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recent exposure - flu like symptoms? HELP, worried.

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Old 06-01-2005, 08:34 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 12
Exclamation recent exposure - flu like symptoms? HELP, worried.

On 21 May I STUPIDLY had unprotected sex with an acquaintance. I found out later that he is quite the lothario and sleeps around a lot. For the first couple of days after sex nothing happened, but a few days later I developed a sore throat on one side of my throat (looked inside, no sores or anything, just like a normal sore throat) and while I didn't develop a fever, I have some coughing, headache, mild congestion and chills - so much like a normal cold that I'm disposed to think it is....except...

In the past 3 days I've developed some itching and tingling in my vaginal area. Nothing too pronounced, but I've had maybe one yeast infection in my life, so it's unusual for me to have anything going on "down there" which is what concerns me. I've checked and rechecked....and oh, how I keep checking. There are no bumps, pimples, sores, fissures or anything of the sort anywhere in my entire vag/anal area, although there is a slight swelling of the lymph nodes in my groin area.

So, here are my questions -

1. How long does it take for the flu-like symptoms (and other symptoms) to manifest after exposure? For me, it was about 3 - 4 days, for the flu-like symptoms to begin and about a week, 8 days for the itching... and it's been 11 days since I have had unprotected sex.

2. What ARE the flu-like symptoms in other people's experience? Does it actually feel like you have the flu, with coughing and a sore throat and congestion, ot is it just general chills and aches?

3. If I have NO bumps and only tingling and slight itching - could this be considered a first OB? Anyone have a similar experience? And again, would this happen so soon after exposure?

4. IF I HAVE NO BUMPS and only tingling and itching - COULD THIS BE SOMETHING ELSE?

5. AND FINALLY - HOW LONG DOES IT NORMALLY TAKE AFTER EXPOSURE TO THE VIRUS TO TEST POSITIVE? I decided to call a local clinic before I called my OBGYN and they said that you have to wait 6 weeks after exposure to the virus in order to test positive. Is this true? AND - how long does it typically take to get results back from a blood test?

Thanks so much to anyone who responds to this. I am typically quite healthy and have a great OBGYN, and I'm not afraid to get tested. It's just that I think this forum is great, and I'd love to have some support and answers from people who have gone through this before I embark on the journey. I really am worried and freaked, and it is comforting to hear from others.

Thanks for your time.

Last edited by ROLLERGIRL; 06-01-2005 at 08:55 AM.

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Old 06-01-2005, 09:08 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 95
youandme HB User
Re: recent exposure - flu like symptoms? HELP, worried.

Hey RG!
Well, Iīll try to answer a few of your questions.

First of all, it is possible that you have just a normal cold going on. Maybe you got it from this guy? As for the genital sensations, possible that it is just a yeast infection, could have been triggered by sex or something else.

Having said that, Iīll go over to the hsv part. It is said that symptoms of a primary ob often start 2-20 days past exposure. But it could be the very next day, or 10 years later. The virus is complicated in that way, many people donīt know they have the virus due to lack of symptoms or very mild symptoms confused with something else. But very often the symptoms do start within those 2-20 days.

If it is a primary ob then the flue like symptoms are quite common. In my case those started about 3-4 days past exposure. The symptoms are usually described as general achines of the muscles, tiredness, maybe a headache, slight fever and so on. Congestion and coughing would not be normal symptoms, that would indicate a general cold, which one could of course have at the same time.

The genital symptoms can be very varied. For a primary ob there are usually blisters, lesions, a rash or cuts involved. But not always. It could be just burning, itching, discomfort, tingling etc..Again, a complicated virus with a large spectrum of symptoms.

Testing: the quickest way to know is to have a swab and a culture. But if you donīt have any blisters or lesions to swab, then that is ruled out. Even if you had it is good to keep in mind that the possibilities for false negatives are big. After a negative swab it would always be good to have a blood test, just in case.

Blood tests: what you need is a type specific Igg blood test. This will tell you if you have hsv and what type. You could have hsv-1, mainly considered as oral herpes but easily transfered to the genital area as well. Or you could have hsv-2, which prefers the genital area. Or you could of course have both, hsv-1 is very very common, even if you never had cold sores.

The thing with the blood test is that you do need to wait for a while before you have one. It takes time for the body to build antibodies to hsv. Itīs recommended that you have a blood test 12-16 weeks past your exposure or onset of your primary. Any test done before that could still give you a false negative. So taking a test at 6 weeks is not conclusive, better to wait. I know itīs a long wait, but to be on the sure side itīs your only option. Of course you could take it at 6 weeks and if it was positive then that would be it. It could also mean that you have had the virus for a longer time, just not known it.

Hope that helped a bit!

Old 06-01-2005, 09:15 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 12
Re: recent exposure - flu like symptoms? HELP, worried.

youandme -
thank you so much for your quick response. I have one other question...for anyone who cares to answer...

So, HSV-1 can be transferred to the genital area...does it turn into HSV-2? Do they both produce the same symptoms (itching, lesions, flu-like symptoms) when you contract them? (Never had a cold sore in my life, or an STD for that matter, so this is all new to me...)

Still kind of confused....expecting the worst, but hoping for the best...Anyone else want to weigh in? It really helps a lot.

Old 06-01-2005, 09:30 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 95
youandme HB User
Re: recent exposure - flu like symptoms? HELP, worried.

No, hsv-1 is hsv-1 and hsv-2 is hsv-2. They do not turn into each other.

You can get hsv-1 in the genital region from having oral sex. You could also get oral hsv-1 from having oral with someone who has hsv-1 genitally.

Hsv-2 is usually located bellow the waist, transmission occures from genital to genital contact. You can have hsv-2 orally, but it is very rare.

Did that help?

Hsv-1 and hsv-2 can produce the exact same symptoms genitally, especially for a primary (first) ob. There really is no difference. The difference usually comes later. Genital hsv-1 recurres much less than hsv-2. But even here there are no absolutes, you could have many obīs with hsv-1 or none with hsv-2.

I know itīs confusing at first .

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