October 26, 2014 at 11:03 pm #1586
Five days ago, I had protected vaginal sex with a CSW. She was higher priced and also well known in the adult industry. She seemed very concerned with cleanliness, but you never know someone personal habits. She said that she was tested monthly for STD’s, but I am not sure if it includes herpes.
Since then I have had severe anxiety about acquiring herpes. I feel like I have symptoms constantly – one day it’s feeling stings in my penis, today my legs feel slightly sore.
I have read that one time protected encounters are low risk, but how low risk? Do symptoms typically all appear at once with blisters? Is it normal to feel so stressed and anxious that you would feel symptoms and not really have them? Does sexually position lower risk at all (we were only in doggystyle)? Assuming she may have been exposed years ago in the adult industry, does that make shedding less frequent?
Sorry for the random questions, but I’m really freaking out.
- This topic was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by AnxiousandAshamed.
October 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm #1591
I should also mention that, while I have never had symptoms of HSV1, my parents and sister get them, so I’m sure I have been exposed to it at some point in my life. I have also had shingles two years ago, although I believe they are pretty unrelated to HSV2.
I know that the condom does give off some degree of protection, however, I am extremely worried about the base of the penis which had to have been exposed.
The anxiety of this is what is killing me. I keep thinking that my legs feel tired and I am just waiting to experience flu symptoms, even though I have had a flu shot. I’ve been pretty much popping Lorazepam like Pez in order to deal with the stress and anxiety, but even that doesn’t seem to help much. I travel a lot for work and I petrified of having a breakout while I am halfway across the country. I am also going to Germany in two weeks and have no idea what to do if something happens out there.
October 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm #1593
I understand that you are worried, that’s pretty normal. A one time protected encounter is extremely low risk – I don’t have percentages but probably less than one in 1,000.
Shingles (caused by the varicella zoster virus) is a reactivation of the chicken pox virus. Varicella zoster and HSV 1 and 2 are in the same “family” of viruses but are otherwise unrelated. Where was your shingles outbreak?
The vast majority of people who acquire a new herpes infection, who are going to have symptoms, will have them by 2-10 days after the encounter. You are half way there. The symptoms that you describe, feeling soreness and tiredness in your legs, is not normally a symptoms of herpes. Sometimes people who already have herpes will feel some sensation down the legs when they are about to have a recurrence, but this is different than the symptoms that you describe. What you should be looking for are blisters or sores on the penis. I’m not aware that sexual position has any impact on acquisition, but it seems to me, just visualizing this in my head, that the position you describe might result in fewer vaginal secretions pooling at the base of the penis (vs female on top during intercourse) and thus present a little less risk, but that’s a wild guess.
I would imagine that the sex workers are not infrequently infected with herpes. And I have no idea if they are tested for herpes or not. When we have sex workers come to our clinic (which isn’t all that often, we do test them for herpes.)
October 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm #1596
Thank you for your response. I feel reassurance in the 1 in a 1,000 chance that I may be infected. I am hoping that the dull pain in hamstrings and “jelly-like” feeling in my legs is more anxiety driven – possibly a blood flow issue due to adrenaline. Or the fact that it has been all I’ve been thinking about is my legs and what I’m feeling. I’ve also been dealing with two other very stressful situations which may be compounding the problem. Also, I’ve noticed the issue for roughly 24 hours. Would pre symptons last that long with out any visible sores or lesions on your first outbreak?
The shingles I had were a little over two years ago that went up the back of my neck and onto my head. I remember the feeling of them coming in and it was a painful stinging and I could almost feel them moving. Would these be similar symptoms if I were to have a HSV outbreak?
The waiting is the worst and thinking that I am going to have a infection with such a horrible stigma is not fun. Honestly, I would not feel as stressed/anxious if I did not have the feeling in my legs. The feeling of despair and restless is really difficult. I truly believe my chances are low risk, but due to my anxiety/OCD its like a part of my brain doesn’t want to believe it.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by AnxiousandAshamed.
October 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm #1598
This worrying and amplifying symptoms that may have nothing to do with herpes (likely does not) is really common in your situation.
The shingles sound like they no chance of being mixed up with herpes (that happens sometimes).
the leg symptoms just do not sound like they could be herpes to me.
The waiting is tough, but there is just no way around that. Keep busy!
October 27, 2014 at 9:38 pm #1599
If symptoms do not appear within 10 days, could I safely resume safe sexual activity or wait until after I can get a IgG test?
Thank you so much for your help. It has been invaluable.
April 15, 2015 at 5:55 pm #6132
Terri – i had non-intercourse contact without a condom with someone (genital to genital) on 2/23 who is dating someone on suppresive antibiotics for HSV2. She has tested negative. I then had myself tested with IgG blood test at around 5.5 weeks after 2/23 and was negative. I have historical HSV1, but now seem to be having swollen lymph nodes in genital region at 7+ weeks after the contact. i am in full panic and think I have now have HSV2
Assume I should re-test with IgG bloodwork.
April 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm #6150
To anxious and ashamed:
In order to be most cautious, you should wait 16 weeks for a final IgG antibody test to know if you are infected or not. The presence or absence of symptoms does not define whether you are infected or not.
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