April 10, 2020 at 9:27 am #69858
My story started quite a while ago. About 25 years ago, during my first sexual experience, I was given oral sex. I remember afterwards noticing that he might have had a healing cold sore, but I can’t be sure. Some time later (perhaps 2 or 3 months) I noticed a pea-sized lump on my genitals. I was nervous that it was an STD, so I went to the gynaecologist. Sadly, the doctor was very rude and dismissive of my concerns. She told me that it didn’t look like herpes at all and it was a waste of time to test it. I persisted and she did begrudgingly do a swab (I’m not sure of the type of test). A few days to a few weeks later I got a call and she said she was sorry, but it was positive and that she’d leave some literature about the virus for me at the clinic. I was very upset and unfortunately, never picked up the literature and never asked further questions.
Although I didn’t suffer other outbreaks, I was quite devastated by the diagnosis. I was always honest with later sex partners about having the virus, but telling them was traumatic for me. About 10 years ago I decided to get a blood test to see what type of herpes I had. I went to the gynaecologist and they did a test (I’m not sure what type). When the results came back they told me that it was negative. I was overjoyed and didn’t really think to ask further questions. A year or so later, when I called to see if I could get further information they told me they had lost some patient records while transferring computer systems. My records were some of the ones lost, so they couldn’t give me info about my earlier test.
Since the initial bump 25 years ago, I haven’t had any flare ups. I’m aware that this is not uncommon. I guess my question is, do you think there is a chance the initial test was a false positive? Is it worth my time to get another blood test? I’m in the beginnings of a relationship and I don’t really want to say I have herpes if there is a chance I don’t.
Thanks so much for your time
April 10, 2020 at 10:46 am #69872
Interesting case. It might be worth pursuing which lab that clinic used 25 years ago if they know, and try to get the results from them.
It is likely that you have HSV 1 genital infection if the swab was correct and if your partner gave you oral sex while experiencing a cold sore. This is reinforced by the fact that you’ve not had recurrences. I think with HSV 2, it is likely you would be having recurrences.
The IgG test misses 30% of HSV 1 infections compared to the herpes western blot, so you could do the blot to see if you have HSV 1, as a way to sort this out.
April 10, 2020 at 3:33 pm #69891
Thank you for responding so quickly. I’m annoyed with myself for not getting all the information I needed at the time, but I guess I just wasn’t in a good frame of mind.
I just got in touch with the original clinic, but unfortunately they don’t keep records from 25 years back. Do you think the blood test I had 10 years ago would have been an IgG test?
If I do have herpes, is it likely that after this many years I still shed the virus even though I don’t have recurrences or does shedding decrease over time?
I am currently living in the UK. Would you know if the Western Blot is a herpes test that one could easily request at a sex health clinic?
Thank you again for your help.
April 15, 2020 at 5:43 pm #69917
If you have had HSV 1 for all this time, I think your shedding rate is incredibly low – after two years of being infected, the average number of shedding days a year is 4! The blot is not available in the UK, so sorry
April 24, 2020 at 3:48 am #70010
That’s good news that my shedding rate would be very low if I have HSV-1. Is there any indication that the virus could become more active as I get older?
Seeing that I can’t get the Western Blot, do you think it’s worth my time to get another blood test to test for HSV-1 and 2 or will it not really clarify things?
Thank you for your time and advice. I really appreciate it.
April 29, 2020 at 2:48 pm #70062
There is evidence that as people get older, they have less shedding, not more. You could try another IgG as testing has changed some during the 10 years since your last one. And if you could find someone to draw and spin a blood sample, we could work on the blot from the UK if you wanted to do that.
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- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Terri Warren.
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