Regarding PRIMARY infections: Is it possible to get flu-like symptoms of genital herpes WITHOUT ever having any primary outbreaks? I read somewhere that the flu symptoms are a secondary symptom preceding the first sores, but others have told me different things.
Thanks Grace -- I guess it makes sense -- if your body is responding so severely to an infection, the virus is probably going to give you the sores too. I imagine, however, that there are cases of people have minor bodily responses without sores. I'm thinking of my own case, about a week of just feeling sort of sick, a slight fever, malaise, and swollen neck lymph nodes, but no headache, muscle aches, tingling, burning, genital pain, lower back pain, etc. No sores developed, but I still need to get a blood test. The problem is that my roommate was also sick at the time with cold symptoms (we shared drinks, had close contact, etc.), so I might have contracted what he had.
The partner about whom I am worried tested negative for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 after the potential exposure, but who knows how long it could take for accurate results to come in if he had just recently caught something. He went to the doctor who did a genital inspection and saw nothing alarming. However, I was certainly alarmed and surprised to see a red rash on one side of his penis, along with a swollen genital lymph node and a couple of red spots elsewhere. To say the least, I was really freaked out. He told me that it was from irritation and friction and that the redness/red marks sometimes popped up if he masturbated too hard while wearing his shorts (the location of the redness would correspond with his theory). He said that the red marks had been there long before becoming sexually active. So, he certainly didn't think he was having an outbreak or saw something unusual, and the tests confirmed it. Unfortunately, I am also sort of a paranoid hypercondriac, so I'm still worrying in the back of my mind. At the very least, if I do have HSV-2 genitally, I am asymptomatic.
The worst part is the psychological component. I have been celibate now for seven months, afraid of engaging in any type of sexual activity in fear of either catching it or spreading it. And I'm too afraid to get tested to learn the truth. I probably sound ridiculous, since this is really a minor issue in the scheme of things. However, compounded with other bodily insecurities, it makes me feel like others would find me undesirable, despite the high prevalence rate in gay communities.
Thanks for providing this forum. Writing that all out is helping me - I think getting tested is a hurdle I will be able to cross soon. Until then, no sexual activity for me! I wish I had been educated about this to begin with. Certainly, learning more about the virus makes it less scary, but it is also striking how easy it is to avoid it if you are educated about it.
Anyway, do you know if there is any correlation between people who develop/have averse reactions to mono and people who have symptomatic herpes?
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