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sm0519

Confused after diagnosis?

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sm0519

Hi there. So I went into the doctor after getting a rash on my genitals that got a little irritated. I thought it was just from an infected razor burn. I had no other symptoms except the bumps and a little bit of swelling. The doctor took a swab and told me it didn't seem to be herpes, but she took a blood test to be sure. She put me on antibiotics for another infection I had, and it cleared everything up in less than 48 hours. I got a call about a week later and they told me over the phone (which are they even allowed to do?) that I tested positive. They gave me no other information or anything but just told me I was getting prescribed an antiviral. I called my boyfriend of 3.5 years after that and he was just as shocked as I was. I asked if there was any way he had herpes since he's the only person I've ever been with, and he said no. He was tested a couple weeks before I was for everything and it all came back negative. These past few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster, and I'm completely lost. I haven't had any issues since all of this and I'm wondering if this could at all be a false positive? I'm thinking I should go somewhere else and be tested again. Thanks in advance!!

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WilsoInAus

The only thing you can do is get hold of a printout of the tests. You had a swab and blood and it is critical to know which one is positive.

As for your partner's testing, did it include IgG type specific for HSV-1 and HSV-2?

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sm0519

I believe his was tested for both 1 & 2. The swab was negative, blood was positive. I should've asked more questions when I was told, but I was in complete shock and didn't even know what to say. 

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WilsoInAus

OK I think that is starting to clear things up.

The positive blood (I am assuming that is for IgG) would mean that you have had herpes of the identified type for at least a little while. You would not have been infected recently with the type identified. For example, if it was positive for HSV-1 (this is pretty likely) this would almost certainly be a childhood HSV-1 infection). Do you get oral cold sores?

If you are quite confident your partner's test was IgG for HSV-1 and HSV-2 and negative for both, then it is game over. This is most probably not a genital herpes infection. This is supported by a swab.

Hence please do get a copy of the results. As mentioned, I think you might see IgG HSV-1 positive.

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sm0519

I've never gotten a cold sore, but I know typically most people have HSV-1. I'm going to obtain the lab results and probably get tested again elsewhere to be sure. Thank you so much for your help.

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    • Quest
      They did a hole punch as a swab for me, requested a PCR and it was not done. And they don't swab with cotton my other was swabbed with a rough surface to pick up skin. 
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    • normakiut
      Well, if I were you I would totally tell him. It is important that he knows what he has and gets tested, that way he can be more careful in the future and avoid transmission to other partners. It's true that you can't stay mad at him forever and I thinks it's very mature from you to put the cards on the table, it's the right thing to do.  You don't have to accuse him, you just have to hit him with the facts, I think handing him your test results is a good idea, that way you can see how he reacts, maybe he knew he had it, maybe he didn't. When you dated a few months ago did you guys use protection?  I got it from someone who knew he had it but "thought" nothing would happen to me because he was asymptomatic at that moment.  Best of luck!
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    • WilsoInAus
      No, genital HSV-1 transmission from genital sex to an uninfected person does happen, it is rare in its own degree. It happens to about 1% of couples in the discordant situation described each year. If your partner suggests he didn't know he had genital HSV-1, then I'd suggest he told a porkie pie! This compares to the 0.0001% or lower annual chance of reinfection! So no, there is no need to feel sad at all. You also seem to make out that having HSV-1 is some form of death sentence. It is usually the opposite. The cohort of people with HSV-1 are as healthy if not more so than those without HSV-1 and have similar or less morbidity (aggregate symptoms, pains etc.) than those without HSV-1. There is nothing impaired about a person having genital HSV-1. No shame, concerns, health deficiencies etc.  No fate but what we make! Choose a good fate!
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