Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Sunday, March 03, 2013 Erin, Community Member, asks

Q: 14 years for initial outbreak?

Can you have 1st outbreak 14 years after being exposed?
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Answers (2)
Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
3/ 4/13 2:17am

Why do you think you have had herpes for 14 years and finally had an outbreak? Were you informed 14 years ago that a partner exposed you to herpes? Did a partner back then have herpes? There are people with the herpes virus that are asymptomatic having no outbreaks at all or for years; and develop them later on. However, it is possible that your current partner has given it you with one of the two scenarios: the partner has always had it and you finally became infected with it or the partner recently became infected with it and didn't tell you. Some people do not know they are infected. 

 

If this recent outbreak was severe lasting a few weeks, my guess was that you were recently infected. The first outbreak usually occurs within a week after being exposed. You and your partner can be tested. If you were recently infected (before six weeks), the virus not show up in the blood work. You will have an idea if it happened recently verus a positive test within a few weeks of your first outbreak will indicate you already were infected with it.

 

Good luck to you.

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Erin, Community Member
3/ 4/13 2:58pm

Background - 14 years ago I did have a partner who had herpes.  At the time I was a naive and believed everything he said.  Basically, he told me as long as he didn't have an outbreak and I washed myself after sex, I couldn't catch it. 

 

I would have thought his theory was correct until last week.  I had a blister which I thought was an infected hair from shaving.  That multiplied and everything became very painful.  I went to the doctor, she asked if I had been exposed to herpes.  I said no, not remembering the encounter from a long time ago.  She took a swab test.  She said there was a yeast infection and would send out to see if bacterial infection.  Two days later, bumps multiplied, i had a fever of 102, and a horrible headache.  So I went back to the dr - had to see someone different who said I had herpes.

 

I have had no other partners than my husband (we've been married & together for about 8 years).  I seriously doubt my husband has cheated.  I realize anything is possible.  But my conclusion was the guy from 14  years ago.  That just seems strange though. 

 

Thoughts?

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Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
3/ 5/13 9:00pm

This outbreak that you are describing sounds like an intitial outbreak especially with the fever and headache. It seems strange that you would have this type of outbrak after 14 years. If you were recently infected with the virus (less than four to six weeks) and a blood test for herpes I & II would be negative. It takes a period of time for the antibodies to show up. If positive and your first outbreak was recent then, you can conclude you were asymtomatic all these years as unlikely as it may seem. If recently infected, you will most likely have four to six outbreaks in the next year even on antiviral durgs. I have a weakened immune system and have monthly outbreaks.

 

Your husband should be tested at the same time. If he is positive then, you have to determine when he became infected and the possibility if it was more recently. Unprotected sex outside of the marriage is not good. The person who infected me was a doctor and not had outbreaks in years and denied having any STDs. He suffered from an anti-social illness where he had difficulty being honest and recognizing the impact of his lies on others. 

 

If both of you test negative then, you should both re-test again in two months. If your husband is not infected with herpes, you are very contagious with and without symptoms. He should use a condome (it's only 30% effective) and you should take antiviral drugs for herpes (about another 50% effective).

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mystery case, Community Member
2/11/14 11:28am

I had a similar experience where I had a severe initial outbreak, and I believe I had been exposed over twenty years earlier.  I was staying at a hotel when it happened so I wonder if I could possibly have been exposed to herpes on towels or sheets?

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Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
2/11/14 9:38pm

It is impossible to get herpes from towels or sheets. Genital herpes happens from sexual contact or skin to skin rubbing in the genital, buttocks and/or thigh areas when an infected person is shedding with or without any visible signs of an outbreak. Nor, does is it on toilet seats. 

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mystery case, Community Member
2/12/14 1:56pm

The only possibility was the virus initially appeared after exposure 20 years ago.  My doctor diagnosed it as a primary initial outbreak.  As I said, I wonder how this could be possible?

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Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
2/13/14 12:43am

If your doctor has indicated it is a primary outbreak (fever, headaches, terrible pain, etc.) then your husband has infected you. He needs to get tested. If he tests negative then, he needs to be re-tested in a few months again. A recently infected person (can be up to 12 weeks) before a person tests postive. It is quite possible that he has been infected with the herpes virus for a long time and he finally infected you. He may or may not have been aware that he was infected with the virus. There are many people that are infected with herpes that have such minor outbreaks they do not know they have it. There are other people that know it and are too embarassed to tell their partner. These people would rather infect another person instead of disclosing it. Based on what you have said (no other partner) and your doctor indicating this is your first outbreak, it really seems that it must be your husband.

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mystery case, Community Member
2/13/14 5:05pm

The only symptoms I had were several very painful lesions. Maybe it was not a primary outbreak, and I had never noticed very mild symptoms before?  Also, I had not had intercourse for 6-8 weeks.  I believe men may not have as many lesions and pain as women do.  Again, I don't know.  If you take acyclovir how long do the lesions last?

