Well, basically, I need some advice on all this. Having never ever had sex without a condom, back in september a few weeks after my boyfriend and I broke up, I got kinda ill, felt some fairly small bumpy/blister like things on my labia, and then these turned into ulcery things. I got an emergency appointment at the doctor's so it wasn't my GP I saw, but a different one. On sight he said they were cold sores - no tests done - and i was prescribed some acylovir for 10 days. Because I had glandular fever about 18 months ago, my immune system is rubbish, and i was told to expect to have frequent outbreaks, particularly when ill.
The thing is, since then, NOTHING. I have been very ill a few times since then, on 3 different sets of antibiotics, had incredibly bad tonsilitis, and i've been really run done. I've also been really stressed (I had an interview at a top university, plus having to do exams this january and other personal stuff) and i have been told that all these things are triggers, and i don't understand why i haven't had another outbreak.
I've also been doing some research on the internet since then, and everything I've read about herpes, well it sounds pretty much like what I had, but the photos and stuff don't look quite the same. I'm very confused.
What I really want to know is - could this have been anything other than herpes? and also, if i never have another outbreak, can i ever be sure that it is herpes that i have? My ex partner has never noticed anything or had cold sores on his mouth, and the chances of my catching it from someone else just seem so small genitally, and they never had cold sores either. I just feel like I can't deal with either having herpes or not having herpes cos I'm so unsure about what my status is.
1. You can get a type-specific herpes blood test. These need 3-4 months after exposure to be accurate, so you have exceeded the time frame for that. Most people will test positive for HSV1, the virus causing cold sores.
2. Despite the fact 90% of people will probably swear blind that they do not have herpes, anything up to 80% of the population has herpes simplex virus 1. Most do not have cold sores and usually they had one as a child and none since, and can't remember having had the sore. Nevertheless the virus can still be passed on to others.
3. If you test positive for HSV1, you may have had a genital HSV1 infection. HSV1 on the genitals is usually minor and does not often recur after the first outbreak. You may alternatively have the virus orally and not realise it. You will unfortunately not be sure of the location of your virus but if you ever have any sores or irritation orally or genitally you can go to a doctor and request that they carry out a swab test for herpes (this should be done as soon as possible after the problems appear as after a couple of days a false negative may be obtained).
4. If you test positive for HSV2, you can be pretty sure that you have genital herpes. Oral HSV2 and false positives in herpes tests are both very rare.
5. Herpes photos on the internet usually show the worst cases. Manifestations of herpes vary wildly from person to person, from large, painful sores to tiny papercut-like abrasions. Herpes can also appear looking very much like thrush, insect bites, ingrown hairs etc etc etc. It can be itchy, painful, both or neither. It can be a raised bump, a sore, a different patch of skin. In most people, the virus is in fact quite minor, and the stigma attached to the virus is usually worse than the physical symptoms.
6. I am not sure what you mean by "the chances of my catching it from someone else just seem so small genitally"?