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catb

such conflicting results and it's been three years!

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catb

Hi,

So three years ago, I got herpes from my boyfriends after the first time we had sex. About 8 days after we slept together, I had a primary outbreak - flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, and sores on my outer labia. I immediately went to the doctor after the second sore was present and she took a culture test, and blood test. At that time, the culture test came back positive for herpes, and my blood tests were all negative. When I asked my doctor what type of herpes I had, she responded by saying "the type doesn't matter, genital is genital." When I asked her a second time, she said "well you have hsv-2 but really the type doesn't matter." Her answer back then confused me mainly because of what I learned when my boyfriend subsequently got tested. His bloodwork showed he was positive for hsv-1 and not 2. Just an aside, I've been with two other people besides him. The first boyfriend, we were each other's first, and the second guy had been with one other girl, who was his first. Soooo, that ruled out the chance of me getting hsv-2 from one of them. At the time, my boyfriend and I simply had to come to terms with how inconsistent the results were between us. What mattered was, he gave me herpes, which I hadn't had before, and now we both had herpes so it didn't really matter.

Well, three years later, he broke up with me. My mom and sister kept urging me to get tested for herpes again (blood test). So I went to a new doctor last week, and he gave me an IgG test. The test came back positive for hsv-1 and negative for hsv-2. Now this result makes a whole lot more sense than the one my previous doctor gave me. After all, she idiotically said that "type doesn't matter." Even though logically it all makes so much more sense that this whole time I have had hsv-1 and not hsv-2 (I also never suffered another outbreak since that first one three years ago), I am still confused.

I need to know what to tell my future prospects. Do I say, "well I used to think I had hsv-2, but apparently I have hsv-1"? Or better question for any of your readers, have you experienced any inconsistency between culture test and blood test after enough time has passed to show antibodies since your initial infection ?

Any knowledge would be extremely helpful to me. In the meantime, I will be calling my old doctor Monday morning to request the original test results.

Thanks in advance for your reply friends :)

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RealisticGal

Hi catb ---

I don't find your story all that confusing.

It sounds like your first doctor never, ever "typed" your infection. Labs will not run "typing" of a culture unless the doctor specifically orders it. Had she done so, I doubt she would have said that "the type doesn't matter, genital is genital" when you asked. If she had known the type, she would have just told you when you asked. Instead, she tried to blow you off.

When you asked again, probably just to get you off her back, she just claimed you had HSV-2 since your symptoms were in the genital area.

That is not a valid assumption. The experts in the field of HSV are estimating that roughly 30% to 50% of new genital herpes cases are now being caused by HSV-1 rather than HSV-2.

Since the culture was positive for HSV, that proved that the symptoms you were having in that area were in fact caused by HSV. You just didn't have any indication of the type.

Your recent blood test showed positive only for HSV-1. So it is almost certain your genital herpes is caused by HSV-1.

I will mention one thing, though. There is no proof that you didn't get HSV from either of your other 2 partners. Both of them could have had HSV-1 and passed it to you, even the one who had not had a previous partner.

:wavey:

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lookingforansers

I too have had this disease for three years. My doctor never did a culture only a blood test. My boy friend gave me the disease on purpose. I stay in a state of inflamation. I took valtrex and it caused great stomach distress. I lost all of my sexual desire and have not had sex since my first out break. My boy friend is disrespectful I know he wants me to breakup with him so that he can find a new sex partner.

I have been to many doctors who have NO compassion for victims of herpes. I trusted the wrong person. My boy friend told me he has had the illness for 20 years and has never given the illness to anyone. What a lie. I blame myself.

I have an appointment on the 29th of this month. I am trying to stay positive but will not be surprized if the doctor has no answers for me.

Good Luck to all of us. We are still the great people we were before we became infected.

Hugs to all.

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RealisticGal
I too have had this disease for three years. My doctor never did a culture only a blood test. My boy friend gave me the disease on purpose. I stay in a state of inflamation. I took valtrex and it caused great stomach distress. I lost all of my sexual desire and have not had sex since my first out break. My boy friend is disrespectful I know he wants me to breakup with him so that he can find a new sex partner.

What did your blood test tell you as far as type --- HSV-1 or HSV-2?

I'm not sure what you mean about constant inflammation? Can you explain?

Here's a more important point -- If this guy is dissing you, then you should not stay with him!!!

As far as antiviral medications, have you tried either of the others? Some folks have said they can't use one or the other (in your case, Valtrex), but had success with either acyclovir or famvir.

I have been to many doctors who have NO compassion for victims of herpes. I trusted the wrong person. My boy friend told me he has had the illness for 20 years and has never given the illness to anyone. What a lie. I blame myself.

