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Herpes Scare

Soooo... I'm back again and please no judgment. I had been seeing a girl for over a month or so consistently every week. The last time we saw each other we had sex (unprotected oral sex that wasn't for long and protected intercourse) which took place on 8/5 - didn't see any sores on her mouth or lips. A week later I was going to pee and saw a dry spot on penis (painless, no swelling,  cluster, discharge, or anything) I wouldnt have seen or felt it had i not looked down. I immediately felt my heart beating out of my chest and my anxiety kicking in (body trembling). I like an idiot jumped on google and looked up "Dry Patch/skin on penis" of course Syphillis popped up and my mind went crazy. I quickly looked up std testing and found a clinic that does walk in. I drive there and they are booked for the day, so they schedule me for the following Monday. I of course get tested for all the stds, while i'm there I get the panel of std testing. of course my anxiety goes up through the roof because the tech couldnt catch my vain for syphllis which is what I was there for, so only tested for HIV, gonn, clymydia. So now i'm looking up where i can get tested for Syphllis and found another stds clinic in the city which can see me that wendesday (2 days later). I go there early before work and get looked at by there doctor. She looks at it and says it looks like dry skin and doesn't think its Syphllis (again not painful or anything just flakes). She continued to ask me about soups or detergents smh. She gets on the computer to order panel test and can see in the system that I was just tested at the other clinic 2 days prior and she tells me that everything was negative there. I explain to her that they couldn't find a vain so they couldn't test me for Syphllis and they were short staff so there was no one else there to try to catch a vain for blood. She literally tested me for everything there too including Syphllis and said that my result might actually get be ready by the end of the visit. went to the lab and got testing done and sat in the waiting room. she called me in after about 20 mins and told me that i was negative. SO everything negative. I go about my day happy that everything came back negative. By this time my mind was already down the rabbit hole with this dry skin thing googling. I wanted a second opinion so i went to a urgent care near my house that following week. she NP too looked and didn't think it was anything but dry skin and actually gave me some anti bacterial ointment to put on it and did testing. 2 days later got my results that everything was negative again. At this time the dry skin started going away with use of the ointment. The following week I start to get low back flank pain and hot burning sensation in the groin area (still not lesion, swollen lymph nodes or anything). I ended up super late at night going to another urgent care to get checked out again. the doctor there looked down there and didnt see anything, of course did testing and again negative. She was thinking this could be UTI, but wasnt sold on it since i had the low back right sided (dull ache). She asked me if i wanted to take antibiotics while i wait for the results and i was hesitant on it. she then suggested we wait for the results to come in and go from there. 3 days later the results were up loaded into the portal... all negative. During this time I felt I had allergy symptoms going (watery eyes, running nose, no cough or mucos or anything). I ended up looking for a primary care physician and was able to get in the following week. explained everthing i just mentioned above and he also checked down there and wasn't too concerned. the Dry skin was gone, so there wasnt anything for him to see .... I am really at a lost as to what is going on. there is a highly ranked STD clinic thats about 2 hours away that I'm thinking on driving too to get checked out for these symptoms. idk why or how I landed on herpes, its nothing else so what else could it be?
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207091 tn?1337709493
Okay, so anxiety is a thing for you, no? Do you see anyone for that? Are you on treatment for that?

Syphilis is very uncommon in developed countries, like the US, Canada, UK, etc. You used a condom and oral sex is lower risk than vaginal or anal sex, so I wouldn't even worry about syphilis.

Also, it doesn't look like a dry spot. If that doesn't clear up, see a dermatologist - maybe eczema or allergy or something.

As far as herpes, have you ever tested? You had this spot for over a month? Almost 6 weeks? That's not herpes. A herpes sore wouldn't last that long, which I'm sure your Googling would have told you.

I don't think you should test for herpes. The hsv2 IgG has false positives, and I don't think your anxiety can handle it, and you had very low risk for it.

I can tell from your previous posts that STDs are a source of anxiety for you, and though I don't understand why, you can reduce this. Before having sex with any new partner, test. Ask your partners to test. Get counseling.

You are doing yourself a disservice by only focusing on STDs as a cause of symptoms. Sometimes, dry skin is just dry skin.

Helpful - 1
Hi  Jessi, why don't you understand STDS being a source of anxiety for me? both of us have been tested and everything negative. As we both know, HSV isn't apart of the panel (dumbest thing in the world) so i'm not sure if she gets cold sores (i just know she didn't have any when I saw her).
I understand that STDs are a source of anxiety for people, and I understand anxiety - I just don't know WHY you are so anxious about STDs. Some people feel guilty about cheating and worry that they might infect a partner, some have a germ-phobia thing, some worry about the stigma.

