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.
On April 20 (or early morning April 21 to be exact), I had a sexual encounter with a stripper, which included a 2 second kiss (tongue), protected oral and vaginal sex, and a 5-10 second handjob without a condom. I did not notice any sores on her mouth (but then again I was a little drunk).
Since then I have been extremely paranoid and depressed at the possibility of getting herpes or anything else. From what I gather, I am at very little risk for STD's since it was protected sex, but herpes is still a possibility. It is now almost 4 weeks post encounter. Yesterday I felt a sore throat coming on, and this morning it feels a little worse (not terrible but there). I have a bit of a headache and blocked ears as well. I was worried about white spots around my mouth/lips being potential cold sores, but my dermatologist last week told me those were fordyce spots (on my lips) and something I don't recall (around my mouth). He assured me it was not cold sores. I have looked at my penis for four weeks and don't see anything that stands out to me. I thought I had a red blemish or blister type thing on my foreskin 2 days ago, but once I stretched it back it was not visible anymore, so I think it is just the way my foreskin looks when clumped together at the head (hopefully). I would think a blister or pimple would not disappear when the skin is stretched. I do feel some itching on my testicles every now and then, and on the lower part of my penis, but I'm positive I have felt that prior to the encounter as well, so I'm not sure what that is.
Now, I did have a bit of a sore throat and blocked ears a week prior to the encounter (in addition to shooting stomach and back pain), which my doctor told me was no big deal and told me to take allergy meds. It kind of went away a day later without medication (might have been a bug or something). Now it is 4 weeks post encounter and the sore throat/blocked ears are back (no sign of stomach or back pain like last time though). I don't know how to tell if my glands are swollen or not. I have only been sexually active since six months ago. Never before that point. My plan was to wait 3 months before taking every STD/Herpes test just for my own peace of mind, but I am only 1/3 of the way there and it has been an agonizing wait. I don't want to go to a doctor continuously every time I notice something different going on with me, so I just want to educate myself as far as what symptoms to look out for.
My questions are (and I will group these together to avoid having to make more posts in the future):
1) is a sore throat nearly 4 weeks post encounter with no other visible symptoms or fever potentially a herpes breakout (oral or genital) or does it need to be accompanied by other symptoms (visible sores, bumps etc)?
2) if I went to my doctor today or tomorrow, would he be able to tell whether it is a symptom of herpes or an STD just by my sore throat symptoms?
3) am I a risk to anyone now as far as kissing goes (girl, little kids, etc) even if I am not sure whether I have anything?
4) when I do eventually get tested for herpes, should I ask specifically for a type specific Igg WB test and is three months sufficient time to where I don't have to test again? Where is the best place to take the test (clinic, primary doctor, etc)?
5) On a scale of one to ten, based on my encounter described above, what are the chances of getting herpes from that encounter (1 being almost no risk and 10 being high risk)?
Sorry for the long post, but it is either this or go to the doctor and pay a ton of money every time my anxiety kicks in. I really do appreciate this forum and all the help you guys provide. Thanks!
Fear of the unknown and guilt, most likely. Like I said I haven't been sexually active for very long, and my list of kissing partners is not much longer. It is just the stigma that comes with strippers that scares me. If the encounter was with a regular girl I wouldn't have even registered on this site, even if the risks were similar. If a 2 second kiss with a stripper is not something to be afraid of as far as herpes transmission, please let me know (even if it is the common kind).
You seem confident that STD's (including herpes) from this encounter is a very low possibility, which is reassuring, but I am so unknowledge in this area that any symptom that may or may not be present is something that I want to ask about. I am not saying you are wrong as I know you can't diagnose me with anything from a computer screen even if something were present, but I am just doing my due diligence so I don't neglect anything.
If a sore throat 25-28 days post encounter (with no other visible symptoms other than blocked ears and a tiny bit of a runny nose) is not typical of the herpes virus (1 or 2) or any other type of STD, then I will take that at face value. I'd rather ask a stupid question and get a reassuring response than ignore something that may be a real symptom.
Just answer this so I am clear: Hypothetically, if something STD or herpes related were to happen based on this encounter, it would have happened by now (28 days post encounter) and would have been much more painful/noticeable than a mild sore throat a month later? I realize some show no symptoms, but typically if symptoms do arise, it would have been 2-20 days instead of 25-28 days?
Sorry to keep harping on this. Like I said, even educating myself by asking stupid questions will be worthwhile for me long-term.
