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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:46 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Cornfields
I should start first by saying that it's great to find such an informative community of people dealing with this. Thank you for your previous responses (I've managed to read 8-10 threads before posting) and - in advance - for your help with my post.

I contracted herpes in August 2009. I believe I contracted from my long term-then-boyfriend (now ex) who was experiencing signs and symptoms of herpes, but was initially told by doctors that it was a bacterial infection. Later testing proved he was positive for Herpes, but I am not sure which type. I have never been officially diagnosed, a mistake on my part I am now trying to fix. (Do I need a culture test or a blood test?) I had no health insurance (being 22 at the time) and so we shared his prescription generic Valtrex when needed. We have since parted ways a year later (August 2010) and are rarely in contact.

Now at 24, I am finally able to be back on my parent's insurance and can seek the medical help I've been waiting for. I have abstained from sexual contact since August 2010 when my relationship ended. I have approximately one outbreak per month - a tiny bump/lesion that lasts for approx 24-36 hours and then goes away. I would like to be taking daily suppressive therapy to help ease my mind and protect any future partner. My ex takes 1 gram of Valtrex daily. However, when I saw a doctor this morning (who did not have the resources to do a culture test, nor am I having an OB right now and she did not see anything) prescribed Valtrex but *only when I'm having an outbreak.* I asked her if I could take it daily for suppressive therapy and she said I should NOT because A) I was showing no signs that she could see and B) Valtrex can be hard on one's liver.

I suppose I am here because I am not sure what to think, having read information on here and then getting this answer from the doctor. The prescription she wrote is for 1 gram to be taken during outbreaks. Should I fill the prescription anyway and just take it daily? She is referring me to an infectious disease doctor here in town, but I am not sure how soon that will be.

This last question is just for my own curiosity, though I should remember each person's experience with H is different. Am I to consider myself lucky that, while I do have one outbreak per month, it is only a small bump/lesion that lasts a very short time? The lesion/bump is only ever near my anus (I am a gay male), but I have never had bumps/lesions/itching on my penis. (Neither has my ex.) Do other people experience much worse? Other than the aforementioned, I experience a bit of anal itching from time to time, but I'm hoping it goes away once I am on daily suppressive therapy. (Will it?)

Thank you again for your help. I am hoping that one day I feel confident enough to re-enter the dating world, assured that I have my H under control and am not putting others at high-risk.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
typically infectious disease doc's don't give you the experience you need when it comes to herpes. Honestly at this point I wouldn't even bother making that appointment.

At this point start at the beginning and get a type specific herpes igg blood test to see what your status is. If you are only hsv1+, the next step would be to try to get a lesion culture of your symptoms when you have them. It would be unusual for hsv1 genitally to reoccur this often so odds are that isn't the culprit but it's all part of the work up.

I also recommend picking a different provider. This one can't test for herpes evidently and isn't very educated about valtrex either. valtrex has NO EFFECT ON THE LIVER. No idea why this provider thinks this at all. was this a GP or a gyn?

betsy

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:46 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Cornfields
Thanks for your help so far, Betsy.

It was a GP. Although misinformed, she was much nicer and easier to talk to than the GP I had seen several days earlier - who chastised me for my sexual orientation and choices. I ended up walking out. Not fun!

I will make an appointment to get a Herpes blood test. I am almost certain the Planned Parenthood in my town does them for about $56. May I ask, why do you recommend a culture test only if I am HSV1? Should I not obtain one if I am HSV2? Won't the blood test tell me which one I am? I could have misread your post!

Is it unusual that I had a small OB every month that lasts only 24-36 hours? Have you heard of such a case? I've never had more than one tiny bump/lesion at a time, apart from the initial OB.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
typically hsv2 is genital so when you test + for it, we assume it's in your genital area. Hsv1 can be either orally or genitally and since most folks don't get obvious cold sores to know that they have it, we can't assume that just because you've only had genital symptoms that just testing + for hsv1 would mean it's in the genital area. Getting a culture of your symptoms if only hsv1+ would help to figure out if your genital symptoms are herpes or not.

The duration of your symptoms does suggest something non-herpes related going on but it'll take a better work up to figure it out. You can have more than just 1 thing going on in the genital area too of course so even if you do test + for hsv2, that doesn't mean these symptoms are due to herpes but knowing your herpes status is a step in the right direction. if you do have hsv2, you can start daily suppressive therapy to keep the herpes part out of all of this for the most part and help you and your provider better start figuring out where to go from here in figuring out what is going on genitally for you.

Can you just get tested through PP or do you also have to pay for an appointment and also blood testing?

sorry to hear that your recent experience with a health care provider was so disappointing :( They aren't supposed to lecture and judge - it should be teaching, not making someone feel bad :( Also obviously I wasn't wide awake yesterday that I missed you saying you were a gay male and asked if you had seen a gyn....he he he

betsy

betsy

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