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How quickly does acyclovir work?
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How quickly does acyclovir work?

I recently had unprotected vaginal and oral sex with a friend.  The next day she told me she had herpies (herpes).  I was floored and overcome with worry.  She told me not to worry and that it wasn't a big deal!  I couldn't believe her response.  Ten days after the encounter, two small red bumps appeared on the shaft of my penis.  I went to the dr the following day and he gave me a blood, urine, and culture test.  I am still waiting for the results.  He also prescribed acyclovir for ten days.  I took the first pill right before I went to sleep.  When I woke up, I checked the progress of the two bumps and they were almost gone. Two days have passed and theyre entirely gone.

My question is this:
Is it possible for acyclovir to work that quickly?
Any info would be greatly appreciated
I am extremely worried that I have herpes
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36 Comments Post a Comment
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101028_tn?1348750963
no acyclovir doesn't work that quickly.

the only testing you had for std's that was accurate 10 days post encounter was gonorrhea and chlamydia. All your other testing was done too early. You can repeat your syphilis, herpes, hiv and hepatitis testing again after 3 months post encounter.

the risk of contracting herpes from a one time encounter, even unprotected is incredibly low.

to best protect yourself in the future , save yourself worrying as well as frequent testing, always engage in protected sexual contact :)

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your response and great advice.   I usually practice safe sex, but since I have known her for a while I thought it was ok, I know, no excuse!  

I also performed oral sex on her and fear I may have contracted oral herpes.

I really want to believe Im ok, but I don't know why those two red bumps appeared in the first place.  It seems only logical, unprotected sex, 10 days later red bumps.  I'll just hope for the best, but being the chronic worrier that I am, I know I won't rest till I know for sure.

One more question if I may:
Im recently divorced and have a 7 year old daughter who stays with me every two weeks.  Ever since this has happened, I have refrained from kissing her on her cheek( I never kiss her on the mouth anyway so thats no problem) I have been using my own soap, towel, washing my hands constantly and cleaning everything I touch.  Can herpes be transmitted through these forms or am I just overreacting?  Sorry for my ignorance on the subject.
Thanks again!!!
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101028_tn?1348750963
everyone in a household should always have their own towel, washcloth, toothbrush, razor and body puff - many common germs are easily transmitted through sharing them.  soap kills herpes and it's ok to share a bar of soap.  

no reason to hand wash more often than usual either.

many things can cause red bumps, not just herpes. considering how quickly these went away, odds are they really are not due to herpes.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks again!   I'm wondering if I should stop taking acyclovir at this point.  I read online that it might make future blood tests for herpes harder to detect
I dont think I would be stressing this much if those bumps didnt appear.

Your thoughts about them disappearing within a day or two even with acyclovir were comforting.
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Avatar_m_tn
When will you get the results ?  Was it just a one time unprotected encounter.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes It was just one encounter both vaginal and oral.  I just got the results of my tests.  HPV 1 positive HPV 2 negative.  I used to get frequent cold sores as a kid so  that didn't come as much a surprise.  I realize it may be too early to test HPV 2 so I will definitely test again in three months, but I will take this as a good sign.

Thanks again
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101028_tn?1348750963
it's hsv, not hpv. totally different viruses.

up to you if you want to stop the acyclovir or not since symptoms are gone. should you get a return of symptoms, be seen again promptly.
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Avatar_m_tn
My apologies hsv 1 positive hsv2 negative not hpv.

I understand that i need to test again in 3 months, but since there were red bumps and i did get a culture swab test and it came back negative, how accurate is a culture swab test 11 days after possible exposure?
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Avatar_m_tn
I should also include that I was seen by the dr and swab tested the next day after the appearance of the bumps.
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101028_tn?1348750963
lesion cultures have high false negative rates which is why we recommend the follow up testing.
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Avatar_m_tn
I read online that swab tests are most accurate at first site of appearance (24 to 48 hours).

Is this true?

I don't want to freak out for the next three months, so I will hope for the best.

Thanks again for all your help.
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101028_tn?1348750963
yes they are most accurate when done during that time period.
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Avatar_m_tn
Can a swab test be conducted too early?

In my calculations, the dr took the sample approximately 20 hours after red bumps first appeared.
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Avatar_m_tn
I figure that if two bumps were clearly there then it would seem logical that an accurate sample could be taken.  I hope I not wrong in thinking that.
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Avatar_m_tn
It's been 23 days since my encounter.  Although the swab test came back negative, I'm feeling slight pressure in my lower stomach, very mild burning in penis off and on for the past five days, and very mild back and leg pain.  Seven days into me taking acuclovir, a small red dot appeared on the tip on penis but disappeared 4 days later.  Are these symptoms of herpes? I don't know what to do?
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Avatar_n_tn
Are you still taking acyclovir? You shouldn't, since you never had a positive result for herpes
Herpetic bumps don't fade quickly, trust me. But stop the acyclovir anyway - if you do have herpes, as you might believe you have, acyclovir will make the swab results unreliable.
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Avatar_m_tn
I began taking acyclovir on the 4th of April and completed pills on the 10th as my doctor advised.  The day before I started taking pills two bumps appeared on my shaft.  The next day after taking pills they were gone.  Then on the  11th  a single bump on the head appeared, but disappeared 4 days later. Then the burning feeling in my penis and pressure.   All of them were bumps barely raised.  Is this typical on acyclovir?   Is it herpes? I should add that the swab test was done before any medication.  Should I go back to my doctor?  Im not sure what to do.  Please help
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101028_tn?1348750963
this doesn't sound like herpes going on.

