STDs Expert Forum
herpes type 1 transmission
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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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herpes type 1 transmission

2 months ago i contracted genital herpes type 1. this was confirmed through a doctors swab test.
my questions are regarding how i caught this. i have only recently had one partner although we have since separated.

he had some symptoms at the time; burning when urinating and one very small mouth ulcer (no cold sores or visible sores) followed a few days later by swollen armpit gland.

we had oral and vaginal sex while he had these symptoms and i showed symptoms the very next day (severe itching which led to pain when urinating and red spots a couple of days later). we had unprotected sex because we didn t realise that his symptoms where significant of an std. he had eaten alot of beetroot which had turned his urine red and we thought this was the cause of burning when urinating. the burning sensation lasted about 5 days.

so my questions
1. could beetroot have caused the burning when urinating? if so this indicates he may have had oral herpes and i contratced it through oral sex.

2. or .is beetroot not likely to cause this which indicates he had genital herpes and i contracted through genital sex? is type 1 genital to genital transmission likely?

3. if it was that he had genital herpes type 1 rather than oral, then am i right to assume that it was probably his first outbreak? as recurrences with type 1 are rare? which indicates that he must have come into contact with it recently elsewhere...either oral or genital sex?

would appreciate your advice and opinions.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the STD forum.  Sorry to hear you caught herpes.  However, in the long run it probably won't be a big deal for you, because recurrent outbreaks and sexual transmission are much likely than for HSV-2.  Here is a thread that goes into this in detail:    http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/969931

As to how you caught your infection, most likely it was by oral sex; probably your former partner has oral herpes due to HSV-1.  Whether the "small mouth ulcer" was herpes or not is hard to say, but it is possible.  However, it sounds possible his genital burning and "red spots" were herpes and that you are one of those infrequent persons whose catches genital HSV-1 by vaginal intercourse.  Most likely you'll never know for sure.

1) I know nothing about beetroot and have no idea whether it can cause genital burning.  But I doubt it.
2) Genital to genital HSV-1 transmission is uncommon, but of course it occurs from time to time.
3) If your partner had genital HSV-1 and that was the source of your infection, it is likely he acquired it recently.  But not necessarily.

If you are still on good terms with your former partner, you could speak with him and try to learn more.  If he got professional care and had a definite diagnosis of either genital or oral herpes, and if it is known whether the infection was initial or recurrent, that would help sort out these questions.  Without that information, you're never going to know.  But at this point, I don't see that it matters.  While I understand your curiosity about it (and about whether he had sex with other people), at this point it makes no difference with respect to your herpes.

I hope this helps.  Please read the other thread on genital HSV-1; you should find the information reassuring.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD  
4 Comments
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thanks for your quick response. well i had already tried talking to former partner to no avail.

after my own research i agree that beetroot is not likely to cause burning when urinating. so i m assuming this was due to genital herpes type 1. (even though he had no red spots...that was only me!). swollen armpit gland was his only other symptom of it.

and i m assuming it was his first episode as we had previously spoke about sexual health and nothing else had been mentioned. so i m assuming he must have had recent contact with another. probably received oral sex as this seems more likely way of contracting genital herpes type 1...although appears not the case for me.

just after some clarification
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239123_tn?1267651214
An inflamed lymph node in the armpit really doesn't go along with herpes.  But otherwise I agree with your reasoning -- but without more information from your partner, this can be considered a probable conclusion, not a definite one.
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thank you
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