Knowing why you are so anxious can help me answer your questions.

You had very little risk, and a small spot of dry skin, and have seen 5 medical providers, and not one thought it was an STD. You have tested at least twice, and everything is negative.

You describe symptoms such as increased heart rate, body trembles, going down rabbit holes on Google, and still want to drive 2 hours to go to another STD clinic.

Your partner is negative for syphilis, and yet you are still worried about that. Your rabbit-hole Googling must have told you that your dry spot appearing at a week doesn't fit with the symptoms of syphilis.

They don't do herpes testing regularly because the testing sucks. The hsv1 test misses a full 30% of infections, and the hsv2 test has false positives.

I am not judging you, and I don't mean to sound harsh. Your reaction to this dry spot and some burning is way out of proportion to the risk and symptoms.

You do not have an STD. FIVE doctors have told you that. You don't need to see any more.
I feel like because I’ve had challenges and worries about this in the past it’s like hard for people to take it seriously now. I’m no longer concerned about syphillis  anymore, as I clearly tested negative for it a few times.

I legit don’t know how I landed on herpes thought. I think because everything else was negative, if we’re eliminating options thats what was left.  What are the “symptoms” of herpes ? Outside of the classical blisters. I feel like everyday I feel discomfort that’s off and on down there with no marks or anything.

You asked about my fear or worry, yes I have a partner that I’m worried about the next time I have sex with her. But aside from that it’s really the discomfort aspect of what seems to be a daily thing. I really hate the “low risk” talk because every website you visit doesn’t say that it is “low risk”.  I’m curious as to how many out there have gotten genital herpes from oral Vs vaginal sex. Not sure what to say or do at this point….
Okay, so you have a partner that you're afraid of infecting. Understandable.

I don't know what websites you are visiting, and it's not for me to really address what they post, but many are very conservative in their approach, and have to address a wide range of people. Here, we can address you, one on one, knowing what you did specifically.

We don't know exactly how many people get herpes from oral vs genital. We know that 50% of all new genital herpes infections are genital hsv1, almost always the result of oral sex. We don't know if we know that because more people are getting tested, or because more are getting infected, or we are doing so much better at doing type testing. Not that long ago, we assumed genital herpes was type 2, and some doctors still do.

We know that oral sex is lower risk than vaginal sex or anal sex. We have years of science to prove that. Fewer people get STDs from oral than vaginal or anal.

You say you've eliminated everything except herpes, except you haven't. You haven't eliminated dry skin, eczema, dermatitis, etc.

What you can do at this point is realize that 5 docs have seen you and not one thought it was an STD. Dry skin happens everywhere on your body, including your penis. If you still have it, you can see a dermatologist.

You can address your anxiety and/or guilt by getting therapy.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but you are doing yourself a disservice by only focusing on STDs.
Wanted to give update. I had a doctors appt recently and got type igg testing for hsv 1 and 2.

Below were the results:

Hsv1: 48.80 high positive (doctor said no need for concern because much of the population has it).
Hsv2: <o.90 negative

Your doctor is correct - 67% of the population under 50 has hsv1. It goes up the older you get.

At 48.80, this is almost certainly an established oral infection. It's not a new infection. To get a result with that number, you've had it for some time. I don't know how long - a year, 5 years, 15 years - no idea. Most people with oral hsv1 never get symptoms.

I hope you feel better now.
Hi Jessi,

I’ll be honest, I actually done feel better but I don’t feel worse. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around this because the pain I feel is real down there. I’ve looked around for things to speak to the number of the index, but can’t find too much. Like how do we know it’s an established hsv1 infection vs re infection or active (as to why the number is that high).

Even if I were to go in a limb and believe that what I saw back in August was just dry skin. It’s like my body is stuck in this mode where it can’t go back to normal.  Do you have hSV 1 or 2? Is the mental/anxiety of it worst than the actual thing? I guess it’s hard for me to differentiate.

Like ill be seeing my girl in a couple weeks for the holiday and im just at a lost.
I have hsv2, have for about 20 years.

Reinfection isn't really a thing. Let's use my hsv2 as an example. I have hsv2 antibodies, right? Antibodies form when you have an infection, and in some infections, like herpes, it means you have strong protection against ever getting it again.

I can't ever get it again genitally - I'm already infected there. In theory, I could get it again orally, but my antibodies would very likely prevent that from happening.