Just to update: I plan to take a Western Blot test 4 months (120+ days) post encounter so I can move on from this. I have someone in my life that I do not want to spread anything to, which is why I am so paranoid. It has now been 7.5 weeks (52+ days) since the encounter.
If anyone could answer these questions for me, I would appreciate it.
1) If I had no cold sores prior to this incident (that I am aware of), what is the likelyhood that this incident could cause HSV-1? High, low, in between? What about HSV-2 (my main concern)? It appears this was a low risk encounter as far as STD's (hope you're right) but herpes is what scares me as well.
2) At 7.5 weeks post encounter, I got a pimple just above my moustache. How does one differentiate a pimple and a cold sore? Would a cold sore, whether it is the first one or recurring, be painful and break within 24 hours, or can it closely resemble the characteristics of a normal pimple/acne (i..e no pain, just show up, etc)? I have had acne all my life, especially on my forehead, cheeks, and chin, so it is hard for me to tell the difference, especially when I get one where I normally don't get it (moustache area).
3) My plan is to take the Western Blot (since it is apparently the best test out there) four months post encounter. So I will wait until 120 days have passed. Is that enough time to get a 100% confirmation as far as whether I have herpes or not? I want to avoid retesting for this encounter. I have heard 3-4 months and 6 months. Is 120+ days good enough to where I don't have to test again?
4) Is my partner at any risk if, during the last 7.5 weeks, we have kissed closed mouth? I have not kissed her open mouthed because I am scared to death to do it. I have refrained from sex obviously.
5) Grace, I have read in the past that you said adults can only spread HSV-1 by romantic kissing and HSV-2 by sex. So sharing my spoon, drinking from the same water bottle, using the same towel, etc, poses no risk for transmission if I had either of those?
I know you said I should stop worrying, and you are probably right, and you seem pretty confident that I didn't acquire an STD or herpes from this encounter, but I just want more specific/detailed answers if possible to educate myself on this. It is such a helpless feeling not knowing about something I may or may not have.
If you or anyone else knowledgeable on the isse can answer these questions I would greatly appreciate it.
Question: I have a red blemish on the tip of my upper lip. It is small, flat, and reddish. Doesn't resemble a blister or anything that appears to be ready to pop, but given where it is located it is scaring me a bit. I have a few pimples around my mouth and cheek so it is hard for me to tell what it is. Who would be a better doctor to go to to have this checked out, my regular doctor or a dermatologist? My regular doc did not know what fordyce spots were, but I'm guessing he would know what sores look like.
Also, would you suggest getting tested for herpes after 3 months (90+ days) or 4 months (120+)? Does it make a difference? I am getting tested for HIV, and other STD's at the 90 mark, but want to know if it is worth it to have the herpes Igg test done at the same time or wait another month.
Looking to make an appointment today which is why I need an answer ASAP.
Which would be better, a dermatologist or my primary care physician, at evaluating the face (and possibly other areas) for possible cold sores? I don't know if what I have on my lip is a sore or not, which is why I want someone to look at it.
no you don't need to get something you describe as a blemish checked out dear.
if you need the peace of mind of full std testing from this incredibly low risk encounter, just follow up at the proper times with your regular provider. this is not something you need a specialist for.
You are right Grace. I had three white zits on my face over the last two days and panicked a bit (two were near my mouth) but I realized I can't keep going to the doctor for every blemish. Testing is really my only hope at this point. I am going to get tested next week (90 day mark) for everything under the sun. In your opinion, which is better for STD screening and testing (including herpes), a local Planned Parenthood or my primary care doctor? I like the price and accessibility of PP but the trust factor favors my doctor (even though he may not be an expert on STD's/herpes). Does it make a difference at the end of the day?
Thanks again for your reassuring words. I hope and pray that you are right about this....
