[Question #2072] Concerned About Herpes

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83 months ago
Hi Doctors,

Here is my story...sixty days ago I had unprotected vaginal and oral sex with a one-time encounter. Massive, regrettable, catastrophic mistake, and I'm almost always very conservative about my actions. Sex was on and off, but the whole experience lasted about two hours. My partner told me after the fact that she was HSV1+, having contracted it orally as a little girl. Two weeks after our encounter, she told me that she had an outbreak five days after we had sex. However, she slept with someone else the day after me, which would have been 4 days prior to the blister. She was tested and told it was HSV2.

I didn't experience any noticeable symptoms (other than regret) until she told me about the blister and that I may have been exposed. I suffered massive panic attacks, depression, sleepless nights, trouble eating, and severe anxiety for the first couple of weeks after she told me. I had a burning sensation in my genital region that seemed to move around between my penis and scrotum. No blisters of any kind, and nothing particularly painful.

As I've calmed down and started to move on with life my mind has definitely healed, and the physical burning sensations have subsided, but I still feel them. They're mostly limited to the tip of my penis now. At this point, I really don't think I have herpes but is there any other explanation for my lingering burning sensation? The only other thing besides herpes and anxiety I can think of that could be the cause is fungus, as I've tested for other STI's. 60 days, no blisters, but an annoying burning sensation...any feedback would be much appreciated. 
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Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
83 months ago
well, anxiety and over observing for any weird genital sensations could be possible as well as a fungal infection, yes. 
So this was 2 months ago - have you done any herpes testing at all?  I think herpes is unlikely, but it definitely was a close call.  Yikes!
If you had contracted new herpes, it is likely you would have noticed something more than burning sensation and it also would not have lasted this long. 
Are you having any redness around the opening to the penis?

Terri
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83 months ago
Hi Terri,

Thank you for the prompt reply and for your work on this board in general. It's a great service to many people. 

That seems to be the prevailing thought amongst a few others that I've consulted - more severe symptoms would have manifested by now. To answer your questions, yes I was tested 16 days after this incident, mostly to prove to my partner that she did not contract HSV2 from me, which she was strongly implying at the time. I have also been tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and Syphilis all at the appropriate windows; and all negative. I've withheld any further HSV testing until I know the results will be accurate. 

Your other question regarding redness, there has at times been a slight difference in color; 1 or 2 skin shades darker on a 10 point scale. I should note that this burning sensation, while persistent, cuts in and out by the day and hour. Like a mosquito bite in a sense, unless I'm thinking about it or its actively being irritated, I don't notice it. I've recently mixed Lanacane and Lotrimin creams together and applied them to the head of the penis, which temporarily makes everything feel normal. Hopefully this info will help a little bit. 
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Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
83 months ago
Good that you have a baseline antibody test I think - something to compare to. 
If that medicine mix makes things feel better, that suggests a fungal origin for the issues

Terri
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83 months ago
I'll keep it up for a couple weeks and see what happens. At minimum, it keeps my mind off of it. If you can still provide one more answer, would you be prepared to give me a percentage/likelihood of HSV2 based on what I've described? The odds of transmission seem to vary widely depending on the source. 
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Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
83 months ago
Wild guess ok?  I would say less than 5%

Terri
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