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Tone12

Do I have herpes or not?

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Hello back in October I had a risky sexual encounter with a girl I dated that has hsv2. It didn't work out (not because of hsv2) because we want different things in life. I've had a negative igG for hsv2 30 weeks from the last sexual contact we had. Is it safe to assume I didn't catch it. I also got a western blot at 24 weeks witch was negative. I know the igG picks up first tho so the neg wb is of some concern it didn't pick up. I also have hsv1 since a child. I've read that slows seroconversion for awhile. It's kind of making me nervous after reading it can take some people up to a year to show positive igG. Is this true?  

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Can i trust these results, I've had some wierd things happen minus the actual blisters and sores. If these bloodtests are reliable like they say something should of shown by now I would think. I just don't want to unknowingly infect someone. If anyone can shed some light on their experiences of highly appreciate it.

How long did it take u to show positive on the bloodtest after a risky exposure?

They say 12 yo 16 weeks. I read stories of people taking many months to show up in blood work. Everything can be the opposite of what they say and it makes anxiety worse.  

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Taking many months to show is an abnormality. You got a Western Blot, which is as definitive a blood test you can get. If it was negative you should forward thinking you are negative. It sounds like you might have some health anxiety issues. That's cool, so do I. 

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23 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Taking many months to show is an abnormality. You got a Western Blot, which is as definitive a blood test you can get. If it was negative you should forward thinking you are negative. It sounds like you might have some health anxiety issues. That's cool, so do I. 

Thanks for your reply. I want to trust the wb but I read the igG is first to appear and that's why I'm questioning everything..

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I don't understand your confusion. Both of your tests are negative and you waited 6 months for one test and 7.5 months for the other. This is enough time for it to show up, unless you are immunocompromised. Unless I'm missing something, I think you can trust the tests.

I haven't read that HSV-1 significantly delays seroconversion. The only thing I have read that can interfere with the western blot is if you are taking antivirals, you are supposed to stop for 2-3 months before taking the test. 

What are the symptoms you have had that you are concerned about? There are plenty of uncomfortable symptoms that occur in the genital area that are not because of herpes...


 

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My username is "tiredandlonely" because I joined back when I was first diagnosed and I don't know how to change it now. I'm not tired and lonely anymore. Still tired sometimes though 🙂

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15 hours ago, tiredandlonely said:

I don't understand your confusion. Both of your tests are negative and you waited 6 months for one test and 7.5 months for the other. This is enough time for it to show up, unless you are immunocompromised. Unless I'm missing something, I think you can trust the tests.

I haven't read that HSV-1 significantly delays seroconversion. The only thing I have read that can interfere with the western blot is if you are taking antivirals, you are supposed to stop for 2-3 months before taking the test. 

What are the symptoms you have had that you are concerned about? There are plenty of uncomfortable symptoms that occur in the genital area that are not because of herpes...

Thank you for the response and assurance. I have no reason to doubt it it's just because I read so much people don't seroconvert and swap + and have - blood months later. I'm sure it's because the antiviral meds mess with the antibody count. Can i ask if you're + for type 1 or 2. Did you kno your exposure date, how long did it take to test + on igG

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I'm HSV-2 positive and I do know how and when I got it. 

I had a primary outbreak less than a week after exposure (I'd been having frequent sex with this person so I don't know the exact exposure date). I went to the doctor within a day of the symptoms showing up. The lesions were swabbed and were positive for HSV-2. A blood test performed at the same time was negative, so I know it was a brand new infection. 

I had a blood test about a month later and it was positive for HSV-2, so my antibodies showed up pretty quickly. 


 

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My username is "tiredandlonely" because I joined back when I was first diagnosed and I don't know how to change it now. I'm not tired and lonely anymore. Still tired sometimes though 🙂

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2 minutes ago, tiredandlonely said:

I'm HSV-2 positive and I do know how and when I got it. 

I had a primary outbreak less than a week after exposure (I'd been having frequent sex with this person so I don't know the exact exposure date). I went to the doctor within a day of the symptoms showing up. The lesions were swabbed and were positive for HSV-2. A blood test performed at the same time was negative, so I know it was a brand new infection. 

I had a blood test about a month later and it was positive for HSV-2, so my antibodies showed up pretty quickly. 

Thank you for that clarification, they say antibodies show up quicker on those that don't have hsv1 for example. I have hsv1 sinse childhood and am at a loss of what to expect. Some say it slows seroconversion some say it dont. I'm sure not passed 6 months but still all the what iffs kind of gets to ya. Thank you once again. 

