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Extremely Confused (herpes blood test results)

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Hello everyone =)


Let me just start off by saying that I've never actually had an "official" herpes-diagnosis. Despite this I was so sure that I had herpes. Nothing I could think of could have given me the same symptoms. When I went to my doctor she claimed that the only way to diagnose herpes was by swabbing an open sore. She wouldn't give a blood test so I had to pay to see a private doctor, who finally agreed to a blood test. At this point I just wanted to get the diagnosis and the medication because the symptoms were unbearable at times. The blood test was done 3 months + 1 week after my last sexual encounter. It came back negative for both HSV-1 and HSV-2?! Wtf?! Is it normal that 3 months isn't enough time to develop enough antibodies to be picked up on a blood test?


I'm ultra confused by these results. Of course I hope they're correct, but I have my doubts as my herpes-like symptoms bother me on a daily basis.


Any input is appreciated, thanks! :)

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Hi kathy! And Welcome..


So, what are your symptoms? There ARE other things that could cause similar symptoms to Herpes out there. A herpes OB typically lasts no more than 2 weeks although you can get back-to-back OB's. But Syphillis can cause chancres, and there are other bacterial and allergic reactions that can look like Herpes.


It usually takes 4-6 months to get a test result back.... and the Gold Standard is the Western Blot but you will have to look around a bit harder to get someone who does that one I am afraid.


BTW, have you thought to ask your last partner if he might have it?

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My first symptom was extreme itching exactly two weeks after having sex. I got a sore there which I think was from all the itching. And then I got impetigo as well, which confused me and the doctor even more :p I was only treated for the impetigo (antibiotics). There have been only around 1,5-2 weeks of days (combined, not after each other!) where I have been itch- and symptom free. After the impetigo I had severe itching, and a tingly feeling, like a worm under my skin. I had a few (3-4 maybe) red-ish blisters that turned to small sores, and this is the only time I've had the "classical" herpes outbreak. That eventually healed, but now I'm stuck with (almost) constant itching, some days are worse than others. Sometimes I get small bumps, but I haven't had any more sores. The doctor I got the blood test from thought it was folliculitis, because all the itching/bumps/sores have been on my mons pubis where the hair grows.


No, I haven't asked him after I got the symptoms, but I did ask him before we had sex. He claimed he was STD free (oh EXCEPT for the genital warts he confessed to when I noticed them).

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Uh - honey - if he had genital warts visible when you noticed them odds are you got HPV from him and I wouldn't trust his word at all after that. In fact, he may not know he had it as I am guessing he has never been tested.


In fact, I would get a FULL STD test if you haven't already, given that info. That would be step 1. I'm also guessing you have not been to an OBGYN, but a family Dr. If so, get thee to an OBGYN for the tests and further diagnosis. Family Dr;s are USELESS with gynecological stuff.


Right now I can't say any more about what it might be, but I am very suspect of the guy you were with and I'd make sure that you are clear for everything else first then work on figuring out what is going on there. Ask for Western Blot when you see the OBGYN given your last result.


Good luck :)

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yeah I know he's really a douchebag. I haven't had any genital warts luckily *knock on wood*. But the body (normally) gets rid of the HPV by itself after a few years right?


The last doctor I went to was an OBGYN, since my family doctor was not updated on herpes AT ALL! She claimed you could only be infected if there was an open sore, she didn't know you could have a blood test for herpes among other things :p


The fact is that in this country, it's extremely hard to get tested for anything other than chlamydia. I went to the family doctor 3 times before giving up and going to the private OBGYN. If you ask to be tested for STD's, most likely they will only test you for chlamydia. That's what I have experienced 2 times before. If I ever asked for a *gasp* HIV test I would have to lie and tell them I've had sex with a gay guy (haha I know..) or someone from a country where it is widespread.

If I have herpes, I probably won't get suppressive medication even if I want it. This is the problem with universal public health care in a country.

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Uh - folks - HPV goes into a remission in about 2 years - but it is still in your system. The virus can remain in a dormant (latent) state for months, years or decades before showing symptoms once again. Lack of symptoms does not mean you are "cured" of HPV.


