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Transmission of HSV1 worries
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Transmission of HSV1 worries

Hey Grace

I know I have posted here before and you are supposed to use your own thread when you repost but I cant seem to find my old one sorry :(
Could you let me know if there is an easier way to find old posts for future posting?

Anyway I have a quick question for you.
Today I went to my doctor as I am so sick of getting coldsores! I have had three this month and they are getting me quite down as Ive just got a new bf so its not an ideal time to be having an attack of the coldsores. I know there is really nothing you can do but I wanted to speak to a doctor just incase.

Anyway she said to me that she 'hopes I wash my hands after I touch a coldsore as It is very easy to spread genitally'. I said I do but have read lots and heard that if you have hsv1 orally for over about 6 weeks (ive had it since I was a baby) that you produce antibodies and cant get it in another location.
She told me that was not true and that it is very easy to spread it down there just from not washing my hands. She went on and on and made me feel like It was just a matter a of time before I slip up and forget to wash my hands and get hsv1 genitally.

She isn't an STD doctor and didnt seem to know much about the hsv1 disease but her comments have upset and worried me. I always wash my hands but now im so scared I will forget and give myself genital herpes :(

Can you please clarify what she has said is correct? Everything I have read says you produce antibodies that protect you from getting the same strain at a new location unless you have an immune disease (which to my knowledge I dont) yet she contradicted this.

Can you please tell me which is accurate. Im now upset and worried all over again! thanks so much
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23 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Katie I am also worried about the same thing... I never thought twice about being able to spread it genitally... But im terrified that I have.... Because I wasn't careful...
I don't want to scare you, and I certainly want to be free of genital hsv... I'm not officially diagnosed yet... Drs keep brushing it off cuz they think something else is wrong wit me, not herpes. I really really hope that they are right!!! But I won't be confident unless I get another neg swab!
Again Not trying to scare you more. I would like to know the answer myself actually...
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Avatar_n_tn
Sounds like you're talking about  "Autoinoculation" Transmitting the virus from one part of the body to another.

Seems to me that if you've had it since you were a baby then there would have been plenty of  chances (even accidentally) to have spread it to your genitals throughout your lifetime after touching it orally....assuming you've been getting cold sores since you were a kid. And yet as of yet you apparently haven't had any problems. But I too will be interested to see what Grace's response is. I've read conflicting posts on this.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your responses. Ive done lots of research while anxiously waiting for grace or another expert to reply and the majority of research says you cant transfer it to another place. Even Wikipedia says it!! Tiredofgirlyproblems, have you had negative swabs? Would that not mean you are negative!? Do you also get coldsores? And have you had them for a while?

IDTB I agree with you that if I could infect myself genitally I probably would have by now, I have had them frequently since I was a baby.

Anyway I hope so much my doc was wrong. I am so worried now I will accidently slip up and give myself GH.
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897535_tn?1295210035
IDTB gave good advice. Autoinnoculation is rare to begin with, and almost always happens with the primary infection. Those of us who have herpes as well (either oral, genital or both) can safely say we've not autoinnoculated ourselves. As well, about 60% the adult population has oral herpes, and they too are not spreading it like wildfire to their genitals.

Instead of Wikipedia, consider reliable sources for information. The Herpes Handbook is one (you can google it), as is ASHASTD.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks petal, I am googling it as we speak!!
I thought I would do the responsible thing by going to my doctor but she told me the opposite! hence why I got confused!!!
So just to clarify, I am quite safe from spreading it to my genitals?
My doc really upset me, she made it sound like it was just a matter of time before it happenend :(
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Avatar_m_tn
PS I note you said in you rpost 'Those of us who have herpes as well (either oral, genital or both) can safely say we've not autoinnoculated ourselves'. The word 'both'  in that sentence is not helping my confusion lol.
So you can get both oral and genital? or are you refering to two different strains?
Thanks again for your help :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Katie, I hate saying this, but 'some' of the doctors out there are pretty good at scaring people unnecessarily sometimes. And some of them also give conflicting opinions from each other. It's the whole reason I came to these boards recently in the first place, was because of provider's hasty conclusion based on a visual examination that I had herpes, even before tests were run. The symptom I had (a single pimple and a little rash in one spot) was not even typical of what some consider a primary herpes OB. But tests were run and while waiting on the results I even went to a dermatologist  for a second opinion and he totally said the opposite, that I my symptom looked nothing like herpes but was dermatitis of some kind. As it turned out, the Herpes tests came back negative.

