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HSV1/HSV2 Transmission

I'm new to this forum, waiting on test results for HSV after a stupid one-time encounter with an acquaintance. This is the scenario:

Eight days ago, I engaged in reciprocal oral sex with a new partner. He displayed no signs of HSV from what I could tell, but I know that is common. We each performed oral sex on each other a couple of times, kissing in between.

Almost immediately after this encounter, I began to feel unusually fatigued and my vaginal area began to feel uncomfortable. Three days later, I woke up with an awful sore throat and flu-like symptoms (fatigue, fever/chills, dizziness, headache, muscle aches). I went to urgent care and was diagnosed with a sinus infection and a UTI, because there were no visible signs of anything when the did a vaginal exam and the strep text was negative. I was prescribed antibiotics (Levaquin) for 7 days.

Yesterday - 3 days/4 doses into the Levaquin - my throat felt better but the vaginal symptoms were worse - somewhat itchy and increasingly painful, and it had become extremely painful to urinate. I went back to urgent care and was immediately (tentatively) diagnosed with HSV when the doctor saw blisters in the vaginal region that evidently hadn't been there previously. He took me off the antibiotics and put me on Acyclovir for 10 days and a single dose of an anti-fungal in case it happened to be a yeast infection.

It's only been about 30 hours, but the new meds seem to be helping in the genital region. However, since going off the antibiotics my sore throat has returned and I see white spots amidst redness elsewhere (plus very swollen glands). I'm waiting on swab results, but given the situation and my symptoms I'm not optimistic about a "clean" result. At this point I'm just hoping that this is HSV-1 rather than HSV-2. Most of the research I've done so far indicates that it is very unlikely that this would be HSV-2 since we only had oral sex, but I have a couple of concerns/questions:

1) Would it be possible for him to pass HSV-2 to me if I performed oral sex on him, we kissed, and then he performed oral sex on me? I know oral HSV-2 is extremely rare, but I am concerned that within one encounter our mouths could have preserved the virus enough to have transmitted it from his genitals to mine despite no actual contact.

2 ) It seems like people don't tend to get a single type of HSV in more than one location on their bodies, but given how many people are acquiring HSV-1 from oral sex, that seems surprising. I would assume that the oral sex is generally preceded by kissing, so wouldn't the virus transmit to both places within the same encounter?

     2a) Relatedly, given that I have both genital blisters and white spots on a very sore throat, it seems like I might have acquired the virus in both places. Is this possible, with either HSV-1 or HSV-2? They did not swab my throat during my second visit to urgent care, because it seemed to be clearing up with antibiotics and I don't even think I mentioned it as a concern, but it "flared" again today. The fact that it did seem to subside with antibiotics seems to suggest a separate (bacterial) infection, but I really don't know.

I am completely terrified. My biggest concern is whether I could have contracted HSV-2 through the scenario described above, but advice on any of these questions would be much appreciated while I wait for swab results.
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Avatar universal
*Shedding rates over time would also be helpful!
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Avatar universal
what is Hsv     , and what is its symptoms?
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Avatar universal
I received my diagnosis yesterday: mono and genital HSV-1. I am devastated, and I would really appreciate being pointed toward reliable resources related to:

1) Risk of transmission of genital HSV-1 both genital-to-genital and genital-to-mouth, both female-to-male and male-to-female, accounting for a partner who already has HSV-1 antibodies and one who does not. I've seen too many different numbers to know what is reliable, and I am interested in the specific breakdown in terms of transmission type (i.e. to a partner's mouth vs their genitals) and how previous HSV-1 exposure/antibodies affects the risk. I know that genital HSV-1 is still relatively "young" in terms of how long it's unique characteristics (outbreak likelihood/frequency/severity, shedding and transmission rates, etc.) have been studied, but is there information out there upon which people could reasonably rely?

2) Supportive forums and communities in which HSV+ individuals have shared advice about how to get through the psychological shock, shame, and fear associated with this diagnosis and not to allow the stigma and ignorance surrounding HSV to affect their sense of self-worth or identity as a sexual being. I have no intention of engaging in a sexual relationship any time soon, but right now I feel like I am no longer even allowed to flirt with someone because there is a miniscule chance that if we ended up dating I might transmit a benign skin condition to them. I am terrified that no one will be willing to accept this about me, and that a single, low-risk encounter in which I got incredibly unlucky has ruined my chance to find a partner. I can't live my life like that, and now that I've become more familiar with HSV, it seems beyond ridiculous that our society reacts to it the way we do. How have people been able to rise above this and live normal lives, sexually and otherwise?

