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Curious and Concerned


On Friday night (6/7) I slept with a friend of mine. I'm male, she's female. I had sex with her once and wore a condom. She told me that she used to date somebody that had herpes, but had since been tested and it came back negative. She said she was pretty sure that, when she got tested, it had been over three months since she'd slept with that person, and that she'd tried to get tested immediately after ending the relationship with him, but was told it was too soon to get reliable results. I have every reason to believe what she tells me. I'm wondering if I should still be concerned about having caught it.

She didn't specify which type he had, but I assumed it was genital because that's the one that people seem to be cconcerned about. I got blood tested for herpes last year; it came back positive for type 1, negative for type 2. I know I'm a worrier (to an OCD extent), and that undoubtedly is playing some role in how I'm feeling about this. I have a tendency to catastrophize any itch or other sensation I feel in my genital region, assuming it some type of disease.

Anyway, does it sound like I have legitimate reason to worry from this? Should I feel like I need to mention a possible exposure to future partners?

I have one other quick question on a different topic: If you have a wart on your hand, is there reason to worry about it transferring to genitals?

Thank you.
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239123 tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.  Thanks for your question.

My first advice really is for your friend:  She should stop telling partners about her past partner with herpes!  Nobody is ever obligated to inform partners about exposures that didn't lead to known infection.  All this usually does is create anxieties (like yours!) without preventing any infections -- i.e. the only effect is almost always purely negative, with no good coming from it.  You would be better off not knowing this about her.

And even if your partner has genital herpes, the likelihood of transmission during a single episode of condom protected sex probably is no higher than 1 chance in many thousand if she has HSV-2 and 1 in a million if HSV-1 (in other words, zero for practical purposes).  And since she probably doesn't have genital herpes anyway, it is safe to assume there was no risk at all.

"does it sound like I have legitimate reason to worry from this?"  No, you do not, for the reasons above.

"Should I feel like I need to mention a possible exposure to future partners?"  Absolutely not!

Various HPV types have predilections for different body tissues.  Hand warts are usually caused by HPV types (especially HSV-1) that do not easily cause genital infection.  I have never seen a case of genital warts believed to have originated from hand warts, either self-transmitted or by masturbation by a partner.  Don't worry about it.

I hope this has been helpful.  Do advise your partner to keep her past herpes exposure quiet unless and until she is diagnosed as being infected herself.  Best wishes.

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239123 tn?1267651214
University of Washington
Seattle, WA