Jump to content
World's Largest Herpes Support Group
Sign in to follow this  
Herpetrator

Possibly diagnosed.. I would greatly appreciate if you guys can answer some questions

Recommended Posts

Herpetrator

I went to the doctor yesterday. He said it looks very suspicious of genital herpes. He took blood and told me to come back in 2 weeks for the results. I'm devastated and I'm preparing for the worst. Can you guys please answer my questions?

1) Can you have sex between the outbreaks? What are the chances that someone can catch it while there is currently not an outbreak? Should you wait a few days after the outbreak goes away just to be safe and make sure that microscopic amounts are still not there?

2) What are the chances that a girl can catch herpes if I had sex with her without a condom while I had this outbreak? I didn't know it was herpes at the time and I feel terrible and stupid and don't want her to catch it. We had sex a week ago. She said she felt burning right away but nothing since. It could be from a yeast infection cause she started taking a medication a week before we had sex with the possible side effect being a yeast infection, and the sex triggered the burning.

3) How many outbreaks did you have your first year? How many did you have in the years following?

4) How do you get tested? Like I said my doctor took blood and told me to come back in 2 weeks. First of all, I don't think it takes 2 weeks to get results. Second, I

read online that a blood test only tests for herpes antibodies in which cause it could come back as positive even if you don't have herpes since many people have the antibodies without actually having herpes. What kind of doctor should I go to and how can I find one?

Thank you so much guys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RealisticGal
I went to the doctor yesterday. He said it looks very suspicious of genital herpes. He took blood and told me to come back in 2 weeks for the results. I'm devastated and I'm preparing for the worst. Can you guys please answer my questions?

The good news is, the doctor took blood. Hopefully he ordered a Type Specific IgG-based HSV Antibody test for BOTH types of herpes simplex (HSV1 and HSV2).

The bad news, unless you didn't mention it, is that it sounds like he didn't take a swabbed sample from the actual sores to be cultured. That would be a more definite way to identify whether or not HSV is the cause of those symptoms.

1) Can you have sex between the outbreaks? What are the chances that someone can catch it while there is currently not an outbreak? Should you wait a few days after the outbreak goes away just to be safe and make sure that microscopic amounts are still not there?

Yes, people with HSV have sex.

You do need to recognize that even between recognizable outbreaks it is possible to have asymptomatic viral shedding which can transmit the herpes virus via skin to skin contact.

Typically, it is recommended to wait until the skin appears normal again to have sex.

2) What are the chances that a girl can catch herpes if I had sex with her without a condom while I had this outbreak? I didn't know it was herpes at the time and I feel terrible and stupid and don't want her to catch it. We had sex a week ago. She said she felt burning right away but nothing since. It could be from a yeast infection cause she started taking a medication a week before we had sex with the possible side effect being a yeast infection, and the sex triggered the burning.

Having skin to skin contact during an actual outbreak is the most likely way to transmit HSV, so that means she could have contracted it from you. Stats (in my opinion) are pretty meaningless. The percentages don't mean much. The only way to know in her case is for her to get tested, to find out whether or not she has contracted HSV. A test now can give her baseline status. If it comes back negative, she should be retested at least 3 to 4 months later, as it can take a while to form antibodies at a level that can be detected by the tests.

4) How do you get tested? Like I said my doctor took blood and told me to come back in 2 weeks. First of all, I don't think it takes 2 weeks to get results. Second, I

read online that a blood test only tests for herpes antibodies in which cause it could come back as positive even if you don't have herpes since many people have the antibodies without actually having herpes. What kind of doctor should I go to and how can I find one?

If you have an actual outbreak, you should have both swab/culture test and a Type Specific IgG-based HSV antibody test. In the absence of symptoms, you can only have the blood test done.

Different labs take different amounts of time to return results. Most take about 4 to 7 days. Don't count on your doctor to call with results either way. Stay on top of them and ask for a full printout of the results for you to keep.

I don't know where you would have read anything that said that about antibody test results. I suspect that might be a misunderstanding on your part.

If your test comes back with antibodies in the positive reference range, it means you do have herpes.

Unfortunately, what a blood test cannot do is identify the location of the infection. That is why your doctor should have swabbed the sores, to be sure what was causing those. With only a blood test, it is possible you could get positive results that reflect an infection with oral herpes, especially if the results are positive for HSV1.