Also, I will tell you from experience, that some doctors don't like being contradicted by the patient, no matter what sources you may cite to them. And they don't like you telling them that another Doctor said this or that. Maybe it's an ego thing, who knows.

But anyway, I like to think most providers are pretty up to date on the latest health info as well as recommended testing methods etc. But some aren't. Simple fact.

I wouldn't worry yourself over what that doctor said to you. Think of it this way, if she had never said that to you, you'd be going about your business just as you always have for years. You were already aware about the cold sores and you know to avoid contact with the new BF when having out breaks etc. Other than some kind of suppressive therapy possibly, there's probably nothing that doctor could tell you that you don't already know about your cold sores.
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101028_tn?1348750963
you aren't going to transmit your own hsv1 oral infection to your genital area. Even if you were really flexible and were pleasuring yourself, it's unlikely to happen and it's certainly NEVER going to happen from touching a cold sore and then not touching your hands before touching your genitals. The provider who told you this was full of you know what!!  Now it's certainly good hygiene to wash your hands after touching a cold sore but it's not going to in time result in you transmitting hsv1 to other body parts if you don't.

3 cold sores in a month would be unusual. Work with a dermatologist to try to figure out what is going on. perhaps it's a reaction to toothpastes, chewing gum, teeth whiteners, mouthwash or lip products?

I believe petal's use of both was referring to that those of us with herpes simplex, no matter what type or what body part, are not transmitting the virus all over our bodies. It's not that easy to do in the first place and once the initial infection is over, is even less likely to occur.

grace
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Avatar_n_tn
Also, just to clarify myself so you don't misunderstand me, I wasn't saying that you contradicted your Doctor or that you told her another Dr. said this or that. I was just giving you specific examples of my own experiences.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thankyou so much for your responses!!  I honestly thought I was being responsible by going to the doctor but she terrified me!!!
Im sure there must have been a time where I have touched my coldsore then with out realising scratched or itched something on my genitals, im sure it will happen in the future also and im glad to know it wont infect me elsewhere.

IDTB , I totaly understand your experiences with doctors! Once I went to a doc as I was bleeding from the skin in my genitals and it hurt.  I was seen by the nurse first who I told my symptoms and without examining me or testing me she told me I had herpes. She gave me a book to read or herpes as I sat for an hour bawling my eyes out in the waiting room waiting to be seen by the doctor.  The doctor then took one look at me and said I have a perfect tear in my genitals and there was no way it was herpes. She said she would test it (as I wasnt convinced) and yes it was negative and the tear healed up the following day. So I gues not all doctors and nurses are correct!

Grace; thanks so much for your clarification!
You said I couldnt transfer my own herpes genitally, but what it I came in contact with someone else who had HSV1. Could they transfer it to my genitals?
Also does having hsv1 orally protect you more genitally than not having hsv1 orally?
For example if a guy with an hsv1 coldsore went down on two girls, one with oral hsv1 and one without would the girl who already has hsv1 be protected alot more than the other?

In that case, as much as I HATE my coldsores it may be good if its protecting me from getting that strain genitally!!

