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Old 04-12-2005, 11:49 AM   #1
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Monicalia HB User
HSV1 & HPV - HELP ME!!!!

Hi! I’m monica. I’m not a hypochondriac type by any means…. Overall a very health conscious / in shape kinda woman…. But I am really freaking out as of late….. I feel so confused, paranoid & determined to find answers…. Maybe someone can help!

Like I said, healthy. So I thought… I’m in a committed relationship – marriage actually, until recently the only stress I was dealing with was the one line or two outcome of a home pregnancy test each month as my husband & I have been trying to get pregnant for about 9 months now… we’ve been together for over 4 years & with me off of birth control for well over 2.

With that said, I’ve been to the gyno religiously for check up & fertility planning. I have never had an abnormal pap. All of my std tests have been negative. Both of our hormone levels perfect etc… so we’ve continued on with our routine of marathon sex & ovulation calendars…

Getting to my point – we recently moved & I had to see the gyno for my yearly exam. I selected a new doctor, booked an appt & went in for overall exam / more intimate discussion of conception planning. She told me I appeared perfect, the uterus looks great & she saw no signs of distress. Gave me more prenatal vitamins, a referral to have complete blood work panels done for hormone / endocrine evaluation & sent me on my way to try for conception naturally another 6 months...

I work for the lab where I was sent to give blood (Quest Diagnostics) – in the corporate HR department – I thought – wow, great they can tell me right away & assist me with any questions…. WRONG. I found out that due to HIPPA regulations I had to have a referral from a doctor & was not able to solicit my results &/or professional help from them etc….. So I went in just like any person would – gave my blood & awaited the results…


Then it all started falling apart….

I received a call about a week after my visit. All of the std tests were negative & the pap was no HOWEVER, I tested positive for HPV (human papillomavirus)… I was like what?! Excuse me?! What is that?! You must be mistaken – I am married & in an exclusive relationship!?! The nurse was really condescending & unsupportive to me – she was like “oh I have to tell people this several times a day every day, I wish I had a tape recorder to play back the speech. It’s no big deal Monica. So many people have it, there is no medication / cure - just call us if you have any sores so we can prescribe some cream – oh & you’ll need to call in 6 months to schedule another pap & we will retest you” – HOLD UP…. I could not believe I was hearing this. What About my plans for a baby? What about my negative std’s – how did I get this etc….

She was getting flustered by my questions & just kept saying to call if I had an outbreak. I asked her what? A sore? I’ve never had any sort of abnormality / blemish on my genitals! What does it look like? Will I get one? Is this herpes? Etc…

I got off the phone & started crying hysterically. Of course I confronted my husband with wild accusations / blame. Then I got a grip & decided to do some extensive research…..

I have been to over 50+ sites / chat rooms / boards etc… I’ve read front to back the material exposed to me & was able to make sense of the frequent yeast infections / UTI’s that I’ve had & disregarded the past year as related to the fertility remedies / hormone changes & rawness from an overly active sex life with my husband…

Okay so I have HPV. My body will rid itself eventually. It does not affect my fertility however tends to result in wart outbreaks during pregnancy….
I’m still not okay with it, but do realize what its all about. I still don’t get how I can have a normal pap & a positive HPV outcome. I have never had a wart / sore etc… I’ve never been promiscuous & have no idea how I got it / how long I’ve had it etc… Since there is no test for men, my husband is just as confused as I am… What are we going to do now? All we wanted was to have a successful pregnancy & now I’m understanding that if tit happens I will most likely have wart outbreaks!?! I am at risk that if it doesn’t go away – I could have cervical cancer, have to have surgery & possibly not be able to have a child at all?!

& it gets worse –

I then get a call from the doctors office a few days later saying that my blood work was in & everything is great & right in range – Except that I tested positive for HSV1 antibodies – therefore positive for oral herpes!!

Once again, I am confused. I’ve never had any lesions / cold sores etc… How could this be? When did I get this? How can I cure it? Etc… Once again she was a real jerk to me again, saying that yes it’s sexually transmitted, no there is no cure & that I have nothing to worry about. If I get a sore – call for a prescription….