I will share my life story to you helpme so you can understand .. First off I live in canada.. I am positive herpes simplex 1.. Trust me you would know the signs of herpes for the first week I felt weak.. And then fever like and then my hips next morning I couldn't move I went to see a doctor to do tests.. I did the test iGg and I got positive for herpes simplex 1 I saw a sore in my lip and I looked inside I pimples on the roof of my mouth I got pills from my doctor and I told my family and I am ok with it you are panicing here the real reason what is going on herpes.. I asked the doctor why it happened to me .. First of he told me that I could of had it long time ago and I didn't know about it ... So I asked him isn't std test included everything he said loud and clear No I said why? He said 80 percent have it.. Meaning everyone have hahahah here the reason are 1= it is too expensive.. 2 it is not deadly.. 3 everyone has it the reason no one knows about it cause everyone think that do STD test include herpes .. Lol soo kissing stripper or not you could had it or will have and if you do be happy you have I rather have herpes then Hiv.. I am not trying to be cold but it is realty so don't stress about.. Be happy and so you know I still have sex and I still date and my life never changed I had few bad days of result but now my family knows my younger had and he kept as secret lol he told at the end when he saw me sad.. All my bosses have it cause I saw the cold sore on there lips and cops have it even my own doctor has lol .. So my point what I am trying to tell you is if you getting stressed about it you will have health problem.. So be happy if you have it and be happy if you don't...
Thanks Grace. I will head out to PP and see what happens. Prepared for the worst but praying for the best.
Madman, thanks for the story. Trust me, I am way more afraid of HIV and anything involving the genitals (I had my genitals checked after 3-4 weeks with my doctor), but I don't want to ignore any signs on my face either. I have read that people do not notice symptoms most of the times, which has stressed me out even more, so I have been trying to analyze everything to make sure I don't miss anything. The stress has definitely gotten to me so as Grace said testing is basically my only option. Hopefully 90 days is enough time to test and be sure of the results.
Sorry Grace, hopefully this is my last question prior to testing.
If I wanted to get tested with my regular doctor, I am assuming an STD screening would have to take place first, correct? How would I go about setting that up? Is there a specific way to do this? Can I call and ask for a routine check-up and then ask the doctor for an STD screen when I see him? I guess my hope is not having to say "I want to set up an appointment for an STD screening" to the person on the phone or to the nurse who sees me prior to the doctor, but if that is unavoidable, then so be it.
you can usually just call your provider, explain why you want std testing done and they will order it for you. trust me, you aren't the only one calling that day even asking for a std screening to be done!!
So if I call my doc and tell him which tests I want, then he can order it for me and do the tests and screening on the same day? That would be ideal. I will give it a shot. Thanks.
One last thing: is there any difference between doing a herpes blood test after 3 months (90 days) or 4 months (120 days)? The doc on this site says 4 months but I have read that 3 months is enough. I don't want to take the test too soon and have to take another test later. What would you recommend? Thanks again!
it actually depends on the test you use and also your previous hsv1 status as to how long to wait to test. the majority of folks will test accurately at the 3 month mark on most tests so generally we use the 3 months mark. If you have hsv1 previously ideally you would wait that extra month but I know it's really hard to even wait 3 months let alone 4.
I took a blood test and urine test for everything at the 12 week mark (82+ days to be exact) and got the results back today.
I was told by my doctor that I was negative for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. He did not give me a numerical value. The test he took was a type specific IGG and I made sure that was what he gave me before blood was drawn (he said he never uses IGM and that anything other than type specific was pointless).
So at this rate, 12 weeks after the exposure, my only blood test showed no antibodies for HSV-1 and HSV-2.
Grace, in your opinion, is further testing for this encounter necessary? Should I wait the 16-week mark (or even the 6 month mark) to test again, just to be sure, or should I accept this result at face value and move on with my life? Obviously if I see symptoms at any point I will go to the doctor, but from purely a blood taking standpoint, what would you do in my place?
I promise I will stop bugging you as I have taken too much of your time already but I just want to be clear on one thing before I depart.
I know that HSV testing is very time sensitive. I took my test at 12 weeks/82 days. A week short of 90 days but around the 3 month mark (not sure if you look at weeks or days when it comes to the monthly total). My main concern is whether I took the test too early. I believe 4 months is more reliable for people who already have HSV-1 (since it could take HSV-2 antibodies longer to show up in that case), but since I am negative for both at 12 weeks, does that mean that the time frame (12 weeks/82 days) mixed with the results (negative for both) and test taken (IGG type specific) make it very unlikely to get a positive result based on this encounter in the future? I know you felt testing wasn't necessary for this encounter in the first place, but did I wait enough time to test in general, in your opinion?
Just want to make sure I covered all my bases and took the test at the right time before I chalk this up to a learning experience. As god as my witness, I am never setting foot in a strip club ever again. Not worth the stress, even with a condom.
Thanks again. Your calm and reassuring thoughts have been very helpful in this agonizing time for me.
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