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hk81

Established herpes infection, blood exams and correlated systemic symptoms

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hk81

I have had an infection of HSV1 at the end of 2016, diagnosed through an urethral swab.

After that, I have had a cascade of symptoms increasing year after year, which I have not been able to diagnose correctly. I am still struggling with the diagnosis and it would be interesting to compare opinions.

Symptoms:

- Constant irritation on the glans, rash. Small red wounds inside of the urethra. This is what I have associated with my typical symptom of herpes

- In the last year: constant conjunctivitis. A bad pink eye lasting for a few days, once in the left eye, the next week in the right eye, and so on

- Since a few months: red dots appearing on my fingers and then disappearing after a few hours. Occasionally turning into blisters. Once 2 swollen painful fingers

 

A doctor made some blood exams and he didn't bother to comment them before throwing me out of his door, saying "you are negative to herpes. you have an obsession and you need a psychologist"

- IgM: < 0.9, IgG: > 30

I understand that this means an exstablished infection and I could not expect it to be different. I have no idea what it means the fact that my IgG is so high. I have read that IgM negative in some cases means that there is no recurrence / active or acute infection, but not always.

- RF IgA (normal range 0 - 14): 62.

I have read that this is an index of an established Rheumatoid Arthritis. This could probably correlate to the symptoms on my fingers.

What I do not know is: can it be generated as a consequence of a herpes infection, as an autoimmune disease? Is this the possible reason why some people describe of symptoms getting worst after some years, or having nerve pain?

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brucerbleach

Hk,

 

I am confused by this...You said that you were diagnosed with HSV 1 thru a urethral swab and tested positive on an IGG. Why is the doctor then telling you that you are negative to herpes?

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hk81

He was clearly making fun of me; at least that's what I thought. Certain doctors are too arrogant to consider their patients as intellectively capable human beings.

My other interpretation is: he took also a swab (but I did not see the result and I doubt that a swab can be analyzed in 3 days) and I asked: is the swab negative? He said: yes, it's negative. So the fact that he said "you are negative to herpes" means "you have an established infection, but at the moment it is latent". That's why I was wondering if IgM negative could mean that probably I'm not in an acute phase / bad recurrence, as I was thinking, but possibly all my other symptoms are correlated to the autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis).

I'm now trying to have these answer.

Anyway.. I suppose that in the US a doctor would not behave like that. But.. this is the sad reality of Europe. The next time I will bring an audio recorder with me and I will consider whether if I can sue a medic for a misleading diagnosis and offence.

The worst thing is that this doctor is participating in a clinical trial for the monoclonal antibody for herpes. That's the reason why I approached him, believing that he could be an expert in the field and have good contacts. I believe he is just hunting for money, not professional interest.

Edited by hk81

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hk81

For now I have had an answer from a general doctor. He also thinks that the high HSV IgG is only due to the past infection and the negative IgM means that I have no active infection at the moment. I have been advised to seek the help of a rheumatologist.

Edited by hk81

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Joy D.

i need to understand if the HSV 2 and 1 are as HIV because everywhere i read they are classified under the same group of viruses

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hk81

What do you think "as HIV"? No, they are a different type of virus, with different symptoms, risks and treatments

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hk81

I've been thrown back on my knees. The swabs on the hands gave a negative result for HSV1 but borderline result for HSV2.

So far the only positive swab that I had was for HSV1 in urethra. Now I'm facing the possibility that I have been co-infected with HSV1 and HSV2 and that I have spread HSV2 to my hands. I know that I should ask for an IgG blood test to detect if I am carrying both, but a positive for HSV2 would kill me..

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WilsoInAus

Hey @hk81 swabs generally do not have a borderline result. What is the explanation attached to the result? Was it a biopsy?

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Ashia

First of all...you need to find yourself a more compassionate, understanding doctor. It sounds as though you have genital HSV 1  and possibly an autoimmune disorder, contact dermatitis or possible herpetic whitlow of the finger. The positive swab of your urethra showed an active outbreak of HSV 1, but won't show a result of HSV 2, if it's inactive.  Herpetic whitlow can be caused by both HSV 1 and 2. If the vesicles on your finger were swabbed and came back as borderline HSV 2, it could be that it's too new of an infection to detect antibodies. It could also be a false borderline positive. It's best to get a western blot / blood test in situations like this.  

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hk81

@WilsoInAus, thanks for the answer. They did not write anything about which kind of exam they did on the swab. PCR? Viral culture? It took 11 days to have the result, so I believe that it was done by viral culture. I also wonder how it is possible that a swab gives a borderline result. I have only read of equivocal results when they run both PCR and viral culture and PCR gives positive but culture negative and the doubt comes from possible contamination of PCR.

I will phone or reach them and ask for explanations.

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hk81

@Ashia, thank you for the detailed explanation. Yes, I have HSV1 confirmed genital through swab. IgG was done but without distinction between HSV1/HSV2.

If I have HSV2, I have acquired it together with HSV1. After that episode of 3 years ago, I have avoided further contacts. At least in the last 6 months I haven't had anything at all with another person. So even assuming HSV2 in my hand is more recent, it's older than 6 months at least and I should have antibodies already for it and possibly an IgG for HSV2 would be enough.

The borderline result: blisters on my hand were small or healing; I had to open them but the liquid was not much. And the cotton swab was as large as a finger. I assume that the viral load was very small and hard to detect.

Edited by hk81

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hk81

It was viral culture. They told me that there could have been a contamination with the machine and that it could be positive.

Urethral swabs have been negative for HSV1 and 2 in the last 2 months.

It still sound improbable that a viral culture can get contaminated.

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hk81

So I have collected all the results of the last exams.

20/12/2019: negative swab urethra HSV1+2

From 01/01 until 08 - 10/01 swollen fingers

10/01/2020: negative swab urethra HSV1+2. Negative swab HSV1, borderline HSV2

17/01/2020: negative swab urethra HSV1+2. Negative IgM, Positive IgG (not differentiated).

All negative despite having small ulcers inside of the urethra, dry skin and local red rash. Beside the equivocal swab on my hands.

 

I will proceed with IgG differentiated for HSV1 and HSV2.

This is going to be scary.. I know which result to expect. Life can be so painful sometimes..

 

Edited by hk81

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hk81

I have been talking to the doctors. They diagnose swabs with a PCR. It should be highly sensitive to detect the virus in the fluid from blisters. I'm still wondering what "borderline" means with a PCR.. They said: not a full positive.

They refused to do an IgG to detect antibodies for HSV1 and HSV2 separately. They said that they didn't even know about this possibility and it was not available in their lab, or if it was it would be extremely expensive.

Also, they told me that I should not worry about having herpes and that it's not a problem, since almost every adult person have it. Infection is unavoidable. Since almost all adults have it, I should not worry about interacting with other adults, as they are most likely already immune to it. Even in the chance that I carry both (HSV1 + HSV2), it would not make such a difference. And that they would not use IgG for diagnosis (as it only tells about a past infection), but IgM, which would tell if there is an active infection.

 

I do not agree very much with what the doctors said. I believe that they saw that I was heavily crushed by the last symptoms and diagnosis and they tried to dissuade me from committing an extreme action.

Also, I'm not sure that IgM turns positive in an active infection for every person and it may also correlate to the use of antivirals.

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