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Avatar universal

I have an unhealthy amount of fear of HSV2

A few years back, I had a herpes scare that was:

1) Unfounded; my partner most likely didn't have the virus, and
2) Ended up being a misdiagnosis; I had a fungal infection rash, and
3) Was ruled out with blood tests at 6 months, swabs and multiple other doctors visits (including a dermatologist)

The misdiagnosis really put me through the ringer emotionally as I ended up having a nervous breakdown.  Ever since then, I am terrified of the possibility of acquiring the infection from new partners.  It's not so much the fear of the condition, but rather the stigma attached to it.

I live in Canada where you pretty much have to twist a doctors arm and stamp on his/her feet to get HSV blood tests done.  They won't give you one unless you have obvious symptoms or are in undue distress over a misdiagnosis (like my case) or had a high risk exposure with someone known to have the virus.

I recently received unprotected oral and protected vaginal sex with a new girl (27 years old); I'm a 30 year old male.  We spent the night together and did this twice.  I have concerns about this exposure as I am uncertain about her character...you can probably assume I'm second guessing my decision to sleep with her.  I did not do this with the intention of it being a one night stand.  We had actually been on three dates prior to this event, but I'm not sure if she has intentions on continuing to date me due to the way she was acting around me.

1) She had no obvious sores around her mouth and when I told her that I don't get cold sores, she actually became concerned that I had said I felt a cold sore coming on.  Lol, after the confusion was cleared up, she confirmed that she has never had a cold sore before either, though I realize she could still carry the virus.
2) I mentioned to her that I get tested regularly (annually) and that my last test was clean and haven't had any partners since then.  She said that she gets tested regularly too and is also clean, not sure when she was tested last.
3) Before moving to intercourse, SHE insisted I put on a condom (don't worry, I would have anyways), which I think is a good sign on her part.
4) I lasted quite a long time and noticed that there was some brown discharge from her on the condom both times, which smelled like blood.  Prior to insertion she warned me that she hasn't had sex in a while and it might be tight, so I'm wondering if I most likely caused some trauma?  I read brown discharge could be a sign of infection (chlamydia or gonorrhea), could it be caused by herpes too?  She's on birth control, and I have read something about cervical erosion or something like that.
5) I am probably one of the few males my age that has all three shots of the Gardasil vaccine, so I am hopefully safe from the most concerning HPV strains.

Am I at any appreciable risk for herpes or other STDs?  Some of the brown discharge ended up on the base of my penis past the condom, which I washed off after sex.

Is there anything I can or should do to help me alleviate my fear about HSV2?  Routine testing is not an option for us here.  I worry about herpes after every single sexual episode now after my scare.

Sorry for the long post and thank you for taking the time to read and respond!  
7 Responses
15249123 tn?1478656075
COMMUNITY LEADER
Your exposure was a very low risk for any std. Condoms offer really good protection from hsv and every other std. Oral sex is far lower risk as hsv1 would be your only (although extremely low risk as far as hsv is concerned. Oral sex is a very low risk over all. I scare like yours can put anyone on high alert and put hsv on your mind with every exposure. You just have to work at being as safe as possible, which you.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your kind, compassionate and reassuring response.

I won't go through endless scenarios and questions about my exposure as it is not good for my anxiety...I've been there in the past and it wasn't good.  I ended up wasting two years of my life.  And lost at least 6 months.

A couple questions though:

1) I've read that an uninfected individual has an ~1 in 1000 chance of acquiring herpes from an infected partner if they don't have symptoms with unprotected sex.  Do we know what the odds are if an uninfected male wears a condom?

2) Should I have any concerns about my partners discharge?  Or would it be conceivable that it was just due to some trauma from the intercourse?  Especially since she's on birth control and hadn't had sex in a while.

3) Are most people trustworthy when they say they have been tested and are clean?  Obviously, the best idea would be to go for testing prior to engaging in sex, but that doesn't seem to be feasible for most people.
15249123 tn?1478656075
COMMUNITY LEADER
Those stats are correct. Add a condom for a single exposure and that drop considerably. Almost zero. In fact I've never dealt with anyone that contracted hsv from a single or a few protected exposures.

2.no. if it were due to an std she would've had the usual pains associated with the std. Herpes especially.

3.yes, it is far more likely when asked the question you get a truthful answer.

All in all your partner sounds like a very low risk individual. She was concerned about your cold sore (all confusion aside) that means she has not had cold sores. That and she insists on condoms!! Good girl. Lol
Listen my advise would be the same if this were an escort. You are fine. Believe it.
Avatar universal
Awesome!  Thank you for your reassurance :)

Is there anything else I should be doing to protect myself?  Or am I doing a pretty good job?
15249123 tn?1478656075
COMMUNITY LEADER
You're doing it right. Protected intercourse. You could wear protection for oral but that's it
Avatar universal
Her discharge was probably related to menstruation: towards the beginning and end of a women's cycle, when the blood travels more slowly, it undergoes more oxidation resulting in a brown color. On the subject of condom use and herpes, protection only reduces the chances of acquiring herpes by 30%. However, men have a lower chance of infection at around 4% over a six month period. Hope that helps!
15249123 tn?1478656075
COMMUNITY LEADER
Your stats are incorrect for his situation. Yes, condoms offer around 30% better peotection but this is for long term relationships. Not a single exposure.
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