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mind boggling herpes type 2

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Hello friends,


Ive been lurking around this forum for some time now because i have been struggling emotionally to understand how my partner has contracted herpes. I will explain the situation in the simplest way possible using bullet points, and i hope some of you guys can help me make sense of the situation.


.I am male, and have been in a monogamous relationship with my male partner since 2012.

.We decided to wait for six months to get tested before having sex, just to make sure we were both STD free.

.The results came back negative for everything (including HSV2 igG and igM Elisa method) and we have been having unprotected sex.

.We both had oral HSV1 since we were kids.

.Our HSV2 antibody tests came negative for 2012, 2013, 2015.

.Our sex life went through a "drought" in the first half of 2016 (i don't know why)

.Come June 2016, my partner developed an itch in the anal area(about an inch inside the sphincter)

.My partner's lesions were swabbed and an HSV2 antibody blood test was administered( ELISA method, igG and igM), both results came positive for HSV2. His IgG was 22.910!

.All MY test results came back negative.

.6 months later and I'm still negative for HSV2 antibodies.



So here's the thing:


I love my partner so so much! He swears he hadn't cheated on me, and i have never cheated on him either, despite having felt sexually neglected for half of last year. I just do not understand how he got herpes 2 anally any other way!

if he had gotten it on his lips by via an innocent "peck" from someone unknowingly, that would make sense.


if i had given it to him, then i'd be positive around the same time, but i made sure to get tested 3 times just to make sure it wasn't a false negative and they all came back negative, 4 and 6 months after "exposure". I felt guilty for the slight possibility that i might have given it to him, but that was put to rest.


I hate how, because of this, doubt crept into my mind and seems to have nested there. I tried to think of all scenarios in which such an infection can be contracted which don't involve sexual contact but they all don't make sense at all, especially given the fact that the breakouts are inside the anus. If he had it from before we met, how likely is it that the 3 annual HSV2 tests we had were false negatives?!


I don't know what to think and i would be so appreciative and grateful to hear your opinions.



Thank you.







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Hi, @lovelovelove, and welcome. I admit I am stumped as well. I just received my diagnosis a year ago (although I now know I've had HSV for over 20 years), so I'm definitely no expert, but I've done my share of reading. Two things from your post immediately came to mind, which I'll ask/mention because you're actively seeking feedback, but please keep in mind that I have a bit of a "slightly cynical because I'm recently divorced" perspective on relationships right now.


The first thing that popped in my mind was, "Did you physically see your partner's previous test results?" It's really uncomfortable for me to ask a question that denotes such distrust, but If you're trying to solve a mystery, it just seems pertinent to ask.


If you're concerned about false negatives from the previous tests (I really don't know the likelihood of three false negatives), your partner could seek out a Western Blot test for HSV2.


The second thing that really jumped out at me was the timing. You guys went through a sex "drought" in the first half of 2016 for no apparent reason and your partner has an outbreak in June of 2016. Absolutely nothing about that statement proves he cheated on you. It's simply my observation.


Keep in mind that an outbreak in the anus does not mean he contracted the virus there. The virus lives in the entire "boxer shorts" region and can enter the body in one part of that region and exit in another.


I do want to add that I really respect that you're actively and rationally looking for other explanations without immediately jumping to the worst possible conclusion. I think that speaks very highly of you. I, too, am curious to hear what others may have to say.

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hi @HikingGirl


Thank you for commenting! Im here to discuss this, so no offense taken at all :) yeah, i called the clinic which we have gotten tested at and went through the tests results of each year. All clear until 2016.


About the "boxer short" observation, doesn't the virus come out in the form of blisters where it entered the body? i mean if someone came into contact with the virus via the shaft of his penis, it's more likely to break out again in the same area, rather than, say, the rectum/anus...am i right?


isn't that why oral herpes happens around the mouth, rather than the nose, for example?


Even if your theory is correct... it still doesn't explain where it came from and why the blood tests were clear all these years. There are so many misinformed "doctors" out there. My partner was told by one of the STD testing centers that antibodies show ONLY after the first breakout, regardless of when the infection happened. Other clinics told us that antibodies take a maximum of 16 weeks to show in blood tests, regardless of whether or not there were any visual symptoms.


Are there any skin conditions which tests fail to differentiate from HSV2?


i appreciate your comment, and hope to hear what you or others have to say. I know it's not a life or death matter, but i can't stop thinking about this issue. I don't think i'd have done this much research about it if i had been the one suffering from it. I just can't accept that something that is clearly an STD, would show up out of thin air, in year 4 of a monogamous relationship, after being tested for it (and clear) every year.


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It doesn't show up only where it entered the body. It can be anywhere in the area already discussed.


An igg blood test will pick up asymptomatic infections.


Edit: saw your nose comment. Hsv1 won't show up on your nose not because it's not where you were kissed but because hsv only can get to the surface in muscousal (spelling?), thin cells like the penis, anus, lips, and vagina.

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My partner was told by one of the STD testing centers that antibodies show ONLY after the first breakout, regardless of when the infection happened. Other clinics told us that antibodies take a maximum of 16 weeks to show in blood tests, regardless of whether or not there were any visual symptoms.


Are there any skin conditions which tests fail to differentiate from HSV2?


The clinic talking to your partner was probably talking about the IGM test which gets no love here, or with the herpes experts. I'm far from an expert, but I believe it only shows if you have HSV (not the type), and it can show recent infections, but these antibodies go away after the initial infection.


The maximum of 16 weeks for antibodies to show up in blood tests sounds like IGG testing which are different antibodies than IGM. Mine showed up after around 9-10 weeks I believe.

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@lovelovelove, what about reaching out to Terrri Warren? She is a nurse practicitioner who is an expert on herpes and has done a lot of research. Although her clinic is closed you can go to Westover heights.com to interact with her either through a video consult or the web. Both options involve a fee, but it could be very much worth it to chat with someone with a clinical background and a lot of education on this subject. Good luck!

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