409
Terri Warren, RN, Adult Nurse Pr...Blank
Westover Heights Clinic
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