Oh, dear. You should not blame yourself. This is not your fault. You trusted someone who lied to you, apparently. People do that every day. But if we never took the chance of trusting others, the world would be a much sadder place.

I have an appointment on the 29th of this month. I am trying to stay positive but will not be surprized if the doctor has no answers for me.

I would suggest exploring the possibility of trying one of the other antiviral meds.

I would also say you should read up on how you might help manage the virus with some lifestyle changes, which you can read about in the links on the right side of this page >>>>>>

Lastly, I hope you will get away from this man who is undoubtedly causing you a great deal of stress, which is recognized as one of the most common triggers for HSV outbreaks.

Good Luck to all of us. We are still the great people we were before we became infected.

Hugs to all.

Yes, you are!

:wavey:

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catb

Hi RealisticGal,

Thanks for your reply. It's quite helpful. I have this feeling you are right about my doctor, she also falsely told me I had HPV about two years ago and then took it back when I asked her to clarify. I'm going to call her office on Monday to request the original culture and blood test results. Now I actually thought that a culture test could determine the type. Are you saying that is not the case?

Also, have you ever heard of a false negative hsv-2 IgG test three years later? I was under the impression that three years later your ELISA ratio would be quite high.

Thanks Again,

Wow doctors can be impatient!

cat

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RealisticGal
Hi RealisticGal,

Thanks for your reply. It's quite helpful. I have this feeling you are right about my doctor, she also falsely told me I had HPV about two years ago and then took it back when I asked her to clarify. I'm going to call her office on Monday to request the original culture and blood test results. Now I actually thought that a culture test could determine the type. Are you saying that is not the case?

Culture tests can be typed, but the lab will not do that unless the doctor specifies it.

Also, have you ever heard of a false negative hsv-2 IgG test three years later? I was under the impression that three years later your ELISA ratio would be quite high.

There are some folks who do not form detectable levels of antibodies. It isn't typical, but it happens.

:wavey:

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catb

ok so in the event that I only have genital hsv-1, in your opinion:

1) how likely is transmission genital to genital hsv-1 in a male who has oral hsv-1 and neg hsv-2?

2) how likely is transmission genital to genital hsv-1 in a male who doesn't have hsv-1 or hsv-2?

Thanks again realisticgal!

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RealisticGal
ok so in the event that I only have genital hsv-1, in your opinion:

1) how likely is transmission genital to genital hsv-1 in a male who has oral hsv-1 and neg hsv-2?

2) how likely is transmission genital to genital hsv-1 in a male who doesn't have hsv-1 or hsv-2?

Thanks again realisticgal!

I'm not a big believer in statistics, to be honest. They can be reassuring, but I believe it is very important to understand that there is always a chance. Nothing can reduce the chance of transmission to zero.

That said, I can tell you the basic accepted concepts about transmission:

The most likely chance of transmission is during an active outbreak. Avoiding intimate contact at that time will reduce the chances to about 10% annually from a man to a woman and roughly half that percentage from a woman to a man.

Using daily suppressive antiviral medication can further reduce the chance of transmission by as much as 50% to 80%. Consistent condom usage can also help lower the risk.

Using one or both of those brings the annual chance of transmission from female to male to roughly 1% to 2%.

Because HSV-1 in the genital area is thought to recur and shed less often, it is believed to be less likely to transmit than genital HSV-2.

If the partner has either HSV-1 or HSV-2 already, they have antibodies that theoretically offer some level of protection against acquiring another infection with HSV (either a second type or a second location).

Does that help at all?

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catb

yes, that helps a lot. I had learned a lot about hsv-2 over the years, but didn't pay much attention to hsv-1 statistics. I suspected that genital hsv-1 transmission to a male (genitally) would be low, especially if the male already has oral hsv-1. and it seems your information concurs.

that being said, I agree that we really have no absolute confirmation of these percentages. after all I acquired hsv (whatever type) from someone without symptoms, so that being said I want to make sure my future partner can make a knowledgeable decision (a chance I didn't get).

thanks for the help!

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catb

one more question,

if I have hsv-1 genital, what are the chances I might get hsv-1 oral? fairly slim right?

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RealisticGal

that being said, I agree that we really have no absolute confirmation of these percentages. after all I acquired hsv (whatever type) from someone without symptoms, so that being said I want to make sure my future partner can make a knowledgeable decision (a chance I didn't get).

It's true that statistics can't possibly be completely accurate. There is some extrapolation of data involved, etc.

However, my real problem with statistics is that they may give folks a false sense of security. If a guy sees something like a "1% to 2% annual chance of transmission," it might make him feel like he can't possibly get HSV.

But he can. There is always the chance any given individual will fall into that low percentage.

As long as a person is able to be okay with that, so as to make a truly informed decision, I think that's what matters.

:wavey:

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