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I might not have herpes???


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Hi all,

 

I'm wondering if any of you might have input on the very interesting situation I've found myself in. When I first received my diagnosis of genital herpes, my doctor did a swab test with the caveat that false negatives were common and based on her examination she was confident that this was what I had. I did indeed receive a negative result, and so I haven't known whether I had HSV 1 or 2. Having recently met a new partner, I felt that I wanted to at least know this information for his sake as well as mine, so I got a blood test. I have just heard from my doctor that this, too, has come back negative. As my initial outbreak was more than 6 months ago, antibodies should have developed by now. My doctor suggests that it's probable that I had a "different infection that almost identically mimicked herpes."

 

I'm seeing her tomorrow for something unrelated and will ask her about this further, but in the meantime, I'm flabbergasted. Have any of you ever heard of this? I have been googling the search terms "conditions confused with herpes" and the only frequent result that seems to match my symptoms is something called impetigo, which seems to be a type of staph infection - however, it's most common in young kids. I was tested for the gamut of other STI's at the time of my diagnosis and all were negative. I'd come to terms with having herpes, and my current partner was amazing about it when I told him, but it seems too good to be true that I might be off the hook. It's true that I haven't had any symptoms since my initial outbreak, but from everything I'd read this isn't unusual. It almost seems likelier to me that the blood test also returned a false negative. Do any of you have any experience with this?

 

I've also realized, on reading this result, that even if the initial diagnosis was incorrect I'm not sorry to have gotten it. Having to tell my then-partner was a blessing in disguise, as his negative reaction told me a lot of things that I needed to know about him, and telling my current partner also told me lots of things about him, but of the good variety - his reaction told me that he was mature, rational, and cared about me enough to shoulder the risk of herpes without freaking out. It also led me to this community, where I've been so touched and inspired by reading your stories and seeing your compassion toward each other and me. So either way, I'm content with the result. I more want to know for my current partner's sake - it would be wonderful if we didn't have to worry about him getting it at all!

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Well, by everything you're telling me, I'd say you don't have herpes (but hey, I'm also not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV)! And yes, I have heard a lot of false negatives in the testing arena. What kind of blood test did you get? IgG or IgM or Western Blot? I've heard that the Western Blot is the most accurate test for finding herpes antibodies. I would talk to your doctor about doing a Western Blot. S/he may need to mail your blood off to the Washington State lab to get that test, but that would definitely be definitive.

 

And I'm glad that either way you know you're content. That felt really good to read. It sounds like you're expanding your perception on everything in life being an opportunity, whether we judge experiences as "good" or "bad" ... they're all just experiences that help us to learn about ourselves and one another.

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OneDayAtATime, it looks like whether you have herpes or not, it has still had a positive impact on your life. How cool is that! Maybe you just needed that test to get you to where you are now, with the amazing man you are with.

 

I am not a doctor either, but I have had impetigo as a teenager and it does present pretty close to herpes. I had it on my face, but it started as a blister and then burst. Who knows, but either, way, you have handled it and made the very best of it. It would be wonderful to know for sure for your partner's sake. Not having to worry about herpes would be a fabulous gift! Keep us posted! :)

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