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Not formally diagnosed but positive IGG

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My story started in 2019 when I came down with a genital outbreak. I had been on Humira since 2018 for rheumatoid arthritis. Prior to this, I had never had a sore or outbreak on either my genitals or mouth. I’ve been with my husband since 2014, and we are both faithful. I had heard that Humira could cause activation of varicella zoster virus and read stories of people having outbreaks in their genitals from this virus. But I also knew it could be HSV. I went to an after hours clinic. The PA listened to me, but he informed me he couldn’t swab the area because they weren’t that type of clinic. By this time the sores had broken open. It was itchy and painful. He did look at the area but obviously couldn’t give me a diagnosis based on just looking. He went ahead and gave me the antiviral medication. The sores cleared up. I did get blood tests the next time I could go in to my PCP. He ran varicella zoster IGM and IGG. Both came out positive. He also ran HSV-1 and 2 IGG. HSV-1 came out positive, and HSV-2 was negative. My PCP couldn’t give me an answer as to which virus caused my sores. So I guess you could say, I am not 100% sure if HSV caused it.

 Again, I feel I am having another outbreak, but it looks different. The sores aren’t together like they were the first time. I’m dealing with the itching, pain, and burning. I am currently using diluted tea tree oil and baking soda mixed with water to alleviate symptoms. Any other tips are more than welcome.

Thankfully, my husband has been understanding and supportive, and we both know there’s no way for either of us to know exactly when I contracted HSV-1 since my first ever outbreak (that I’m not even sure is contributed to HSV) happened five years after he and I got together.

Even with my husbands support, I feel lost and depressed right now. I’m trying to act like everything is normal but the pain and itching brings reality front and center for me. Especially when I have to go to work and can’t sit with ice packs or periodically apply home remedies throughout my shift. I realize I’m not alone but dang it feels like it at this moment. 

Wondering what some might suggest as far as getting a PCR done? Should I call my gyno and explain the situation? The sores haven’t broken yet, so I know they wouldn’t be able to do much if I got an appointment before they break. Any advice or support is appreciated! 



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First, I am so sorry about the pain our are experiencing. You don't deserve this at all! 

Second, you are not alone ❤️. I have genital HSV-1, and it can be very painful, especially when sitting or walking or wearing clothing, etc. Lysine cream really helped me during these times! It's natural and helps with the itching and burning when the sores start to burst. Going to the bathroom can hurt really bad because of acidity from urine. Be prepared for that, having a stress ball or something to squeeze can be helpful, or if you have a bidet it can help soothe the sores (I don't have a bidet but I wish I did, lol)!

Ideally, a doctor should swab the sores to see if the sores are indeed the HSV-1. You can go to your PCP or a place such as Planned Parenthood. Talking to your OBGYN is another great option, too! Also, if the sores have a little dimple in the center, or did previously, it is most likely HSV. Herpes sores are unique in that they start out with a little dimple, which then kind of becomes filled with a fluid that then oozes out. 

So many people have HSV-1 and do not know it, and perhaps the medication you take caused the virus to 'wake up' and cause an outbreak. Regardless, please know you are not dirty or bad or ugly at all. The human body is something we should love unconditionally ❤️, and biology is SO complex! But in the end, the body deserves our love. 🦋

I am so happy your husband is being supportive!! Hooray for that!! ☀️

Sending blessings and prayers your way!! 🌄🌼🦋☀️


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Flowerteacher55--thank you so much for your kind words! They are so appreciated! I have reached out to my gyno, but I have to get a referral due to my insurance since it's been a while since I've seen him--COVID and all that. (I haven't had covid, but I'm referring to many offices closing and only offering virtual visits.) I plan on asking my PCP if he does PCR swabs, so I can get it done sooner than waiting on the referral and turning around to schedule with my gyno.

The sores I have now are raised with pus. There isn't a dimple, they're more like pimples. There are three of them that I can see, one kind of inside the labia and two on the outside. I did have a large sore back in 2020--but it didn't look anything like an HSV outbreak, so it might've been an ingrown hair. If I remember correctly, it didn't last long at all. 

I'm afraid to take my Humira shot in fear of worsening the current symptoms I have. It could've been the Humira causing activation of HSV--but it's so confusing since my VZV was positive as well. My husband said I can get the PCR if I want, but either way it doesn't matter to him. I am so blessed to have him, I know that part of my life is wonderful. I've been reading the forums, and it's so heartbreaking to read how many people get rejected due to this virus. But, I can understand why someone wouldn't want to pursue anything with us. Especially those who are already immunocompromised. 

If I'm able to get a PCR test and get the results, I will update for sure. I think I want to know for myself to be 100% sure.

Again, thank you so much for your comment.

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