I've spent a lot of time looking through the threads here over the last day or so, and I've read a lot of really great information.. so thank you in advance for doing what you do here! I have worked myself up into quite a psychological state over something that's going on with me recently and all I can do is what others have done-- say here is my very long story:
I have had HSV-1 (never confirmed type with test, but....) since I was 2 years old. I don't remember it, but my parents have talked about how horrible my initial outbreak was in the past.. apparently it was quite painful for me and I had many many oral sores. I don't remember anyone ever saying I had them elsewhere on my body and since the oral ones recurred quite often in my childhood and were so obvious in nature, and I never noticed anything amiss down stairs, I never thought twice about it. Both my parents have oral herpes and proper care/hygiene during an outbreak was common in our house.
I am extremely familiar with the feelings preceding an oral outbreak. I get the tingling, semi-numbness, expanding/crawling skin feeling at the site and then can expect a large, obviously fluid filled blister cluster to follow. I have always tried to practice great care to wash hands after touching etc.. but since I've had them my whole life practically, who knows how great I did as a kid.
Since my late teens (10+ yrs now) my recurrences have gone way down-- I can now generally go 6 months - 2 yrs without one. (have had more while being in grad school.. stress is a serious trigger!) I've never taken any medication and have only treated topically.
I've had 5 sexual partners, all of whom I have had some degree of unprotected sexual contact with. All of them have been long term and none of the unprotected sex occurred when any visual symptoms were present for either person (yes I know asymptomatic shedding is possible). One had oral herpes but I never saw an outbreak, and all others claimed no outbreaks they remembered.
I've been with my current boyfriend nearly 4 years. I told him quite early that I have oral herpes, and he claims he doesn't have it. Since he originally was grossed out I laid it on him that he probably does too.. since so many people do and many don't know it. BUT that's never been confirmed, and he may not have it. Since I am so in touch with the feelings preceding an oral OB we have had loads of unprotected sex, intercourse and oral, because I just lock my lips up when I have an OB. He's been fine with this after I've discussed the risks with him (although he was very ignorant on the subject before he met me I shared a lot of facts with him and they must have sunk in since his initial response was so negative.. but I'm sure we always worry "maybe they dont really get it"). We've never had any problems and I've had maybe 3 oral sores in the 4 yrs we've been together.
I have been SO good with my care/hygiene.. but I had a serious lapse about 2 weeks ago. I was really tired and he was in the mood for sex. I had a mostly healed oral sore (semi-wet scab) so we didn't kiss but we were touching with hands only and without thinking I licked my hand for lubrication and touched his genitals with it. So I am freaking out that I may have (most likely, probably, definitely, right?!) infected him at that point. It's been two weeks and he hasn't showed any signs of outbreak but obviously we'll never really be in the clear unless he gets a negative blood test-- which he might never because we arent certain he was negative to begin with. He isn't worried, but like I said he isn't as familiar as I am with this.
I am obviously having major anxiety over this, and am worried he's going to break out at any moment.
Now this: I'm worked up into this tizzy about all this, I had a horrible dream about infecting him last night, and I've just been feeling.... weird. Preoccupied and obsessed with this.. for probably 48 hrs (I'm a believer in your brain/body knowing more than your conscious mind sometimes). I have felt a tad burny when peeing a couple times over the last few days, but that happens sometimes, like if I'm dehydrated. But I've been on these forums reading all day and so I freak out tonight when it happens, grab a mirror and have a look. And I'll be damned if I don't see a TINY (pin head, max) red thing about an inch down from my clitoris. I can't get close enough to make it out super well (even after I took a pic and tried to blow it up on my computer haha), and when touched it just feels ever so slightly raw.. and I had NONE of the tingling, crawling skin stuff I know so well from my oral OBs and it looks soooo tiny and less like a blister, more like raised circle with an indent in the middle.
Is this genital herpes?! If it is it is nothing like what I've experienced orally. I THINK I may have even observed this in the past after rough sex, and really believed it was just a raw spot that went away in a few days as it healed.. But maybe not! Because it looks like barely anything and I HAVE had raw spots after rough sex. But now I havent had sex since the handjob incident, so I know it appeared spontaneously (unless I chaffed a bit in the heat?? I dont know!)
Clearly my bf has been exposed either way I think, so we will have to see what arises there and I will continue to be anxious until... what? Should he get a blood test now, at 2 weeks post (serious) exposure and see if its negative them repeat in 4 months? And what about me? I'm hoping to run in to a local clinic tomorrow and have someone take a look.. beg them to run a culture on my dot but if it's been there a few days they probably wont get quality results right? And they'll probably say it looks like it could be anything. I obviously will test positive for herpes on a blood test already.
I can barely sleep and I fly wildly between thinking "I probably had it on my junk all these years and it was so ho-hum I didnt even know! Thank god they're not as bad as what I get on my lips!" and "this is new somehow.. I've recently infected myself or am only now having an ob from a partner.. and I've really really screwed up.. someone elses sex life and my own too and permanently altered."
I learned a couple of things, while reading about herpes. It was news to me that herpes 1 and herpes 2 are actually 2 separate viruses. And I felt dumb for not knowing, but I asked a few people if they knew it and so far, no one has.
Another thing that I read and agree with is that there is sort of an insane double standard. Herpes 1, no big deal. Herpes 2, HUGE deal. All because of the social stigma. I learned that 1 (the one I have) is actually the dangerous kind, as it can go into your eyes and cause blindness, or into your brain and kill you.
I was also surprised to learn how common type 2 genital herpes is. I read 15 - 20% of the population in the U.S. I thought it was more rare than that.