Thanksa again, I look forward to your replies. They are so accurate and really help me  understand and better protect myself and my bf
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Avatar_m_tn
O and  one more thing Grace (sorry about the questions)

My doctor said I shouldnt have sex when I have an oral outbreak as its to risky to spread.
Is this true? She mentioned it was to easy to brush the oral sore then touch my own or my partners genitals and this would make it spread.
If my partner has hsv1 also (which I assume he does as he has have a coldsore before) are we at risk or spreading it round or making him come up in an outbreak?
Im trying to take all the correct measures here not to spread this coldsore to my own or my partners genitals.

Lastly I have ezemca on my bottom and thighs at the moment and sometimes I scratch it so much I make it bleed. If I have forgotten to wash my hands after touching a coldsore will this make it more easy for the virus to move genitally?
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes I had a neg swab however it was a swab of a taste bud looking bump, not I have an open cut!!! I'm a little freaked out!!! Yes I get cold sores... I was in denial I guess... I knew I've had blisters on my lip every once in a while but I always thought that it was due to me biting my lip all the time!
So I was never careful with my cold sores... Hence the reason why I'm scared!!!
I got a swab test on this sore tho... So I'll find out if it is or isn't hsv1.
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Avatar_m_tn
Let me know how you get on tiredofgirlyproblems.

Im sure it wont be hsv1, as you cant transfer it to your genitals!!!
I bet its an ingrown hair or something like that, I sometimes get them down my bikini line (i have one now) and I panicked and went to three different doctors who all said herpes def wasn't the case and they were just irritations on the skkin, which happens!!!
They all refused to swap it.
I just hate any lump or bump that occurs down there, its always soo scary :(
sigh :(
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Avatar_f_tn
I will update... When I get my results
Well this is in the inside of my vaginal lip... So no hair!! It's def a cut, the OBGYN told me it looks like a cut. To me looks circular which is why I'm scared. but it's smack dab in the middle of one of my oil glands... Atleast I think it's an oil gland, you know those normal grooves on the inside that almost look like bumps, some women have it more pronounced than others, any way it's in the middle of one of those "bumps"
I hope the test is neg!!!!!!! I know it's almost impossible but I've been having so many problems that I have been freaking out about everything!!!
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101028_tn?1348750963
you and your partner can have sex when you have cold sores- just don't perform oral on the other when you have an active cold sore ( for many reasons ).   since you both have hsv1 orally, ok to kiss with cold sores if you want to.

you are very unlikely to contract hsv1 genitally from someone with hsv1 orally performing oral on you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks Grace!

I did a dumb thing today and I just need you to clarify I havent put myself at risk.
I was trying to cover up my coldsore so I put layer upon layer of foundation, lip gloss and a bit of moisturiser on top to try and cover it.
At one stage I would have touched my coldsore, dipped in in my moisturiser then put more on my lip.
I then continued to put more make up on my face and get ready etc.

I then did the dumbest thing which is worryin me again. I have a shaving rash in my bikini line (i always get it there from shaving and have had doctors look and comfirm its just shaving rash) then without thinking I put my hand back in the moisturiser and applied it to the rash on my genitals.
As mentioned I touched my coldsore then the moisturiser before so the virus must have been in the moisturiser. I have read it can stay in moist places for hours and it was only about five minutes later that I applied it to my genitals.

Im so worried I have transmitted it down there.
This is sooo tiring for me to have all these worries. You have no idea how stressed I am. Trying to control three coldsores in one month is hard :(

Grace can you tell me if I am at risk?
You dont need to go into detail as im well aware im being annoying. Just a yes im at risk or no im not would be great.

Thanks again sooo much
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Avatar_m_tn
O gosh I just read something on the net that says you will likely only transfer herpes to you genitals if you have other skin conditions like eczema ....

I HAVE ECZEMA!!!!