So I demand a copy of my blood work results, cry hysterically, examine every inch of my face for zits / sores, try to envision every one I have ever kissed face for oral blemishes & then run off to conduct my own internet research…

Herpes is a scary thing to research!!!

I have read so much literature, heard so many people’s stories & learned of the 1 in 5 statistics…. I’ve seen so many horrific pictures of HSV2 & keep finding conflicting data that 90% of people are infected with HSV1 which is responsible for cold sores & that it is not as dangerous as HSV2 which can link to HIV & is responsible for genital herpes yet I’ve found some proclamations that state HSV1 is responsible for 40% of new HSV2 cases….. I also read that HSV1 is mainly oral but can result recurring genital HSV1 infection if transmitted through oral sex etc… I read that it is passed through shedding of the virus & can not be transmitted without a sore present – then I read that a sore doesn’t need to be present & you are shedding the virus all the time…. Additionally I read that an antibody test resulting positive for HSV1 can merely tell you that you, at some point in your life, came in contact with the virus & made antibodies…. Thus as a child you had acquired it but throughout your life you have not / may not ever had an outbreak…

I look at all the pictures of both HSV1 & HSV2 & have NEVER had anything on my genitals, face, mouth &/or body resembling anything close to the examples…. The scariest thing is that there is no cure & I read that all HSV can be transmitted to a baby during childbirth… etc…

I got my lab results. It says negative all the way down the chart for every test. Then there’s the HSV1 section, It says I have a 3.23 antibody percentage & that it is over the range. Then the HSV2 section says negative but instead of a straight 0.00 it says 0.089?!?!? What does that mean. Negative but with a antibody count?! I called the doctors office again & they tell me that I am “subclinical” & to stop stressing about it…. and although I work for the company, can not get any information on what a 3.23 positive antibody count & what a 0.089 negative antibody count means… Should I retest? Get a second opinion? Etc…

I am so frustrated, I find myself examining my genitals, lips, tongue & mouth to a militant state!! I can’t sleep without nightmares, the online browsing for answers keeps taking me in circles & worst of all, I am so ashamed of & disgusted by myself. I am freaking out that I can never have oral sex with my husband again for fear of my “subclinical” HSV1 infecting his & my genitals & possibly turning into HSV2 or doing something worse! My once very healthy sex life / virtually stress free marriage is now being consumed by this….

How is it that never have I had a lesion / symptom of a std nor a pap / test result positive & then all the sudden the two most “commonly transmitted std’s” are infecting my body…. I don’t get it. My husband says I am freaking out & to stop stressing it. That my body will rid itself of the HPV & the HSV1 is a “normal” thing for adults to test positive for… He is very supportive but I can not help agonizing over this whole thing….

Like I said, I have never had an outbreak / symptom. Neither has my husband. But, science is proving me otherwise by blood test. It is my right as a person to be properly informed of conditions affecting my health & furthermore, without cure!

Is it safe to continue to have sex / trying to make a baby? Are my dreams / plans for a family ruined? Will my next pap be abnormal? Will I get cancer? Will I get warts? Is that another UTI / yeast infection from the HPV flushing itself out or it is the onset of a genital HSV1 infection? Will my HSV1 turn into HSV2? Etc…..

What do I do?

I really feel for anyone who has have to take the time to research this tragedy to society / had to endure any suffering / pain / confusion as a result of being made aware of a positive infection…

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I am sorry for the extent in length…

Take care,

Monica -

 
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Old 04-12-2005, 01:01 PM   #2
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youandme HB User
Re: HSV1 & HPV - HELP ME!!!!

Hi Monica,
I´ll try to jump in to help you best as I can. First of all, calm down! Everything will be fine, and I do mean that.

A few answers, others, please feel free to fill in. HPV is a very common thing to find in women. In fact, most studies show that 80% of all women have hpv abnormalities at some point in their life, that is, that pap smears at some point come back positive for it. It dos NOT mean at all that you will automatically get genital warts. As far as I know there are 100 strands of the hpv virus and only a few of them cause warts. The risk of cervical cancer is low too, very few strands cause that. You should keep havin pap smears on a regular basis and find out how things progress. Chances are that the next ones will come out clean. I´m no expert on hpv, so that was just what I know about it.