Since you have no symptoms that suggest genital herpes type 1, it stands to reason that you have a pre-existing oral infection. Your spot lasted over a month. Herpes sores don't last that long. Five doctors - FIVE - said it wasn't herpes or syphilis. You tested negative for syphilis.

So, your symptoms aren't herpes. Tests say it's not syphilis.

The mental part of herpes was never really a thing for me. I had a relationship with a man I knew had hsv2. I had a good friend who I knew had it since high school. Both my partner and my friend lived really normal lives. They both had been married, had kids, had regular jobs, blah blah blah. It just wasn't a big deal. I know lots of people with oral hsv1. They also live really normal lives.

I have other medical conditions that cause me more pain and issues than herpes ever will, like migraines and allergies. Allergies - indoor and outdoor - bother me every single day. Herpes doesn't. I take one medication for herpes. I take 3 for allergies. I take 3 for migraines. Herpes is just pretty much a non-issue in my life.

Talk to your doctor about your anxiety. That's causing you more issues than herpes ever would, if you had genital herpes. That's what you need to focus on. You do not have genital herpes.
I appreciate you sharing that with me, I understand. So I’ve been reflecting on the timeline a bit and wanted to emphasize that the dry patch didn’t last more than 6 weeks, I think it was about 3-4 ish. Again no pain or outbreak or anything.

Also,  I got my hSV tests done at 11 weeks. Don’t think they’re conclusive?  Should I retest?  

Also, can you speak more to HSV 2 kicking out false positives, if I was to go and retest for it again since it’s now week 15.
You don't need to retest. 12 weeks is officially conclusive, but it's not going to change in a week.

Also, you only had oral sex. Oral hsv2 is rare, and when it happens, it rarely recurs, and rarely transmits, so getting hsv2 from oral sex isn't really a thing. Your concern from this encounter would be genital hsv1. Since you've already tested positive for hsv1, you don't need to worry about that. You can let that go now.

Herpes isn't a concern for this encounter now.

If you were going to throw a false positive for hsv2, it probably would have already happened, but don't push your luck. Stop testing. You don't need to test anymore.

You had dry skin, or eczema or something. It wasn't herpes. Five different doctors told you that. It wasn't syphilis, herpes or any STD. All the doctors agreed on that, and testing confirmed it.

Let this go now. You had dry skin, an allergic reaction to something, eczema, whatever. It wasn't an STD.

You went outside your relationship and freaked out. Now you know your anxiety can not handle you doing that. Hard lesson learned. That's okay. Stay within your relationship. If you feel like you aren't getting something sexually from your partner, just ask for it. Communicate. Women are usually far more open then their partners think they would be.

Therapy helps anxiety. It also helps relationships, as does communication.

You'll be okay. :)
Ok, so are you saying that I can’t get HSV 2 as receiver of oral sex? Have you not heard or know of anyone that’s gotten it that way? The mechanics of that I’m not understanding clearly.

Yes, I did go out of my relationship and will work on that.

The anxiety of this whole thing does have my mind blown. The symptoms I feel are real Jess I really want to be ok
Okay, in theory, you could get hsv2 as a receiver of oral sex. It's just really, really unlikely to ever happen.

The mechanics of that happening would be that someone would have to have an outbreak of oral hsv2 and give you oral sex at the time of the outbreak.

Since oral hsv2 is really uncommon, since it's really uncommon for oral hsv2 to recur or to shed, getting genital hsv2 from receiving oral hsv2 is not something you'd ever have to worry about, realistically. Since you already have antibodies for hsv1, unless you see an actual outbreak on someone's mouth, getting herpes from someone giving you oral sex is just not something you need to worry about.

A good life rule is to not receive oral sex from someone with mouth sores, right? I have genital hsv2, and I wouldn't let someone with mouth sores perform oral sex on me. Nothing against them personally, but I don't know what is causing their mouth sores. Is it syphilis? MRSA? A lack of cleanliness? Burns? Something else? For both our benefits, I'll just pass, thanks.

The person who gave you oral sex didn't have mouth sores, right? You've tested negative for EVERYTHING. Your dry patch has healed. FIVE doctors told you it wasn't an STD. Several tests confirmed that.

You are FINE.

You have anxiety and guilt. You probably have some catastrophic thinking - a counselor can help you with that.

If you have any other lingering symptoms, see your doctor. It is NOT an STD.
3147776 tn?1549545810
Your questions have been as fully answered as possible in this, or any online forum. As noted, please see your doctor if you have further questions.

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