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Could I have Genital Type 1 herpes?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Could I have Genital Type 1 herpes?

I think I may have Genital herpes (Type 1). I have a partner who lives abroad. I visited him three months ago and got four cold sores (ive always had them).I then developed genital soreness and irritation which we put down to a lot of energetic sex! However, this developed into a sort of cut near the vaginal entrance. This was very painful when urinating. When I returned to the UK I saw my GP who was unsure what it was but prescribed Valtrex just in case and sent me to my STD clinic, but by the time I go there the sore/cut had healed and they couldnt swab (they dont offer blood tests). I had no more symptoms until three months later when I visited my partner. Exactly the same thing happened.I purchased Valtrex and it seemed to heal more quickly.I paid for a blood test in his country which was Type 1 positive/Type 2 negative (IgG and IgM). So I still am not sure what I have...
1) How likely is it I have Genital Type 1 given I have had oral Type 1 all my life? Ive read conflicting things. Would having four cold sores make me more vulnerable? Is it more likely (if I have it) I contracted it from my partner genitally (he doesnt have/has not had symptoms for oral/genital but unfortunately is unlikely to get tested) or from myself?
2) Given my symptoms only seem to occur when visiting my partner where I am unable to get swab tests will I ever know what I have?! Is it possible these symptoms are due to rough sex i.e. friction.Ive been tested for all other things, all negative.    
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Almost certainly you do not have genital HSV-1.  Having cold sores (oral HSV-1) doesn't make you more susceptible, just the opposite:  people with herpes are immune, or at least very highly resistant, to getting a new infection with the same virus type anywhere on the body.  Also, sex itself, regardless of how vigorous it is, does not trigger herpes outbreaks.  As you suggest yourself at the end of your question, your symptoms more likely are just due to abrasion during sex.  I would have said there is a slight chance you had acquried genital herpes due to HSV-2, but your blood test result rules that out.

So you can be confident you don't have genital herpes due to either virus type.  If you want even more certainty, you could do what you suggest:  visit the STD clinic the next time you have the genital sore(s), within 1-2 days of onset.  But I really wouldn't worry about it.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
4 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Can I just add that the blood test was (just) over three months since my first symptoms.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey joliz the doctor is probably correct, - 65% of folk will develop IgG antibodies within 6 weeks, although 20% may take up to 6 months. Also, HSV1 antibodies can mess up HSV2 blood test results and plenty of people have been misdiagnosed.

Without meaning to pry, I'd be interested to know which country accepts to do blood tests, yet refuses swabs. Like you say, the UK, as well as most other European states do the opposite.

In the mean time, hang on in there, I've got HSV1&2. My obs are pretty mild, and few and far between, and I don't take pharma suppressives. Vigourous sex may have been the cause of an ob or two, but I've learned how to deal with this.

Bonne chance.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks. I really hope the test was correct although my symptoms do seem to match those of herpes. I was feeling quite relieved but your post has raised m anxieties about the accuracy of the test, which id assumed/hoped was accurate, although i'm very grateful for the information as its important to be fully informed. The test (IgG and IgM) was done in a hospital in Turkey.
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