I'm sure more questions will arise as this information sinks in, but these are my two primary concerns as I try to cope with this diagnosis. Thank you for any advice you can provide.
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2 Comments
Hi there. I know it’s been 3 years since you posted but almond  this exact scenario happened to me ( minus the mono). I’m curious if you found any help with online forums for dealing with genital HSV 1. Are you having frequent outbreaks ?  Do you take any supplements that you feel help?  Thank you for any information you can share.
Hi -

Genital hsv1 usually recurs much less frequently than ghsv2, and sheds a lot less. If your partner already has hsv1, you can't transmit it to them.

Some people swear by supplements like l-lysine, but studies are mixed on that. If you find you have a lot of outbreaks, you can take suppressive therapy, like daily valtrex or acyclovir, which also reduces shedding. You can find more on ghsv1 in the Herpes Handbook  - it's free and found here - https://westoverheights.com/herpes/the-updated-herpes-handbook/
Avatar universal
We do understand the confronting issues at have here. It is a case of waiting to see. The list of things that produces blisters and lesions genitally is huge.... yeast, molluscum, scabies, eczema. ringworms, shingles, folliculitis etc.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you again! I went back to urgent care for the 3rd time in a week (I'm away from home for an internship this summer and don't have access to my usual clinic) when I woke up this morning and my throat hurt worse than ever. I don't think it has ever been so swollen.

A PA listened to my symptoms and thought it might be mono. I had stumbled across the mono-with-reactive-genital-ulcers diagnosis last night during my obsessive research, so I wondered if it would come up. He said this would be rare (which I already assumed), and the rapid "prick" blood test was negative for mono, but as I'm learning, blood tests give false negatives frequently and detecting antibodies would depend on the stage of illness. They drew blood to further test for mono and other potential causes of fatigue, having swabbed and found no bacterial infection in my throat (again). I did not have enough of a sore on my lip to swab, it's barely visible after a couple applications of tea tree oil. I was prescribed 5 days of prednisone and a lidocaine-based mouthwash for the pain, since they still couldn't identify the type of infection.

So, given that the Acyclovir has made it worse, if anything, you may well be right that the throat issues have nothing to do with HSV. I'm just wondering if you (or anyone) has ever heard of this mono possibility? Or other reactive genital ulcer conditions (which are uncommon but apparently occur after systemic illness like mono or tonsillitis). I haven't seen that kind of discussion anywhere in my research, but that doesn't mean it's not there.

Anyway, I know that ultimately I just have to wait for the swab results (supposedly coming back tomorrow), but in the meantime it is helpful for me to try to talk out some of these nagging thoughts that keep coming up. Your knowledge is much appreciated!
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Avatar universal
I'd be pretty sure that your throat issues are unrelated to herpes. You should investigate with your doctor as to whether antibiotics are required.

I would suggest that the main thing helping is the acyclovir and your own body starting to respond to the virus (if that is what it is).

One little lip sore when you are so stressed is not overly suggestive of herpes associated with a primary infection. You could try for a swab but I'm willing to bet there isn't much to it.
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Avatar universal
Thank you so much! That's basically what I thought, but I'm an extremely anxious person and my thoughts are racing right now. I called about my swab today amd I asked to make sure they're typing it (they are), but results won't be back until tomorrow or the next day. I'm miserable and, like so many people on here, I can't believe this is happening to me, I couldn't be much less sexually active!

Shortly after writing my post yesterday, I did see a sore start to come up on my lip. I put some tea tree oil on it and it seems to have stopped it from getting worse. It's also helping the vaginal blisters. It seems incredibly unlikely to be anything but a cold sore, although my throat is much sorer than I would expect for HSV-1, it's super red, my glands are incredibly swollen, and got worse when I got off the antibiotics (the same day I got on the Acyclovir, and my throat pretty much immediately went from on-the-mend to very painful again, and hhasn't gotten better with the Acycolovir) and now there aren't really spots/blisters but just white patches. Very confusing.

I guess that's just a long preamble to: 1) Do you think it's possible for this to be anything else? It seems like a textbook case :(. 2) Do you think I should avoid treating my lip in order to get it swabbed?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Good questions and you will need testing to sort this out.

Overall though, there is pretty much no way this is HSV2. Overwhelmingly HSV1 is the predominant risk... 100 times more likely than HSV2.

The virus cannot transfer practically from penis to mouth to vagina. It needs to be more direct.

If your vaginal blisters swab positive (and make sure they test correctly for type) for HSV1 then yes it is possible to also have acquired an oral infection. However your throat issues are probably not herpes related; more likely your lips would at least be involved.

You are unlikely to have spread the infection, infection occurs at the time of contact but could be in both places.

I'm sorry but you need to await the swab results to progress this any further. Have any lip lesions swabbed if they emerge.
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