As for the herpes, what your blood work shows is that you at some point got positive for hsv-1. Most probably you have it orally, and yes, it is very very common, even though you never had any cold sores in your life. Your hsv-2 test then shows that you are definitely negative for that. There is no 0.0 result on these tests, a 0.9 or more would make you positive, so you are well under that range.

And yes, you will have a normal sex life in the future as well! Chances are that your husband is hsv-1 positive too, which would make you guys pretty much immune to each other. If you both would have it orally, then there is a small chance that you could through oral sex transmit it to the genital region, but if you both already have the antibodies the risk is very small. Just make sure you have no cold sores or feel like one coming while having oral sex.

I suggest you find a good doctor, ob/gyn, who can explain all of this to you and how it might affect you trying to get preagnant.

I know it seems like a lot at once, but trust me, you will be fine, and life will return to normal!

Hope some of this helped!

 
Old 04-12-2005, 01:24 PM   #3
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unlucky_guy HB User
Re: HSV1 & HPV - HELP ME!!!!

Alright...you really have a lot of things mixed up. I'll correct you where I can:

From what I gather, you have both HSV-1 and HPV for starters. You DO NOT have HSV-2...the 0.089 figure can be caused by a number of factors, such as slight test inaccuracies, or overlaps with HSV-1 antibodies (which is how the test detects herpes).

Another misconception you have is that HSV-1 turns into HSV-2. This is not true. They are 2 seperate strains of the virus. Either strain can infect the oral OR the genital area...but most commonly, HSV-1 is found orally, and HSV-2 is found genitally (for some reason, that is how the viruses "prefer" it). So don't think HSV-1 will magically morph into HSV-2...two completely seperate viruses.

As far as what you should be concerned about:

HPV DOES NOT cause sores. In fact, most types of HPV do not cause any visible symptoms. There are various strands of HPV viruses (I think over 80 different ones). They are basically categorized as either being the type that causes actual genital warts, or the type that is "subclinical" and does not cause any obvious symptoms. You have the "subclinical" type. The risk with this type is that it has been linked to causing cervical cancer in some women, thus you need to get PAPs every 6 mos. as your doctor suggested.

Your HSV-1 infection may be genital or oral...or both, it is hard to tell. However, what you thought were recurrent yeast infections, tenderness/rawness, and UTIs could actually have been herpes outbreaks. The pictures you looked up online are the WORST CASE scenarios and are not at all representative of what herpes is really like. The truth is, many people get very minor, almost unnoticable symptoms.

Regardless, I can't tell you if you really do have HSV-1 genitally or orally, or both. The only thing I can suggest is that if you live in or around the Portland, Oregon area...there is a specialty "Herpes" clinic research facility there. They are able to perform special "testing" that allows you to detect subclinical shedding of the virus. This is pretty much the only way I know of that you could find out where your HSV-1 infection resides. What you could do is contact them and tell them your situation. Then you would have to "swab" your genital area every single day for at least a month...then send in the samples for testing. This method is called PCR testing, and can detect even the smallest amounts of virus on the skin (which is what happens when you shed sub-clinically).

Even if you do have genital HSV-1, you can still very much have a child/family. But there is a slight risk to your baby during actual childbirth. The risk is relatively small, but it does occur, and if the baby is infected with herpes during childbirth, then the effects will be devastating (frequently, there is severe brain damage for life, if they survive at all). This is why you will likely be put on Valtrex (daily antiviral treatment) for at least a month or so prior to your delivery date. This will reduce the risks of infecting your baby. Should you have an actual outbreak during labor, the doctor will need to perform an emergency C-section which will completely prevent any risk of herpes infection to your baby.

As for what you should worry about. Contrary to what you read, HPV DOES NOT simply burn itself out. What they mean when they say "burns itself out" is that some people who have genital warts say that over time, they stop having recurrences of these warts entirely. But the truth is they still carry the virus. Your HPV will not "burn itself out" and you need to take every precaution to make sure you continue having PAPs in order to detect the possibility of cervical cancer as early as possible from here on out.

As for your sex life...the first thing you need to do is get your husband blood tested to see if he has HSV-1 also. If he does, this offers signficant protection against infection in a new location (Ex. say he has it orally, he is unlikely to get it genitally from having sex with you).

Good luck.

