Herpes is Forever

Dear Dr. Rob:

I fear that I might have herpes but some of the symptoms just don’t add up. I haven’t had sex in nearly a year and I’ve never had unprotected sex. I received oral sex but it was well outside of the “2-20 days” timeframe that the first blister is supposed to appear and the oral was cut short after about 5 minutes. Another strange thing is that since probably September, I had a small, painless bump on the upper-middle part of the underside of my penis shaft. It was white, pearly and had a black dot in it. It resembled a tiny wart I have on one of my fingers, so I just dismissed it as that. However, a week ago that bump turned into a pimple-looking bump, then a blister that eventually popped. From all of the pictures and information I’ve looked at regarding herpes, hardly any of it has added up. Do you have any idea what this could be?

And if it is in fact herpes, I have a couple questions:
1) If I have sex with another herpes infected person, could my condition get any worse or is herpes, herpes regardless with basically the same conditions?
2) I plan on having children, but does that mean that my partner will for sure contract herpes since having kids obviously requires her taking in my sperm?
3) If a person develops no sores ever or shows no symptoms, how do they tell when they’re most contagious? Example: a person with visible sores knows when they are most contagious.
A lot of this is really worrying me and I would appreciate it if you could respond and ease some of my stress. Herpes has always been one of my worst fears and I’m having trouble coming to terms with the possibility of having it.

Dr. Rob’s Response:

Dear Troubled Poster:

You do have a number of questions.  If you do have herpes, herpes is
forever, and although it may not get worse by further transmission it could well. 

Before I answer your other questions, it is clear given your concerns, that a
Herpes Select Test to determine whether you have Herpes Type 1 or Type 2 is required.   Oral sex can transmit either Type 1 or Type 2 or both of these viruses. The fact that your lesion didn’t occur within 2-20 days is meaningless because many people who are infected do not ever have lesions. Although you are correct to say that you are most contagious with lesions, most transmission occurs during periods where there are no lesions, and that is therefore, the most dangerous period.


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