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Even if HSV-1 slows seroconversion, it does not prevent it. You should be testing positive by now if you contracted HSV-2 over 7 months ago.

Since over half of the population has HSV-1, the HSV-2 test would not be reliable 12-16 weeks after exposure if HSV-1 delayed seroconversion that much.

Also, you don't say if you're male or female, but you mention your partner is female. If you are male, the overall risk of transmission from female to male when no symptoms are present, condoms are not used, and the female is not on antivrials is only about 4%. 

So here is how I see your situation:

  • You had a low risk of contracting herpes in the first place 
  • You had a negative IgG test over 16 weeks after exposure (~92% accurate)
  • You had a negative Western Blot over 16 weeks after exposure (~99% accurate)

You can live your life worrying about the minuscule chance that you have HSV-2 and the tests did not pick it up, but I think it would be better to move on knowing that you have done your due diligence and most others in your situation would accept that they do not have HSV-2.

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My username is "tiredandlonely" because I joined back when I was first diagnosed and I don't know how to change it now. I'm not tired and lonely anymore. Still tired sometimes though 🙂

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Were you tested by IgG or Western Blot? 

Unfortunately, the IgG for HSV-1 is much less sensitive than it is for HSV-2 and is not a reliable way to confirm diagnosis. It misses about 30% of HSV-1 infections. 

IgG and Western Blot work differently. The IgG tests for a specific protein, while the Western Blot looks for all proteins related to HSV-1 and HSV-2. 

The published rates for Western Blot are 92% for HSV-1 and over 99% for HSV-2.

Because the OP is concerned about HSV-2 and had a Western Blot, I think that a negative test after 6 months with no symptoms is sufficient. 

If you have symptoms and need to get to the bottom of a diagnosis and determine proper treatment, I think it is reasonable to continue pursuing different testing. But if you don't have symptoms, the responsible thing to do is to follow current medical guidance on testing after exposure, and Western Blot 16+ weeks after exposure is a highly accurate way to detect HSV-2 infections.

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My username is "tiredandlonely" because I joined back when I was first diagnosed and I don't know how to change it now. I'm not tired and lonely anymore. Still tired sometimes though 🙂

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10 hours ago, blurneworder said:

I didn't test positive for HSV1 until 11 months later.

I had 1 pimplelike thing appear that litterly stayed for 2 1/2 months derm said was mallescum. I wasn't to certain and another said sabacious cyst. I had it biopsied and not even sure if they checked for hsv or even hpv. All he said it was bacterial and I wasn't asking too many questions cause so much was on my mind. I kno h doesn't last tgat long and never blistered or ulcered.  Blurner did u get another test by chance. If get the western blot Just to see. If u got a low positive after 11 months it could be false. U should of gotten a low positive months ago if it was the case. I wouldn't stop there if I was u

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@Tone12 What you describe doesn't sound like herpes. I would still trust the Western Blot. 

@blurneworder I noticed in other posts of yours that you have experienced frequent symptoms. Have you tried antivirals and if so, have they helped with any of your symptoms? 

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My username is "tiredandlonely" because I joined back when I was first diagnosed and I don't know how to change it now. I'm not tired and lonely anymore. Still tired sometimes though 🙂

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2 hours ago, tiredandlonely said:

@Tone12 What you describe doesn't sound like herpes. I would still trust the Western Blot. 

@blurneworder I noticed in other posts of yours that you have experienced frequent symptoms. Have you tried antivirals and if so, have they helped with any of your symptoms? 

Anti virals help with the headaches and dry eye. 

It hasn't helped the other symptoms -- burning, itching, skin changing colors, nerve tingling.

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I haven't read through all of your posts, so I may have missed something, but I find it interesting that your symptoms all started after you found out that someone you used to date might have herpes.

Did you ever find out if that person actually does have herpes? 

Also, do you think you have ocular herpes? Headaches and dry eye are not common herpes symptoms.

Burning, itching, nerve tingling should improve on antivirals if these symptoms are related to the virus. I don't know what you mean by skin changing colors - like redness? 

What specialists have you seen? If you think you have ocular herpes, I hope you have seen an ophthalmologist. For the nerve symptoms, I think you should see a neurologist because it doesn't sound like your symptoms correlate with traditional herpes outbreaks, and a neurologist can help you identify if other pathologies could be causing this, or if you do in fact have nerve issues from herpes. 


