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Married confused and worried. Please help.

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In short I’m worried I might have herpes and I’m not quite sure how.

My wife and I have been together for nearly 15 years. Our first Bub is on the way and I’m excited about being a father. About 5 years ago we were both unfaithful but managed to forgive and move on. We were both tested for STD at ~3 months after our last encounter that wasn’t with each other - mine was unprotected and something I have deeply regretted for a long time. Everything came back negative including herpes igg tests. I know I have been faithful and I’m confident my wife has been too. We are more in love than ever.

Over the years I have been getting what I thought was recurring thrush infections. I have always just applied the cream and it has clear up in 2-3 weeks. This happens once or twice a year. We have always avoided sex at these times so I don’t give it to her.

My most recent “thrush” infection was about a month ago. Started noticing it about 2 days after my wife gave me oral. I decided to google recurring thrush infection and this has led me to thinking I actually have herpes. I decided to have a closer look this time and google symptoms. I don’t get blisters like in the photos. It really only happens on the head and maybe a little on the shaft and they are not clustered. I do get distinct red spots however. On closer inspection this time around I noticed the red spots may be extremely small blisters. Thinking back it really only happens when I’m super stressed like I am now with work. 

I’ve been really worried that I may have herpes and not know it. As my wife is pregnant she had a bunch of tests and all were negative. I’m not sure if herpes was specifically done but I assume it was. We are now in our third trimester. Our pregnancy is somewhat high risk (she had a prior operation on her cervix) so we are abstaining from sex during this time. 

I have a couple of questions:

- is it possible that I got herpes and then my 3 month test gave a negative when I was in fact positive. 

- could I have not passed this on to my wife for nearly 5 years. We have a fairly active sex life and have not been using condoms but have avoided sex when I have had thrush. 

Im not sure how to approach this. I want to raise it with my wife but I’m worried it will create unnecessary stress at a time when it is certainly not needed - pregnant and high risk. I know I need to get tested again but work is pretty full on and finding time is difficult. On top of that if it comes back positive I know I’ll worry too much which will cause major problems for me and I need to be there for my wife at the moment. In short I’m scared of getting tested. Looking for some logical thinking on what the best course of action should be.


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Keep in mind that the IGG misses 30% of type one infections and 8% of type two infections.  If you happen to be positive from five years ago you may have fallen into those percentages therefore giving you a false negative back then.  Also, if you test false negative the first time around you are likely to always test false negative subsequently (based on current IGG testing).  Only way to know with most certainty if you have herpes, and are only testing by blood, is to obtain a Western Blot.  Otherwise you would want to get a swab of anything that looks suspicious for herpes since you indicate you aren't getting actual sores.  And yes, it is possible not to pass herpes along to a partner for years.  

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From what I've read yes, false negative 30% and 8% with IGG.  Also there's a lot of conflicting information out there about herpes in general.  If you keep reading about herpes online you'll eventually feel like you are going around in circles.  This site is good for information, and you can also google Terri Warren (if you haven't done so already) and check out her website which lots of people use.  Honestly that's where I learned a lot about herpes and testing in particular.  Getting the Western Blot is costly and involves some leg work, but gives you a definitive result.  

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If you end up going for the Western Blot you can get it through Terri Warren; however, she has her own fee in addition to the test fee.  Or you can work with your provider to order it.  Either way your blood gets shipped to the University of Washington for processing as it is the only place that does the Western Blot.  You can check out its website as well for more information about it.  Just FYI if you pursue this route.  

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Thanks for this. I’m finding the website you suggested very useful. I do not understand why they do these tests that are so inaccurate. 

If anyone has any advice on how to raise this with my wife and when that would be much appreciated. I’m thinking given we aren’t having sex until the baby arrives that I will wait. She wants a calm birth and I feel this is a burden I need to wear for that sake. This issue is not going to help with that... this will also give me time to focus on work, enjoy the pregnancy with her and gather the facts including doing more testing. My only dilemma with this is that I literally tell her everything and keeping my worries from her feels a bit odd.

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I am one of those 30% who tested negative by blood test (almost a decade apart) and tested positive by western blot. The upside is if it’s hsv-1 as in my case it’s super hard to pass genitally, so it might explain why you haven’t given it to your wife if you haven’t, and it might help console her. Also, I was super depressed at first, but I literally don’t care about it anymore, if that helps. 

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Is there any point getting another igg test? I don’t know if I will have access to the westernblot test. Also if I tested negative does that mean it will stay negative or can it turn positive. I am truly in the dark on this. I’m starting to think I do have HSV. When the whole std checks were going on they did a bunch of other tests and I had a test that checked for inflammation (CRP I think). That was high and the doctor was like I must be fighting an infection. I don’t remember having an any symptoms at that point. I was in a bit of a panicked state, I had just confessed to my wife and was a bit emotional. 

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No, it will not be worth it to get another blood test because it will show the same results. I tried this and got almost the exact same results each time. I got a western blot through Terri and thought she was great. Yes it is a complicated process but it can be done. I don’t know anything about any other stds because I’ve never actually had sex — I got it through an unfortunate oral encounter. 

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