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Blood test vs Culture.. My unfortunate experience

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WOW! So, I wanted to post my story on here, so others can learn from it.

So, it started about 2 years ago, I was dating a guy, got a UTI accompanied by a horrible "rash." I went to the dr, a free clinic since I did not have health insurance. The dr. took one look, looked disgusted, and told me it looked like herpes. I freaked out, they tested me for STDs, which I thought included herpes. I broke up with my boyfriend over it due to his immaturity, denial, refusal to get himself tested, etc (good riddance, really!) I went back months to a year later, to find out they never tested me for herpes, so they did a blood test so I could finally find out if I did have it or not. Everything came up NEGATIVE. I was so relieved, after believing I had herpes for so long. I even had told the new guy I was dating about it, who much to my relief accepted me anyway (should have hung on to him, but we broke up since, mostly because I do not think I was mentally ready to jump into bed with someone due to this experience).

So after going through the ringer, thinking that I had it, and then the test results coming up negative, I was so relieved, thinking I was lucky. Always looking on the bright side of things, I did feel grateful to have learned so much about something that has such a stigma attached to it.

Now, 2 years down the road, I'm in a relationship. I go to the dr for some discomfort (I won't get into it) and am prescribed a cream. It clears right up with the cream then a week later I get a painful "rash." Knowing that this is a lot like something I experienced before, I'm still thinking, "but I was negative!" I go to the dr, get prescribed more creams, she takes a culture of the rash. Herpes comes up in conversation and I'm thinking "NOT AGAIN!" Test results came back yesterday POSITIVE for Herpes Simplex 1.

So, here I go again. The guy I'm seeing knows I've been having problems, knows herpes is a possibility, he's joked about it, but I guess I get to find out how he really feels today! I also have the fear that I spread it to him already.

I really wish I would have just assumed I had herpes 2 years ago even with the negative blood test results. I have now read that it takes time for it to show up in the blood. I really wish the doctors I have had given me more information, and didn't leave me to look it up online. Especially since, at that moment, when you are diagnosed, your mind is racing, that you sometimes don't ask all the questions you should. Even now, my doctor simply prescribed Valtrex and some $300 cream that my insurance does not cover, AND I'm cleared up now, so I don't even need it. She hasn't given me any info on how often the outbreaks could occur, what could set them off, how easily it is transmitted, etc.

I was thankful for this site in the past and I am thankful again.

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wow this sounds like a rollercoaster of emotions and really of craziness.. im sorry that your docs had no informaton on herpes, as most dont, which to me is crazy... due to their lack of knowledge and ignorance you could have gotten a specific igg test a few months after your first one and possibly gotten your answer THEN...

so have you told your current guy by now? what has he said to you... are you guys working things out? is he supporitve.. sorry fro all the questions however it could help many others..

im so glad you shared your story as many tests come back negative for some people and they think they are "hsv free" as they dont have the tools and knowledge of the virus and when to test from their own doctors...when in reality ,,, if they just have tested a few months later, would get a more accurate result..

well anyway good luck with your current guy pLEASE give us an update it would be greatly appreciated !! :)

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I told the boyfriend. He seems fine with it. He is getting tested soon. He asked a lot of questions and politely asked me if I minded him asking questions. He has said that if he hasn't gotten it from me by now than there must a good chance he wouldn't get it if we continued to see each other. So this is now my third time with the herpes talk with a boyfriend. I know it was the scariest part the first time I went through it. We all think 'who will want to be with me?' 'I'm disgusting' Yada Yada. And to all the newly diagnosed, let me say that is nonsense! Though it is not a fun conversation to have, it lets you know early on the persons' character. Ignorance is definitely not a quality I want in the person I'm dating. Like I said in my post before, the guy I was with when this happened the first time had a horrible reaction! And I'm so happy I got to learn early on what kind of person he was. I now am about 99% sure he is the one I got this from, and its no use updating him with my positive status because he would still deny it and refuse to get tested.

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Hi there, that is quite a story, and generated a handful of thoughts in my mind about your situation.

You say that you tested negative several months, up to 12 after an episode that had visual alignment with herpes symptoms. If these were HSV IgG type specific tests then the most likely (but not only) explanation is that you did not actually have herpes at the time of that episode. There is however a small chance that you did but are one of those people, perhaps 10%, for which you don't react to the tests for a variety of reasons to yield a positive result.

I culture is pretty definitive, and it is most likely that you were infected by someone with oral HSV-1 during oral sex. This of course can come from anyone of the perhaps 75% of people who have it, many from childhood. That includes current and previous partners. The good news though that a male partner with an established oral HSV-1 infection is extremely unlikely to be infected genitally so you are indeed likely to have the same attitude that you are experiencing from your current bf if they are informed in respect of HSV.

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