Ive again had it since I was a kid and its not severe but at the momment I have it down the backs of my legs and on my bottom.
I am honestly now so dam stressed!!!!!!!!
Should I just give up and accept that I will get herpes down there.
I am honestly so stressed Grace.
Please help me.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know exactly how you feel. I'm sorry that I can't answer your question but all I know is that I'm just as paranoid as you are... I keep looking up my symptom on the net and only bump into herpes!!! If its herpes on my vagina then it's hsv1... Ugh... I think I'm being pretty annoying..,  alot worse then you... now I think I've had this cut before in the SAME EXACT SPOT but brushed it off as being nothing because it didn't hurt or bother me at all... Just like this one doesn't really Hurt or bother me... I can pee just fine... No stinging... I can walk just fine, but the fact that I now remeber having this before like maybe a couple months ago when my yeast infection was running wild scares me! I swear it was in the same spot!! Nothing else reappears in the same spot! Crap!!!!!
I'm sorry I'm prolly just scaring you more... I hope it's not ghsv1!!! I'm just so scared!
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101028_tn?1348750963
calm down dear !!!

this is not an issue. It's not THAT easy to transmit herpes to other body parts. You really are not dripping virus from cold sores to transmit to other body parts as well as having it on one body part, protects you from getting it on other body parts.

I want you to write this on a post it note and put it on your bathroom mirror - I AM NOT A WALKING BIOHAZARD!!!
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897535_tn?1295210035
Autoinoculation threads from the STD expert's forum, and as we've already told you multiple times now:

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/Autoinoculation/show/246786

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/Autoinoculation/show/247146

You're spending way too much time on the net, and no doubt reading at times erroneous, anxiety causing information. Move on from the thought of giving yourself genital herpes!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey Grace/community members.

I have a new question. Herpes is on my mind and I just cant get it off :(
I have this new problem which im worried could be herpes.

I have a new bf (been about 3 months) and before that I hadn't had sex in years!! Ive been with two other guys. I have never had unportected sex. One was in a long term relationship and we were both virgins so I dont see to much of a problem there.
The second one I only slept with once before we decided it wasnt working. He wasn't a virgin but we used a condom and he was tested 3 weeks before and was clean (however I dont think a standard test includes herpes).

Anyway since this new bf has come along I have started taking a bit more care down there and have been shaving. It is giving me the most horrible rashes. I seem to keep getting rashes down my bikini line and they are stubborn and take forever to clean up.
I panicked when it first happened and went to a doctor who told me it def wasn't herpes and just a rash from shaving. She gave me some cream and it cleared up in a few days.

But a month or so later the rash is back. It is like small red bumps down my bikini line that seem to come and go. One is very stubborn and has been there for a week. My actual genitals (inside vagina, lips and right round to my anus) are totally fine. I check everyday. Yet this rash in my bikini line really concerns me. Should I go back for another opinion?
It doesnt hurt, itch or anything, I wouldnt even notice if I wasnt so obsessed with checking.

Also another question about condom use.
I read it was uncommon for herpes to appear in the hair areas for a male and it most often occurs on the penis. If so are females more protected from condom use than vise versa? Can herpes pass through the latex condom? And if a male is shedding does he most often shed from his penis which again is protected by the condom?

Thanks heaps grace!!!
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101028_tn?1348750963
shaving rashes are common. our genital skin is very delicate and the hair is actually there for a reason - to protect it :)  Perhaps consider a different type of hair removal or even just buy a hair trimmer and keep the hair trimmed low over most of the area and then shave off the hair in the crease of your legs so you don't look like grandma ;)

don't shave on the skin again until it's back to normal. If it takes more than a week for the rash to disappear, see your provider for treatment.

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Avatar_m_tn
Hello Katie,
I have had the same issues and concerns as you, in the past. I highly recommend going on "suppressive therapy." I told my doctor how often I was getting cold sores, and how paranoid and worried it made me, and she put me on 400 mg of Acyclovir per day (1 pill per day). I just started today. My friend told me that she has not had a cold sore since she started this treatment as well. This will greatly cut down your worries because you can't spread a cold sore on your mouth if you dont have one!
Also, just today my doctor told me that it is not easy to transmit your cold sore from your mouth to your genital area (I was worried about shower water). And she told me not to worry.
Good luck.
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