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Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
2/16/14 9:12pm

Depending on the dose and severity of the outbreak, anywhere from three to five days. If it's really bad, it can be longer.

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Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
3/ 6/13 1:21am

I forgot to ask you. Did this outbreak start within days of having sexual relations?

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Erin, Community Member
3/10/13 10:44pm
Yes it did. And we actually had purchased toys. They were in packages but I wonder. Reply
Erin, Community Member
3/10/13 10:48pm
What about leg and feet aches? My sores seem to be going away but legs and feet are so painful still. Is that normal? I see where it's normal before an outbreak but nothing about after. Do they have support groups? Reply
Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
3/16/13 12:12am

I get tingling in the buttocks and legs; and also have it without outbreaks. There are some support groups on-line that I have seen. If I find one of them again, I will let you know. Good luck to you. I think you were recently exposed to herpes and you ask your husband to get tested. Good luck to you.

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Erin, Community Member
3/10/13 10:48pm
What about leg and feet aches? My sores seem to be going away but legs and feet are so painful still. Is that normal? I see where it's normal before an outbreak but nothing about after. Do they have support groups? Reply
Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
3/16/13 12:05am

The toys wouldn't do it unless it went immediately from an infected partner to you. The virus does not live long outside of fluids. You can't get herpes from a toilet seat.

 

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Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
3/16/13 12:09am

Sorry about the repeats below-- the website kept coming back with an error message.

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Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
3/16/13 12:08am

The toys wouldn't do it unless it went immediately from an infected partner to you. The virus does not live long outside of fluids. You can't get herpes from a toilet seat.

 

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MyExperience, Community Member
3/ 5/14 12:17am

My wife and I separated for about 9 months after I discovered she was having an affair with her boss.  Her affair was ongoing and started many months prior to me learning about it. About 8 months after we separated, I had unprotected sex during a 1-night stand (roughly a month before we reconciled).   

More than 18 months into our "reconciliation" I had what turned out to be my Initial Outbreak. We were on vacation, 2,000 miles from home and now driving to a beach house for a 3 night stay.  Our drive started after breakfast and would take 5 hours.  An hour into the drive I started to become very uncomfortable, felt as if I had the flu with all of the associated symptoms... Severe Body Aches, Severe Headaches, cold sweats etc.  No vomiting or diarrhea.  The previous day I was very tired, but felt normal otherwise.  By the time we arrived at the beach i was in Hell.  I immediately went inside and hit the bed.  Throughout the day, I would periodically watch my wife laying on the beach and envy her... I was miserable.  


Throughout the evening and into the morning my fever rose.  I also felt very sore in my crotch and noticed that I had a sore blister on the shaft of my penis. At about 3 a.m. I was shivering so badly that my wife became panicked and went out to get some over-the-counter medicines to control my fever of 102.8.  She was unable to find any open stores, so we headed for the emergency room.

The doctor was rushed, but seemed to cover everything.  I showed him the blisters (now 3 or 4 of them) and he said very confidently that "your blisters are not Herpetic".  Until that point I never consider an STD, but it was nice to hear his confidence that it was not Herpes.  He gave me a script for Amoxicillin and we went back to the beach house.  24 hours later, my symptoms were almost completely gone, with the exception of the blisters, though they were no longer painful.

I went to my family doctor the day we returned; 3 days after my drive from hell.  Even though the blisters were much smaller and not as angry as before, he immediately said "those blisters are Herpes"!  He explained the difference between HSV-1 and HSV-2, educated me the best he could and sent me for blood tests.  I was notified the next week that I had HSV-2. 

This story occurred in 1988, and it was difficult to find reliable and consistent information about the disease and how it is transferred.  Even today, after discovering my wife's second and THIRD sexual affairs (the third one ended out marriage) I have no definitive answer about who gave me the disease.  My exwife never admitted to having Herpes, although she was cavalier about having sex with me.  At the most, she would ask "do you have any sores" before she gave me head.  Oddly enough she never asked that when we only had intercourse. 

The majority of the time, I typically have less than one outbreak per year, and each time I first notice an aching in my crotch, below my scrotum, along with a sore area where the blisters first appeared.  Occasionally, if wait too long to take Acyclovir, I will have a single blister in the same area.  The odd thing in all this, is that my ex-wife is the most non-sexual woman I have ever been with.  The affairs certainly were not for sex, they were for the attention and deeper psychological issues. We were married for 17 years, divorcing in 2000.  Prior to, and after my marriage, I have had the pleasure of being with several wonderfully sexual women and have noticed that about half of them have said "you don't need a condom" before our first sexual encounter.  The other half will ask detailed questions about Herpes before deciding if we should use a condom.  Guess which of them most likely already had Herpes...

 

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By Erin, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/19/14, First Published: 03/03/13