Primary Herpes

Dear Dr N, I got herpes for the first time a month after sleeping with my boyfriend. He did not know he had it, but I got it really bad! I have sores all over and it is hard to pee. He feels bad, I feel bad, what happened???

Dear Feeling bad- I am sooo sorry to hear this is happening to both of you. Herpes is a virus that can live in the mouth or the genitals or other places like herpetic Whitlow (on the hands) or in the tailbone or on the buns. It use to be HSV 1 was oral and HSV 2 was in the genital area but with orogenital contact now 1 and 2 can be in either place. Sometimes partners have viral shedding before they have a lesion. Or sometimes partners have oral herpes and do not know that it can be passed to the genital area. There can also, in rare cases be asymptomatic viral shedding. There is a blood test that checks to see if there are antibodies in the blood to the herpes virus but it does not state where in the body the virus is residing. All that being said, primary herpes can be terrible. There are many sores and you can have a flu-like illness. When it recurs it is much less intense and more focal but usually comes back in the same place. Things that trigger a lesion are stress, sleep deprivation and lowering the immune response with multiple stresses. The treatment regimens are different for primary ( the first case) or secondary ( the second time it shows up) breakouts. There is also a treatment for suppression to keep viral shedding from happening or breakouts from occurring. The medications are prescription and include acyclovir, valcyclovir and famvir. You need to see your doctor to get a prescription for treatment. It is alot of information , but there is treatment, and although it is very stressful, it does not cause long term , debilitating disease. See a doctor, get some help, read about it. Dr N

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