continue to follow up with your provider as needed for your ongoing symptoms.
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Avatar_m_tn
I rushed to my doctor because a rash appeared on the head of my penis.  He said it didn't look like herpes.  He gave me a urine test and the results were normal.  He told me to relax and drink plenty of water and  cranberry juice.  I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted.  
I keep thinking that because I had unprotected intercourse with my friend and she admitted to having herpes then I should have it too since I've never had these symptoms before.
How do I get passed this?
Any suggestions would be highly appreciated
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Avatar_m_tn
BTW rash is completely gone after two days.
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101028_tn?1348750963
perhaps it's time to seek out professional counseling for your anxiety?
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Avatar_m_tn
Quite possibly...
Thank you for your patience and good advice
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok I made an appointment with a councelor but he can't see me until the 11th of may.   On Sunday day 29 post encounter I engaged in masturbation and a few hours brokeout in a terrible rash on the head and partial shaft.  It was blotchy with tiny bumps and red dots, very pronounced.  I have read that mastubating can bring on a herpes outbreak so I rushed to urgent care for the third time.  upon this obversation the same dr I have been seeing  decided another swab  swab test
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101028_tn?1348750963
did you use a lube when you masturbated? if so, was it a sex lube or a shower gel or body lotion?

no, herpes won't appear in a few hours after masturbation. your symptoms also do not sound like a herpes recurrence at all either.
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Avatar_m_tn
Swab test was warranted and he mentioned that he still thought it wasn't herpes.  I took the test and went on my way.   The very next morning the rash was almost completely gone.   Pretty much all of the redness on the head disappeared with only a little redness on the shaft still there today.  I'm still feeling slight pain and pressure in penis.  I get the results of the swab test tomorrow.
I guess I'm looking for reassurance once again.
Is this herpes?  I really hope it's not!!
If it inst I don't know what could be causing this constant pain  
Thanks in advance
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Avatar_m_tn
No lube was used
Thanks again for your quick response!
I'm so stressed
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Avatar_m_tn
The dr also prescribed another round of acyclovir but I didn't take it.  As a previous post mentioned I shouldn't take the medication until I know for sure.  Is that the right course of action at this time?
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101028_tn?1348750963
use a good lube when you masturbate dear! You have to be kind to the little guy - not irritate him by rubbing your hand over him dry!
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Avatar_m_tn
That's why I'm so concerned because for so many years it's never been a problem I feel doomed.
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101028_tn?1348750963
just because it's never been a problem before doesn't mean that your penis isn't more sensitive as of late and you are just further irritating him by not treating him kindly.  
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Avatar_m_tn
The results of my second culture test came back negative.   I told my doctor I was still having mild pressure and pain in my penis.  He told me its all in my head and I'm stressing myself out.  Eventhouh i thought that hearing  a negative result would calm me down, I'm still feeling this real pain as it has occurred  on and off for the past couple weeks.  Because I didn't have a blister or open sore, I feel the results are not accurate.  

Am I justified in thinking that despite the doctor saying both tests were accurate?

Is my constant pain a sign of herpes?
I'm so ready to put this behind me as it is truly affecting every aspect of my life
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Avatar_m_tn
Hang in there.  You won't have true relief until you're able to do a blood test at 3 months. I know, because I'm still waiting to have mine done (in 2 weeks) and it hasn't been out of my mind the entire time.  I have spent 2 months obsessing to the point of becoming very sick...either from actual symptoms of an infection or from severe anxiety/guilt/depression.  Unfortunately, I have OCD, so that makes my anxiety even worse!  

But hang in there until you can get an igg blood test!
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes I totally understand.  It's very difficult  to think of anything else.   I don't think I would be worrying this excessively if it werent for this constant pain.  I guess it's just a waiting game at this point.

Thanks for your response.  All the good luck to you
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101028_tn?1348750963
you are wasting too much time thinking herpes. consider the counseling to help you with this anxiety so you can get back to living your life .
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Avatar_m_tn
Grace u are so right.  I'm so tired of stressing over this I will just have to wait until June  to take a blood test.  I'm still having these symptoms and that doesn't make it any easier.  This morning I noticed the same little red dots/bumps on the same spot on my penis head.  The same thing happened last weekend only for them to disappear a few days later.  Mild burning still continue
Is it a symptom of herpes  for these appearances every week and disappear a few days later? Accompanied by groin pain?
Also seems futile sees the dr at this point
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Avatar_m_tn
Okay you *seriously* need to calm down as much as you can about this.
If she did not have an outbreak when you had sex (which is highly likely since you gave her oral and would probably have noticed) then you could only have contracted hsv from her through "viral shedding". I have read that the chances of this happening are between 5-8% (it decreases to 2% if the infected person is taking suppression drugs).

There is absolutely nothing you can do about it at this point. You either have it or you don't. STRESSING about it in the meantime and inspecting your penis every 10 minutes and freaking out about razor burn will NOT help the situation.

I really hope you don't have it because do you know the single biggest trigger of herpes outbreaks? STRESS.
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