I know it can all be confusing. As a matter of fact, many health care providers are woefully misinformed about HSV and HSV testing, including how to interpret the results accurately. That is one good reason to get a printout of your test results so we can help you understand them. There are some issues with one of the test kits that can cause additional confusion. Be sure to let us know what happens.

:wavey:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Herpetrator

Thank you so much for your help .. I'd hug you right now if I could.

So let me get this straight with the whole blood test thing. It definitely tells you if you have herpes or not, but it doesn't tell you if you have hsv 1 or hsv 2. It could come back positive, but you could have hsv 1 (which is much more common than hsv 2) and might think you have hsv 2 when you don't. Only a swab/culture test pinpoints where you have it.. is that about right?

And I'm sorry, I know you said you think stats are meaningless, but could you throw a number out there of what you can personally guess are the chances of her contracting it if we had condomless sex while I had an outbreak? I'm 10 times more concerned about her having it than myself since she's a good innocent girl and doesn't have sex with a lot of people unlike me. She doesn't deserve this, and keeps crying cause she's worried.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RealisticGal
Thank you so much for your help .. I'd hug you right now if I could.

Glad I could help. It's why the forum is here.

So let me get this straight with the whole blood test thing. It definitely tells you if you have herpes or not, but it doesn't tell you if you have hsv 1 or hsv 2. It could come back positive, but you could have hsv 1 (which is much more common than hsv 2) and might think you have hsv 2 when you don't. Only a swab/culture test pinpoints where you have it.. is that about right?

No, you got it a bit confused.

A TYPE SPECIFIC IgG-BASED HSV ANTIBODY test that checks for both HSV1 and HSV2 can tell you:

  • Whether or not you have Herpes simplex
  • Which type or types you have

What it cannot tell you is where the infection(s) are located, because all it is detecting is antibodies which circulate in the blood, not the actual viral particles from the site(s) of infection.

A test which uses materials from the actual (potential) site of infection is the only way to be relatively sure that symptoms you are having at that moment are (or are not) being caused by HSV. That type of test involves taking a sample of tissue from the site of the sores using a swab. The sample is then usually grown in a culture to determine whether or not HSV viral particles were present. The doctor who orders the test can specify that the lab "type" the sample, do determine whether it contains HSV1 or HSV2. Usually the lab will not do it unless the doc says so.

Another way of using the sample is the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) method, which would look for viral DNA. It isn't often used this way.

Neither of those tests is foolproof. They can yield false negative results. They also require actual lesions of some sort in order to be performed.

Blood tests can be done even when lesions are not present.

And I'm sorry, I know you said you think stats are meaningless, but could you throw a number out there of what you can personally guess are the chances of her contracting it if we had condomless sex while I had an outbreak? I'm 10 times more concerned about her having it than myself since she's a good innocent girl and doesn't have sex with a lot of people unlike me. She doesn't deserve this, and keeps crying cause she's worried.

This is not my "personal guess." That would definitely be meaningless.

The most frequently heard stats is roughly 10% PER YEAR for women, when the only precaution taken is avoiding intimate skin to skin contact during an outbreak.

This statistic is truly not very meaningful for a single incidence of sex. It is an ANNUAL statistic for those who are having ongoing sexual relations. Also, since you guys did have sex during an outbreak, that skews it even further.

I am not aware of any statistics for transmission based on a single incident. What I will do is share with you this snippet from a knol written by Dr. H Hunter Handsfield, who is one of the foremost experts in the field of STIs/HSV. There is a lot of info that is general and refers to all types of STIs, as well as several statements specific to HSV:

THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF STD/HIV TRANSMISSION

The scientific basis for STD transmission encompasses four domains. The first is biology, specifically the interactions between pathogen and host and, in the case of HIV, the amount of virus in the blood and genital secretions. The second domain involves conditions that can increase transmission efficiency, called co-factors. The third domain is human sexual behavior, which determines the frequency with which susceptible and infected persons interact in ways that allow transmission. The fourth and final domain includes the technologies available to reduce transmission, such as condoms and other barriers.