Last edited by unlucky_guy; 04-12-2005 at 01:27 PM.

 
Old 04-12-2005, 04:41 PM   #4
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Ashlyn73 HB User
Re: HSV1 & HPV - HELP ME!!!!

Hi Monica:

I just wanted to say that you are NOT alone. I was just diagnosed with "H" today, and although it is by no means fun, it is also not the end of my life. I have been trying to conceive as well. Now, I am questioning if my husband and I should continue to try. I want a child so badly, but am scared to risk giving this virus to him/her. I guess right now I am still in shock and my world is upside down. On a good note, my husband is symptom-free and very supportive. I'm hoping to learn more about "H" through this very supportive board (I have been lurking for a few weeks now and everyone seems very caring!) Hope to see another post from you soon.

-Ashlyn

 
Old 04-19-2005, 03:52 PM   #5
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beaker24 HB User
Re: HSV1 & HPV - HELP ME!!!!

Monica - I hope you are feeling OK. I hope the other posts have reassured you. HPV is incredibly common, it's going to show up in most sexually active women. There is a great stigma attached to the virus, which, as with herpes, masks the fact that it is VERY commonplace.

As unluckyguy pointed out, HSV1 does not turn into HSV2. You may be getting confused by the fact that HSV1 is responsible for a large number of genital herpes cases. Yes it is, and it may be one of the reasons that HSV2 genitally is on the decrease (as being infected with one virus in a place lessens, although it does not totally eliminate, the chance of getting another virus in the same place).

However, HSV1 is also incredibly common and like HPV is one of the world's most common viruses. Think of everyone you know. If you made them all go down to a clinic and get blood tested for herpes, the chances are that at least 40% of them - and possibly more - would test positive for type 1. Most don't know they have it - they have one cold sore as a child along with all the other childhood diseases a lot of people get, and they never see it again. The antibodies remain in the blood, ready to freak people out as adults with the dreaded word "herpes"!! - but the reality is a very very common diagnosis, that of a herpes type 1 positive blood test when the subject has no memory at all of having any sores on the mouth.

I know it is a difficult time right now but having both HPV and HSV1 - as both are so common - is far from unusual. I have type 1 herpes although I am negative for HPV. But I know three women very well who are positive for both these viruses, and none of them let it trouble their lives all that much.

 
Old 04-20-2005, 03:05 AM   #6
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Audrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB User
Re: HSV1 & HPV - HELP ME!!!!

I was once having a chat with a gyno about various things and i questioned him about HPV and he said they aren't 100% sure on the various way it transmits itself. He stated that virgins have also shown up with HPV during tests and that people could get it from the local public swimming pool. I'm wondering how this is possible as i always thought it was transmitted sexually. Any ideas?

 
Old 04-20-2005, 07:42 AM   #7
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kierstyn_04 HB User
Re: HSV1 & HPV - HELP ME!!!!

The part that really grabbed my attention was when you said that HSV is a link to HIV. Im not sure how you ment that, but HSV will never just turn into HIV. Now if you have a sore and you have sex with a person infected with HIV then your chances increase because it has pretty much a direct way into the body through that open cut or wound. it wont just turn into hiv.

 
Old 04-20-2005, 12:58 PM   #8
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beaker24 HB User
Re: HSV1 & HPV - HELP ME!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audrey-B
I was once having a chat with a gyno about various things and i questioned him about HPV and he said they aren't 100% sure on the various way it transmits itself. He stated that virgins have also shown up with HPV during tests and that people could get it from the local public swimming pool. I'm wondering how this is possible as i always thought it was transmitted sexually. Any ideas?
I'm not sure about swimming pools, but virgins could get HPV by their genitals touching the genitals of someone else who had HPV, without having sex (herpes can be transmitted this way too of course).

Virgins do also sometimes test positive for abnormal cells, without HPV (a very small minority of cases of abnormal cells & cervical cancer do not seem to have a link to HPV).

 
Old 04-21-2005, 01:46 AM   #9
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Re: HSV1 & HPV - HELP ME!!!!

Thanks for the info beaker. I was always curious about what this doctor said as he mentioned nuns who had never had sexual contact and included swimming pools into the equation!! Had me worried and i refused to use a public pool after that conversation :P

 
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