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Herpes Paranoia?
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Herpes Paranoia?

I had unprotected sex 9 days ago with a partner with confirmed HSV2, but no outbreaks in several years, who was currently on suppressive therapy. For 6-7 days I have noticed itching, burning, and sensations of rawness on my penis, but there have been no blisters.  The symptoms seem to get worse when I think about it, but they still don't go away if I don't.  I saw my doctor 3 days ago, who prescribed acyclovir 400mg x 3 daily and said to return if I got blisters.  I have not noticed a significant change in symptoms since taking the medication.  I'm noticing the rawness/sensitivity more versus the itching/burning last week.

I am going crazy with the paranoia and constant examination.  I understand there isn't a way to know conclusively, but I wonder if you can provide any helpful guidance.  Thank you.
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9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Well they say itching and tingling is the first sign before a sore pops up. However, 7 days seems like a long time to just have the tingling and itching without a sore appearing.
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Avatar_n_tn
The itching/burning does not seem to be localized to any particular area, but the rawness/soreness is all on the underside of my penis.  From what I've read I'd expect more localized symptoms prior to a sore?  I notice some spots of darker colored skin in the area, but there's no texture or raised bump to it.  Less noticable when erect. Having never examined my penis this closely before I don't know if this is new.  No obvious changes over the last week though.

I thought maybe this was a reaction to a new lube and/or skin irritation from sexual activity, but still having it a week + out makes me wonder about that.

Does the reaction or lack thereof to acyclovir offer any clues?
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Avatar_m_tn
The odds that you caught HSV are less than 1 out of 5000 statistically speaking.

However, I was in the exact same situation as you and am still experiencing anxiety even though 2 out of 3 doctors told me not to get anymore testing and to stop thinking about it.  I understand how you feel.  Even though I haven't been following my own advice, the best thing to do is to relax until you get a clinical symptom or 3 months or more has passed and you can take a type specific blood test.  You may also want to take an immediate blood test that will serve as a baseline but that is up to you.
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101028_tn?1348750963
so your provider didn't do a lesion culture on your symptoms - just handed you acyclovir?

I totally agree - go and get a type specific herpes igg blood test so you have something to compare future tests too.  Should you get a recurrence of symptoms at some point, be sure to get them swabbed for herpes. don't take any medication at that time until the testing has been done.

since you had unprotected sex, you should also cover the other std bases too. You can get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea now. syphilis anytime after 6 weeks. hiv anytime after 3 months. herpes anytime after 4 months.

grace

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101028_tn?1348750963
also the odds of contracting hsv2 from a one time encounter with the infected partner being on suppressive therapy and not having any obvious lesions is far, far lower than the stat posted too. it's very unlikely that you contracted hsv2 from this encounter but cover your bases for peace of mind.

grace
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the replies.  To clarify, no lesion culture was done at the doctor because there were/are no lesions.  I went in because of the tingling/itching, and the acyclovir was prescribed as a preventative given my known potential exposure.  The doctor concurred that transmission was unlikely, but given the safety of the medication saw it as a reasonable treatment.

My partner was a girlfriend of ~6mo.  I had a baseline type specific IGG done early in the relationship (negative both HSV1 and HSV2).  I understand that after 3-4mo I can repeat this to assess any changes.

I guess what I am looking for is any indication one way or another in the meantime (assuming no obvious lesions) as to whether this is an outbreak or just in my head.  Does the duration/type of symptoms or response to acyclovir tell us anything?  Is this consistent with any other kind of skin infection I may have been exposed to?

Thanks again for the guidance.
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Avatar_n_tn
If 7 days is a long time to feel tingling before seeing sores what is a reasonable amount of time? I have had these sensations for two days w/o seeing anything but I am also very much stressing and can't stop inspecting myselft. I was tested negative for hsv 1 and 2 but only after 7.5 weeks after possible exposure. I know it may be my mind but then again it may not....dang.
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101028_tn?1348750963
it really doesn't sound like herpes going on from what you've posted.

grace
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the followup.  I have completed the acyclovir course, still with no appearance of lesions.  The symptoms seem to have subsided for the most part.  Still some sensitivity when I think about it.

I plan to wait a few months and repeat the IGG, unless lesions appear in the meantime.  Should I followup with my doc to rule out the possibility of yeast or other skin infection?
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