Biological Principles

Exposure. Many people assume that “just one virus” introduced into a person’s body in the right way is sufficient for any infection to take hold. In fact, there are major differences in transmission efficiency from one pathogen to another. A single rabies virus introduced into the bloodstream or under the skin may be sufficient for an inevitably fatal outcome. On the other hand, our bodies harbor billions of virulent staph, strep, and intestinal bacteria, yet for the most part we remain infection free because of natural defenses. These defenses include physical barriers like the skin and mucous membranes (the linings of most body cavities); chemical defenses, such the natural acidity of the stomach and vagina; and immunological defenses, the antibodies and sensitized cells that are lethal to invading pathogens either through “natural” immunity or following sensitization by earlier exposure to the same or similar organisms.

Immunity. Infected persons become resistant after their first infections with some STD pathogens. Persons infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) are immune to new infection, and those previously infected with particular type of human papillomavirus (HPV), such as HPV-6, are immune to reinfection with the same type. The immunity that develops to natural HBV or HPV infection has been exploited in developing effective vaccines. Those infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or 2 are highly resistant, if not completely immune, to reinfection with the same HSV type. Therefore, a person with recurrent oral herpes due to HSV-1 is unlikely to acquire genital herpes due to HSV-1; and couples who already share an HSV-2 infection are at no risk for back-and-forth (“ping-pong”) transmission. Lesser immunity develops to other STDs. For example, persons who recover from syphilis or chlamydial infection are somewhat less susceptible, but not immune to new infection. No measurable immunity follows gonorrhea.

Environment. Sexually transmitted bacteria do not tolerate drying, do not survive in microscopic droplets, and have evolved for survival in the genitals or rectum. Therefore transmission cannot occur through the air or through non-intimate personal contact, but instead requires the overt exchange of genital secretions or the direct contact of moist genital surfaces — that is, sex. Some STD pathogens, in particular HIV and HBV, also circulate in the blood and can be transmitted by exposure to blood or by organ transplantation. Transmission by routes other than sex occurs only through other “intimate” exposures, as when babies are infected in the uterus or during labor and delivery. Transmission does not result from contact of infected secretions or blood with intact skin, by airborne exposure, or by shared toilet seats, moist towels, or intimate clothing. The latter have been invoked through history as face-saving explanations, but they have no basis in fact.

Efficiency of Transmission. Even under optimal conditions for infection, transmission of most STDs is relatively inefficient. For example, only about 20% of men become infected for each episode of unprotected vaginal intercourse with an infected partner. The transmission efficiency in the opposite direction is higher, around 50%, because infected secretions are deposited in the vagina and have direct access to the cervix. The efficiency of chlamydia transmission is similar to that of gonorrhea. Calculations for transmission of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), the main cause of genital herpes, suggest that most exposures do not result in transmission, even when the virus is present in the infected partner’s genital area. In contrast, human papillomavirus (HPV) may be transmitted with something approaching 100% efficiency.

Now I get it that your friend is scared and you are also worried. Just let me tell you that neither of those emotions will help. In fact, the stress you are both allowing yourselves to experience right now may actually lower your immune systems, which will not help with fighting off the virus. :dong:

I know, I know...it is almost impossible not to be stressed. But do try to stop focusing on this. There is no way that worrying about it will help the situation. Do something fun that will take your minds off it. Also, educate yourselves about the fact that HSV is, for the most part, a very common minor virus that usually only causes an annoying skin irritation. The links on the right side of this page are good for educating yourselves. I leave it up to you to find something fun and stress-busting.

Has your friend been tested yet as a baseline? If not, I recommend doing that now.

As a final note, nobody "deserves" to get herpes simplex. It is not a punishment. It is not something humans get because they are "promiscuous" or whatever.

It is a virus, no different in that respect from chickenpox or the flu. We all get those and nobody freaks out over it. Chickenpox is even in the same family of viruses (herpesviridae) as herpes simplex, but it is taken in stride. Influenza kills a lot of folks each year, but it rarely strikes fear in anyone's heart the way HSV does.

And why? All because of a stupid, false, manufactured stigma --- which did not even exist until a few decades ago after acyclovir was invented. Hmmmmmm...

:wavey:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Herpetrator

Thanks again. Last question.. I'm going to a urologist tomorrow to get a second opinion, and hopefully better testing than just a blood test. Can I get the results from the swab test right away? If not, approximately how long does it take?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RealisticGal
Thanks again. Last question.. I'm going to a urologist tomorrow to get a second opinion, and hopefully better testing than just a blood test. Can I get the results from the swab test right away? If not, approximately how long does it take?

