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Do I have Herpes or Not?

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Dear forum, I know this probably a lot of info. Many many thanks to anyone who reads and responds.

I am pretty confused. I was in China about a month ago when I was diagnosed with chlamydia. The doc prescribed me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. A couple of days later, I noticed a gential ulcer under my foreskin along with some redness. I went back to my doctor and he told me it was probably herpes and put me on a 10 day course for valtrex. He told me that viral cultures in China weren't incredibly accurate and recommended that I do a blood test instead. The blood test came back negative for Igg (both types) and positive for HSV II Igm.

Two days after my initial valtrex course i came back to the US and noticed that my outbreak, although better, seemed to have regressed somewhat. I assumed it was a recurrence and took some more valtrex for the next three days. My outbreak had still not gone away with all that valtrex so I decided to get it checked out by another doctor back in America (I was back in the states 8 days after being prescribed the valtrex in china).

The doctor here took a look at it and said it definitely looked like herpes but said the duration of the outbreak seemed slightly odd. There were still some lesions present so she decided to do a viral culture. In 3 days I get an email telling me that the culture came back negative and that the symptoms were probably due to friction burn and would resolve on their own.

Everything resolved in the next few days and I was ecstatic but am now feeling incredibly confused. Friction burn doesn't really make sense when I think about it because symptoms didn't show up until about 2 weeks after I had sex. Could the ulcer have been a reaction to the antibiotics I had to take for chlamydia? I read online that antibiotics can sometimes trigger thrush. But does thrush resolve on it's own? I read online that igm results should generally be disregarded but that viral cultures also have a high rate of false-negatives. I am going crazy thinking about this all day. I really hope I don't have herpes...

To anyone who made it this far, thanks for reading. Any input would be deeply appreciated.

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Hey jim, let me be the first to welcome you to our community. I'm sorry you find us under such sad circumstances, but you are most welcome.

What you are describing might be herpes. You said you tested positive for HsvII on an IgM test, which is the more unreliable test. WHen they did a swab test it also tested negative. I am the bearer of bad news, it might take up to six months for the antibodies to show up in the blood for an IgG or an IgM. The IgG is the most reliable test availible for herpes testing, so I would recommend retesting in a few weeks.

As far as the duration of the outbreak, that in itself is not as odd as the doctor says. SOme outbreaks, particularly the first one, can last upwards of a month and a half! We have people on this site who have had an outbreak (ob) for more than two months!

And its not that surprising that the symptoms got worse, or didn't go away, while on valtrex. Valtrex doesn't work for everyone, so if it is indeed herpes, you might want to try getting on a vitamin C and Lysine (about 1g a day) and see if that better helps your problem.

As far as having it the rest of your life, it is certainly not the worst thing to have, and most have even improved their lives after discovering herpes. It can change you for the better or the worst, it all depends on how you take it. Hope this helped!

Message me or catch me in chat if you have more personal questions!

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I have read every word mate, a few themes in there familiar to me.

Chlamydia is a bit nasty in that it often shows no external signs but gets to work internally. The prostate is an early target and although I'm only in the early phases of invetigating this for myself, I understand prostatis can linger after chlamydia is eradicated. Prostatis can cause symptoms some feel are similar to herpes, but this seems to be more in the tingles, pain, sting, sandpaper department rather than ulcers, sores etc. Probably something just to keep an eye on for now. You will need to have an open mind as to what might cause any symptoms from here. I have no further insight as to whether chlamydia or the antibiotics could cause the ulcer.

IgM is an antibody (I wasn't aware it could be typed 1 or 2 given its generality, maybe someone knows more) that is an early warrior against viruses. It goes away and IgG antobodies come on the scene. It is a sign that your body is possibly fighting something but some feel this isn't always HSV. It is a highly inconclusive sign, but one that suggests further follow up in my view.

The negative IgG would be a sign that (if and only if it ultimately happens that you have HSV) this is likely to be the first outbreaks. It is a good sign and you know the base from which you are coming.

You indicate that the outbreak was prolonged. The virus itself is known to be active early on but probably not present as the sore progresses through healing. This could therefore explain a negative reading.

In your situation, I'd want a little more evidence to really be able to discount HSV. Get any future outbreaks swabbed immediately (<48 hours if possible). In at least 4 months, get another round of IgG tests. If they are negative and you've had no symptoms at all in the 4 months, well that's probably as good as it gets.

There are a small number of people who do not seroconvert (have a positive IgG test) but I think it can be assumed they mostly experience noticeable symptoms.

Yes it is rather better all round if you do not have herpes, but also note that even if it ultimately shows that you have HSV, you'll be able to deal with that and plenty of people on here to provide support.

Good luck, I'm sure everyone will be interested in how you go. Even if it is the outcome you desire, others with the same exprience will appreciate reading about it.

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