May 27, 2019 at 7:05 am #37288
My youngest son, 19, engaged in a sexual relation right after returning home from college a couple of weeks ago with a girl he had just met. Risky and ill advised but hard lessons to teach.
A few days later he started with back aches, then 101 fever, sore throat, swollen tonsils and fatigue. After 3 days he generated blisters on his lip which progressed into the roof of his mouth and his throat became incredibly sore. Along with this he developed a spot on the shaft of his penis about the size of a dime. His mouth has tingled and been the worst of it. His penis doesn’t bother him at all but I am pretty sure this is a case of HSV-1 both orally and genitally. He was clean prior to this encounter. This started one week ago Monday, and by Thursday I took him to the Urgent Care to have a full STD panel completed on him. We are still waiting results but I think it takes a while to develop anti-bodies for herpes. He is on Valtrex 2 times a day for 10 days. He has been incredibly sick and very scared. Moving forward is there anything I can do to help him with preventative care? I definitely prefer the holistic approach if possible, but want to make sure he has a full life and that he does the best he can to not pass this on to someone else. I am hoping once he recovers from this horrible initial episode, things will settle down. Very sad for him.
May 27, 2019 at 8:27 am #37296
I have failed to mention that oral sex was received and well as given, but a condom was used for intercourse.
May 27, 2019 at 12:05 pm #37305
I hope someone along the way swabbed the blisters on his lip to know for sure what it was but I agree that it sounds like HSV 1 oral and genital infection. The genital infection (if that’s what it is) should recur really infrequently, he may have more recurrences with the oral infection. There is really no natural method to reduce the frequency of outbreaks or viral shedding between outbreaks. The Valtrex can either be taken with outbreak to reduce the duration of infection but only when taken daily does it reduce the risk of transmission to others. You may wish to get a good book about herpes for him to have to both read and share with future partners. My book “The Good News about the Bad News” may be helpful to him (and to you).
May 27, 2019 at 2:35 pm #37309
Thank you, I had already purchased the book this morning before I posted.
Unfortunately, they only drew blood samples and did not swab either location.
We should have the panel back hopefully by Wednesday.
May 29, 2019 at 7:49 am #37479
You need to remember that 1) the IgG test – hope they didn’t do an IgM test – misses 30% of HSV 1 compared to the gold standard western blot and 2) It takes time to become positive – anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. The test is looking for antibody, which one makes, not something you get from someone else.
If he gets another sore in either location, please – have it swab tested both for diagnosis and typing.
July 21, 2019 at 12:23 pm #44247
It has been almost 2 months and my son had another reoccurrence, it started with his lips swelling and then red, a spot on the lower lip, he took Valtrex within 24 hours (2 each time 12 hours apart), it did start to present on his penis as well, but once the Valtrex was taken, it shut it down. Within 2 days all signs in both locations were normal.
Tomorrow he goes in for a full physical and since it has only been 2 months and he has taken Valtrex (which he did last Monday only), what blood test should be recommended or requested? If he takes Valtrex during flare ups only will he continue to build antibodies? If he take a suppressive approach will he also continue to build antibodies and is there is long term effects for suppressive therapy?
This flare up never reached blister or crusting stage to get a culture. It was so much milder than the original infection. I have read your book cover to cover by the way.
July 26, 2019 at 4:30 am #44530
Always the only blood test easily available is the IgG – NEVER IgM. He will continue to build antibody if using antivirals episodically, yes. And he will do so eventually taking suppression as well but it could take longer. And remember that the IGG test misses 30% of HSV 1 infections anyway. I’m sorry I didn’t see this in time for his physical – we are camping with sporadic internet a good portion of the summer – but it would be fine to get the IgG done now and see where he stands. This definitely sounds like HSV 1 but it would be good to confirm that. The dose for episodic therapy for oral herpes is 2 grams of Valtrex, then 2 grams again 12 hours later. This might be what he has taken – I don’t know the strength of the two pills he took each time.
You sound like a great parent – I’m glad your son can talk with you about this
This is your final post on this subscription. If you have more questions, feel free to renew.
You must register to ask your own question or be logged in to reply to this question.