You probably cannot get "swab" test results immediately.

A swab test is a bit of a misnomer. The "swab" is a tool (like a Q-tip with a long handle) used to collect a sample of tissue from the area with symptoms.

After the sample is collected, there is more than one way the tissues can be processed.

Typically what is done is a "culture" test. The materials are placed in a culture cup, to see if it will "grow." If it does, the results are positive. The growth of these cultures is not instantaneous. It will take at least a few days. How long results will take varies from lab to lab.

Two other options are virus antigen detection tests and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests. I believe the antigen detection tests are considered less reliable. The PCR test is reliable, but usually not done from swabs. More commonly it is reserved for spinal taps. It really isn't used much.

Do you have symptoms (lesions/sores) at the moment? If you do not, they may not do a swab/culture, since they would usually say "there is nothing to swab." In order to have the best chance of an accurate result, you need to have something to swab and it needs to be fresh (within the first couple of days from the start of the symptoms).

Even when swab/culture tests are done right away, they can yield false negative results about 20% of the time. The technology is not perfect. That is why a single negative test result is not considered conclusive, and repeat testing may be necessary.

:wavey:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Herpetrator

It looks like it's not its last day or two before its totally gone. There's 2 very small spots of redness now. I hope they can still work with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RealisticGal
It looks like it's not its last day or two before its totally gone. There's 2 very small spots of redness now. I hope they can still work with that.

Please remind me, is redness the only symptom you have had?

Did you have any blisters, bumps, or other obvious lesions?

The fact is this: If the symptoms in that area started more than a couple of days ago, the chance of an accurate swab/culture result are greatly decreased. The test is most accurate when done on fresh (first day or two) sores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Herpetrator

It was mostly redness. It was very hard to tell if there were any bumps because I feel like the whole skin is naturally a little bumpy. There was no whiteness. The only thing is at some point a very very small part of the skin was gone and I saw the layer of skin underneath. Only when I touched that little part is when it hurt a little bit.

I went to the urologist today and he said he couldn't do a swab test cause it was healed over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
herpyterp

Did you find out if it was actually herpes? My symptoms right now are similar: just redness all over. My skin looks and feels very irritated, but there are no sores or blisters. Doctors have told me it's not herpes, but I'm not convinced. It would be nice to know if you tested negative or not, since maybe it will help me ease my mind (or freak out more!). Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

Advertisement

Try a Lysine supplement for cold sores

  • The Hive is Thriving!

    • Total Topics
      68,403
    • Total Posts
      456,806
  • Posts

    • ManagingIllness
      Who knows if I have had further testing since whatever post I made however long ago. Oh that's right, I know, and you don't, you ignorant fuck.
    • blurneworder
      I’m also in the same boat. The skin below my pelvic glands is red and rash-like or little red bumps show up for a day or two. Constant itching down there and on my scrotum. The entrance to my anus is itchy all day. Every doctor that has looked at it has seen nothing to be concerned about. Tingling on my lip, tingling in my left arm and hand, tingling in left foot. Tingling in my left thigh, full pain in head of penis. Girl I was seeing also has itchiness in her vag and the lip tingles. I get little cuts on my penis for no reason. Never been swabbed or taken theWestern Blot. So far, after 5 months since suspected contact, I’m IGG negative. this all happened soon after having sex multiple time with someone.
    • HC-Support-Team
      This is coming very soon.  The chat we had was great but crashed the site each time.  We've researched lots of options and hopefully we are close. Thanks for your patience! Shenda
    • Nella bean
      Sorry forgot to mention, she has had nothing as far as an outbreaks in 2 years.
    • Nella bean
      Hi guys, I have been making myself crazy googling. So i decided to ask people who know. My 28 year old daughter just told me that she has hvs1 for the last 4 years. She had a swab test days after first outbreak, it came back positive. She was also having a psoriasis outbreak. 6 months in a blood test came back negative, 1 year in another blood test negative. My daughter also suffers with psoriasis and ibs with is linked to the psoriasis.  There is also genital psoriasis that looks like the herpes virus. So does she have it or not...I looked up so much on google but things are conflicting to say the least. I am hoping to get some insight here. Thank you all!!!
×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.