 

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My username is "tiredandlonely" because I joined back when I was first diagnosed and I don't know how to change it now. I'm not tired and lonely anymore. Still tired sometimes though 🙂

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1 hour ago, tiredandlonely said:

I haven't read through all of your posts, so I may have missed something, but I find it interesting that your symptoms all started after you found out that someone you used to date might have herpes.

Did you ever find out if that person actually does have herpes? 

Also, do you think you have ocular herpes? Headaches and dry eye are not common herpes symptoms.

Burning, itching, nerve tingling should improve on antivirals if these symptoms are related to the virus. I don't know what you mean by skin changing colors - like redness? 

What specialists have you seen? If you think you have ocular herpes, I hope you have seen an ophthalmologist. For the nerve symptoms, I think you should see a neurologist because it doesn't sound like your symptoms correlate with traditional herpes outbreaks, and a neurologist can help you identify if other pathologies could be causing this, or if you do in fact have nerve issues from herpes. 

They tested negative through blood and swab as of last year, but we no longer speaker, so I don't know of her current status. Things didn't start happening because I thought really hard about it; they happened 2 days after sex. The flu-like symptoms and mouth symptoms didn't start until 4 month later after I was exposed to sunlight for hours ( a known trigger for HSV)

My eye doctor sees damage similar to ocular herpes, but doesn't see the strand in my eye. Neither of the 2 ophthalmologists would take swabs of my eye.

In tears of redness, the head of my penis has turned red, and some skin near it has done the same. I also now have little circular red dots that show up on my thighs if I masterbate.

I saw a neurologist and the test were negative, but this was also when I found out I had HSV1 via blood test. He told me has seen patients with HSV who get the tingling in the head, brain fog, and confusion just like I do.

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I think it is very rare to have ocular, oral, and genital herpes, especially with HSV-1, but if your symptoms are so persistent and you have a positive test, are you taking antivirals? If these symptoms are caused by HSV, daily suppressible medication for a while may make you feel better because they can help keep the virus under control. It's not clear from what you've written if any of your doctors have provided medication or treatment options to help you.

Flu like symptoms would have happened close to your exposure, not 4 months later; exposure to sunlight can trigger a re-occurrence of oral HSV-1, but you'd expect flu like symptoms to present closer to when you were actually exposed (it's also possible you were also just sick, and our immune system was down and that allowed the virus to activate and cause your oral symptoms...)

What you describe in the genital area (redness on your penis, circular red dots on your thighs) is not consistent with herpes. How long do the red dots last?

Was your IgG high (above 3.5) for HSV-1? If it wasn't, I would encourage you to get a Western Blot to confirm your diagnosis. 

I'm not saying that you don't have herpes, but your symptoms are vague and could be attributed to other things as well. I hope you can find a doctor who will work with you to treat your symptoms.

 


 

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My username is "tiredandlonely" because I joined back when I was first diagnosed and I don't know how to change it now. I'm not tired and lonely anymore. Still tired sometimes though 🙂

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On 6/3/2019 at 1:08 PM, Tone12 said:

Thank you for that clarification, they say antibodies show up quicker on those that don't have hsv1 for example. I have hsv1 sinse childhood and am at a loss of what to expect. Some say it slows seroconversion some say it dont. I'm sure not passed 6 months but still all the what iffs kind of gets to ya. Thank you once again. 

Even if you have HSV 1 your HSV 2 antibodies would be showing between 12 and 16 weeks. If they aren't, then you likely have a compromised immune system due to something like HIV. You need to calm down and approach this situation a bit more rationally. You might also consider seeking therapy for health anxiety. 

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2 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Even if you have HSV 1 your HSV 2 antibodies would be showing between 12 and 16 weeks. If they aren't, then you likely have a compromised immune system due to something like HIV. You need to calm down and approach this situation a bit more rationally. You might also consider seeking therapy for health anxiety. 

Thank you I needed that kick in the butt lol. I feel reassured then because I don't think I have a compromised immune system. I can't remember the last time I had a runny nose let alone a cold. I am over thinking this and need to believe these negative results. The more I read the more I feel worse after reading all the + swabs and - blood months later or even longer.  The only thing is keeping me sane is I didn't have outbreaks or nothing just weird sensations...

Can i ask if u don't mind answering. Do u have type 1 or 2. Or both and if so did u kno the exposure date and how long did it take to show in the blood? I appreciate you very much 

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