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Herpes Contraction Risk
Feb 19, 2013

I am a 30-year old woman with no STDs. I performed unprotected oral sex on a man with herpes (type2). I also received oral sex, and we kissed. Our genitalia touched but there was no intercourse. He had no outbreak at the time and he later told me that he is on Valtrex. This was 2 days ago. But I have been feeling symptoms, like discharge, lower pack pain, strained feeling in the groins since yesterday. And now about 48 hours later, I feel like I have a fever. I went to an urgent care doctor last night, and she said I was fine. I will see my OBGYN in a few days. I know I need to wait for blood test results. But I am very worried. How likely is it that I have been infected? Are my symptoms precursors to an initial outbreak because women are more likely to get infected? I know there is no perfect answer but I need to know how high my risks are. Much appreciated.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

Thanks for writing in. Since your partner was not showing signs of an active outbreak (blisters), is on suppressive therapy, and there was no penetration - the risk of transmission was reduced, but not eliminated.

Herpes is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact. Unfortunately, it's more common of an STD than many people realize. By the age of 42, over 90% of the American public will have some form of it. For most, it presents itself orally, as a fever blister or as it is more commonly knows, a cold sore.

For most people, the primary or initial outbreak is the most severe. In addition to painful, puss-filled blisters, additional symptoms may include: Fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, or swollen lymph nodes. Infections of the vagina or cervix (versus externally as in your case) can cause discharge.

Ideally, the best way to test for Herpes would be to take a swab from a freshly-formed blister. Since it doesn't sound like you are experiencing blisters, this option is out. If you like, talk to your doctor about performing an IgG test at 90 days (a blood test). In the meanwhile, if you experience a breakout of painful, puss-filled blisters, get to your doctor immediately for testing.

In health,

Richard



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