[Question #6493] HSV1

13 months ago
I tested positive for hsv1 (30.50H range) and wrote to you mainly regarding my daughter and you mentioned that if this was ghsv1, it would be highly unlikely that I would transmit because it's rarely contagious after a few years. I'm assuming you said a few years based on my range but I have a few questions. My range couldn't have reached that high within 8 weeks? I tested on October 29th, 8 weeks past possible exposure. The reason I want your educated opinion is because, as you know, this is very confusing for asymptomatic carriers, we don't know where it is, when we got it, etc., I've done so much reading about genes that could prevent activation etc., I just want to know if I could possibly truly be one of those individuals whose immune system has kept this virus at bay or if this is a newer infection and I havent had a breakout yet. I understand that you can only give an educated opinion on this. 
Also, I feel tingly and burning on my lips daily, I think it's psychological, and I've always suffered from extremely dry chapped lips. Could that be a subtle sign of hsv1? I've  also experienced a pimple on my inner thigh. Lasts about 2 days and usually after I wear pants that rub against my skin, none the less, I would like to know if any of that could be signs on an outbreak? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
13 months ago
I'm so sorry I missed this question. Not quite sure how that happened. I seriously doubt that with an index value of 30.5 that this was a new infection.  There are many people who are infected with both HSV 1 and HSV 2 who either do not have any symptoms or do not recognize the symptoms of herpes.  Remember that outbreaks of oral herpes can happen inside the nares as well as on the lips - and no your lip symptoms don't sound herpetic to me.  Nor does a pimple on your thigh.  That sounds more like folliculitis.  I know it is so frustrating to test positive for HSV 1 and not know the location of the infection!  But you are correct, if this is genital (and that would be almost certainly from receiving oral sex), then you would be highly unlikely to transmit to a sex partner.

Terri
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13 months ago
Thank you, I figured it may have been missed with the amount of questions you receive daily. 

Is it safe to say that being that I haven't had a recognizable outbreak, that I'll never get one? 
My dermatologist said so but she also said that hsv1 is never genital so It's obviously clear that she doesn't have the latest information.  I'm just so unsure about so many things and I think about this every single day. Though your opinion on this not being new does give me a little ease about it being a genital infection.  I recently got a rash on my lower stomach that I thought may have been an outbreak but it looked more like a dried blister, though it wasn't itchy, painful, or didn't crust over, etc. Does that sound related? 

I'm just having a hard time understanding why our pcp's and gynecologists dont push us to test for these infections or educate the general public on this. It wasn't until I was diagnosed that I found out, for one, how many people are infected, that people who have cold sores can give you genital herpes, etc. I practically had to beg my doctor to administer my tests, which I do understand the psychological standpoint because I'm going through it now, but had I, and the rest of the world,  known, there probably wouldn't be so much stress behind it. 

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
13 months ago
If you've never had an outbreak, there's a good chance you'll never have one but if your immune system becomes suppressed or severely challenged for some reason, you could get one.  A dried blister could have been a herpes outbreak, really difficult to know without a swab test. 
I agree with you that if more people realized they had herpes, the stigma would be HUGELY reduced, absolutely.

Terri
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13 months ago
Is below my belly button but above my pantie line a sight of infection?
If so, I'll be sure to get it swabbed if it recurs. Also, it was never an actual bump or blister, it was just a patch of skin that looked like a blister was there and it dried. It almost resembled a ringworm but it wasn't itchy. Just giving more detail.

Lastly, does your antibody count remain high because your immune system is constantly fighting the infection? say for instance from recurrences or constant exposure, say for instance if you're in a relationship with someone who also has hsv 1?

and I know this is my last question so I would like to thank you for your time.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
13 months ago
That area of your body can demonstrate recurrences, yes.  Not commonly, however.
Your index value remains high because the virus is always in your body and your immune system is always responding to it, correct.  It is not necessarily because of recurrences or contact with someone else who has HSV infection.

Terri
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