Herpes Gladitorium

Dear Dr. Rob:

During my first year of college, I had oral sex with a friend of mine (he showed no symptoms of genital herpes). This happened twice and coincided with an extraordinarily stressful period in my life. About two weeks following the second bout of contact with the friend, I began to show symptoms of genital herpes on my scrotum only. I was young and terrified, so I did not seek treatment. I had no additional symptoms for approx. five years. During these years, I finished college and spent two years in an extraordinarily stressful job that involved keeping long hours with little sleep and other unhealthy habits that disadvantaged my immune and nervous systems. During the pinnacle of stress during these years, I experienced a second herpes outbreak (this time anally). I was treated with a round of Valtrex, and no longer experienced symptoms.

I soon left the stressful job and found a more relaxing line of work. With my new job, I found more time for myself, so I began intense weight training as part of an effort to strengthen my body and repair following the damaging effects of stress. Once again, I experienced a few mild genital herpes symptoms with the onset of the weight training. After beginning a suppressive Valtrex regimen, I no longer saw any genital symptoms. I have seen no genital symptoms for nearly a year now (since beginning the a gram/day Valtrex suppressive therapy), but I occasionally see symptoms on my wrists, mid chest, and neck during times of high stress. I no longer work in a stressful environment. I get plenty of sleep. I eat a very healthy diet. I continue vigorous weight training. I see no symptoms other than the occasional non-genital symptoms. I have also learned that members of my family with no history of exposure to HSV-1 or HSV-2 tend to experience non-genital herpes outbreaks in response to stress. My mother has a special intolerance to stress and manifests stress responses in problems with her nervous system (physical, not psychological symptoms, only).

If I did not weight train, I predict that I would see no symptoms at all. Also, I have had six sexual partners since the first outbreak in college, and none of the partners has contracted herpes (this includes partners with whom I had unprotected sex over months or years). Today, I read about Herpes Gladitorium on your site, and I am wondering if it is possible that this is what I have due to the apparent relationship between outbreaks and weight training–stress, obviously, can exacerbate any variety of herpes. I am trying to better understand my health situation so that I can handle it responsibly in the future. I appreciate any insight that you can provide.

Dr. Rob’s Response:

Dear Poster Who Asks about Herpes Gladitorium:

While it is clearly possible to have non-genital outbreaks of herpes, the various areas that these outbreaks have occurred suggest strongly that this may not be Herpes Type 2.  I would strongly suggest that you get a Herpes Select Test to determine whether you have Herpes Type 1 or Herpes Type 2.  If these come back negative, since Valtrex has worked, have your doctor look for other forms of herpetic lesions.  Finally, it is certainly possible that you have Herpes Gladitorium, and not the other two, but I am concerned it may be more than that, so I do suggest testing.
Stopping the weight training is not going to necessarily stop the disease, and is probably good for your overall health. 


Red Marine Algae | Buy 2 get 1 FREE VIR-L-Lysine | Buy 2 get 1 FREE
  • Top 10 Herpes Facts

    Sex Health Guru Video Tip brought to you by Alice W. Kp M.D. John Hopkins Hospital, Watch the Video

  • Featured Article

    The Truth about HSV-1 and HSV-2 American Social Health Association (ASHA), read the Article

  • Other Infections

    Do you also think you may have been exposed to another STD? Find help now. www.stdsite.com