[Question #734] Genital Herpes

52 months ago

I have recently been diagnosed with having Herpes in genital area. I got sick with flu like symptoms in January, 2016 and my husband and I was scheduled to go on a trip in same month. We went on the trip...I ended up getting an ear infection (due to the airplane flight)…had to see a doctor during the vacation (who prescribed an antibiotic)...had sexual intercourse once...came back home and I was still sick. After about a week at home and still sick--it is now February, I developed a yeast infection (I've had yeast infections before). I went to my doctor and was told that I had herpes (First time a yeast infection test resulted in herpes virus). My husband and I have been married for 11 years and we've been faithful to each other. We've known each other for over 20 years. During the time that we weren't married I had unprotected relations with other men. Is it possible for the virus to lay dormant over 11 years?


Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
52 months ago
Yes, it is certainly possible for the virus to be quiet for 11 years, but it is also possible that what you previously thought were yeast infections were actually herpes outbreaks.  A yeast infection does not result in herpes virus but a person can have both or the diagnosis could be confused.  I've had patients who were told for years that their symptoms were yeast related when in reality, they were herpes outbreaks.  May I ask how you were diagnosed with herpes in the genital area?  Swab test of a lesion? Do you know if you have HSV 1 or HSV 2?

Terri
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52 months ago
Yes, by a swab test of the lesion that was on my genital area. I have HSV1. Dr. Warren, you stated that it is possible for the virus to be quiet for 11 years--but in my question, I asked if the virus can be dormant over 11 years?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
52 months ago
Yes, especially since you have HSV 1.  HSV 1 genitally recurs infrequently and in many people, it never recurs at all.  Yes, it is possible for the virus to be dormant for way more than 11 years, in fact.  If your husband is the giver of oral sex to you, even if he has not ever had a cold sore that you could see, if he is infected with HSV 1 orally, then he can pass the virus to you genitally.  This may well have come from within your own marriage or you could have acquired it 20 years ago.  At this point, there is no way to know. 

Terri
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52 months ago
Thank you Dr. Warren.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
52 months ago
You are most welcome.

Terri
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