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help I am confused

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I typically get tested between sex partners and have always had negative tests for hsv 1 and 2.   I was  with my last gf for 1 year 7 months.   We broke up at the beginning of November 2020.   I have met one girl since then on ok cupid and we made out on dec 20 and thats it.   I never saw her again.      I got a complete std panel March 11  2021 and I came back  .97 H   which is equivocal for hsv 1.    The lab told me I have hsv 1 but I showed a doctor and she said to get retested, that the results don't mean I have it.   So what is really going on do I have it or not?

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Full disclosure, I also had a low-positive result.  In my case, it was for HSV-1 and HSV-2.  I haven't had an oral cold sore since I was a child, but could remember having one, so wasn't at all surprised (or bothered) by the positive HSV-1 result.   The low positive HSV-2 result surprised me but I figured I had been exposed at some point.   Since that result I have disclosed my positive status before getting physically intimate with someone.   It's been fine.  Recently, I thought about getting retested because of the low reading.  You may not have HSV-1, but even if you do (again, the test isn't 100% accurate) it's not a big deal.  Your doctor will tell you the VAST majority of people have been exposed to HSV-1 and 1 in 5 or 6 have been exposed to HSV-2.   That means most of the world has herpes in one form or another.   The virus has been with humans and animals forever.   Very common.   You've clearly been very responsible in getting regular tests but you may not get absolute certainty unless you get a cold sore.  Talk to your doctor, listen to their guidance and continue educating yourself.  You're doing great.  

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Thank you for the response.  I am trying to be more calm about it.  Part of the problem is I am not good at waiting on things like this.      I have a yearly physical the first week of April and I am going to talk to my regular doctor then.  He also has blood worked scheduled so I will ask him to retest.   

The doctor that I showed the results is not my normal doctor and also said she does not even test for it any more unless people ask, because its so prevalent and I did not know how to take that.  I was also struggling if I should contact my ex gf and tell her.  It was not so much to blame her but to make her aware.    I ended up contacting her and her reaction bothered me even more... she asked me what I wanted her to do about it.    Which was not the best response for me.  I ended up calling her back today and asking her to get tested and her response again was not great basically telling me she is in a relationship and does not need to.  She said she would think about it.  Me I have done my part in that area and I am done.  

I am also worried about if I do have it telling someone I care about.  I have had a wife  that  had hsv 2 before but we were careful, used protection and I never got it.   But I will never forget how hard it was for her to tell me and to tell me about other people rejecting her because of it.  I am just going to try and not think about it, pray for the best and I will deal with the results no matter what they are.  

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You're not alone.  I hate waiting for results.   But your appointment is just around the corner.  Hang in there.  You'll be ok.  

I can almost guarantee you that this doctor was attempting to reassure you by letting you know how common herpes is.    Remember, they estimate 8 or 9 out of 10 people have HSV-1, and 1 in 5 or 6 have HSV-2.   Just think about how many people that is.  Billions worldwide.  Because of that, doctors can sometimes seem insensitive when diagnosing HSV.    For many of them, a positive HSV test result elicits little more than a yawn and "I can prescribe Valtrex if you're getting breakouts."   

I remember my own doctor going, "your bloodwork is great...liver fine...kidney fine...positive for HSV..."   I was like, "what???"  He completely glossed over it.  You know why?  He didn't think it was a big deal.   He sees it all the time.   ALL. THE.  TIME.  

BTW, you are a total rockstar for being sensitive and thoughtful enough to contact your ex.  But you can only control your actions, not her response.  Disclosures like this can trigger different emotions in people.  She was likely feeling vulnerable, put on the spot, and maybe even a little guilty.   You did the right thing by telling her and you did it well.  Be proud of yourself. 

You may not have HSV-1, but even if you do, there are so many people who will date you, be intimate with you, and yes, marry you.  I know that from experience.   It's a fallacy to think we can go through life remaining perfect and unblemished.  It's impossible.  We can only do our best to remain resilient when challenges come our way.   The fact that you reached out in the face of this challenge shows how resilient you are.   


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  • 2 weeks later...

Of course, @267Tim  Anytime.  ; ). 

I'm going to my doc this week and will be taking the whole STD panel again because I plan to start dating  on the other side of the pandemic and want to be ready.  It will be a bit of an exposure, but important to do. Always fun waiting for results.   

Wishing you the best. 

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