There are about 30 varieties of HPV... 2 of which cause Genital warts, about 4-6 cause cancer, and the rest that just seem to reside in the body but don't *seem* to cause any problems. The one that causes warts does NOT cause cancer. The CDC says pretty much everyone will get at least one strain of HPV in their life. IE, just because you have one doesn't mean you are immune to the other 29 or so. And you can get HPV even if you use condoms. You can see more HPV info here: http://www.thehpvsupportnetwork.org/FAQs.html and here



And yes, Western Blot is in the USA. Not sure if there is an equivalent in other countries. Where are you located? I get the issue with Universal Health care - I lived in the UK for 8 years :p If you are in Canada, can you cross the border to get to an STD clinic to get the meds? Never mind testing for all the other STD's. Funny - over here, we don't get tested for Chlamydia but we do get Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and HIV.


Ain't "Modern Medicine" grand??? :(

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When I lived in the UK I learned to stick up for myself and DEMAND what I needed. The Dr I was assigned to for my first child scared me into a Cesarean (this was pre-internet days so it wasn't easy to research). I learned after that I likely didn't need it (boy did THAT piss me off) so when I got pregnant again I had to go to battle with my primary to get her to help me get a different doctor. I eventually got one who basically told me it was wrong that I had a C-section the first time around and who was ok with me having a V-BaC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean). So if you feel you need to be re-tested, demand it. Tell them you have since learned your last partner DID have Herpes and you now have a partner with a really poor immune system and you need to know if you have it and if you do, you need the meds to protect him. (ok, it's a little white lie but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.. research something that is an Autoimmune disorder like Crohns disease where people are on meds that suppress their immune system :p ). The biggest key here will to be to get as educated as you can and make sure you have plenty of time between your last exposure and the test.


Memorize the data on the disclosure handout and read the rest on the links below ... become an expert on Herpes and go in and make it CLEAR that you know what you are talking about and you are not leaving until you get answers. You may want to google the stats for your country as far as how many have H just to be able to show that you are on top of things...but if you go in with statistics on shedding and the information as far as the immune system stuff for a partner, I don't think they will be able to deny you valtrex.






Disclosure e-book:



If that doesn't work I would research Medical Tourism and see if there is a country near you that you could go to to pay out of pocket that has a good grade in OBGYN issues. It is often so cheap to go to some of these Doctors (who are often quite excellent) that you can easily afford the travel to get there.


It's not a lot better over here in some areas...many insurance companies will nickle and dime you and try to not cover STD tests so I feel your frustration. Sometimes you have to learn how to get around the system... ;)



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Sorry to hear you had an uninformed doctor as well!


It's so frustrating! I just want a final answer.

I'll be going to the doctor in April (mid-end-ish) and demand a blood test! Do you think the answer on that one will be correct? By that time I will be 5 months since my last sexual encounter.


I told my doctor that I knew for a fact that anti-viral medication would lower the transmission risk greatly, but she didn't listen and continued insisting that I can only infect other people when I have an open sore.. Unbelievable and kinda scary to think how little informed some of these doctors are about herpes.


Hmm, medical tourism is something I've never heard of, but I'll def look into it if my next doctor's visit is unsuccessfull. Thanks for the tip! ;)


I will update again in April/May when (or should I say IF) I get my blood test results back! :)

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Print this out from the CDC (you may want to see if you have an equivalent in your country but the CDC is pretty well respected in the medical community) and take it to your next appointment and show them the following paragraph and point out the bit about asymptomatic shedding and tell them they need to get up to date on Herpes




How do people get genital herpes?

Infections are transmitted through contact with lesions, mucosal surfaces, genital secretions, or oral secretions. HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also be shed from skin that looks normal. In persons with asymptomatic HSV-2 infections, genital HSV shedding occurs on 10% of days, and on most of those days the person has no signs or symptoms. [4] Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. Transmission most commonly occurs from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore and may not know that he or she is infected. [5]



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