July 22, 2021 at 5:55 pm #74315hambleParticipant
First, thank you so much for everything that you do and your incredible HSV research. I have been trying to set an appt with you for the western blot, but other expenses keep popping up, so I am budgeting for the cost of this test as I want to do it ASAP. I need a definitive answer on my HSV status. So here is my story:
I am 39 year old female. I have had 2 partners in my life. The first partner was in college and sex only happened 1 time with him unprotected and it only lasted a few minutes. The second partner was 5 years after the first. I only had about 7-8 encounters with him over the course of a year all protected vaginal, but some unprotected oral with him giving. The second partner is a physician assistant and I asked about his sexual health and he said’ “I’m fine”. So I trusted him seeing as though he has a license to practice medicine- now I feel very dumb for doing so.
The involvement with him ended in 2013. I have been abstinent for the past 8 years. After the relationship ended, I did std testing to be safe and make sure I was ok. To my surprise, this person infected me with high risk HPV. This infection luckily cleared up in less than a year. All other std results were negative including hsv 1 and 2. Over the course of the following 8 years I tested for hsv several times via IGG and every time the result has been negative. About 2 years ago a genital lesion/sore popped up after a cycle class. I thought it was a boil so I went to my derm and she said it looked like hsv. I was shocked b/c my IGG has always been negative. I started panicking as I had no other instances of noticeable bumps or sores. This sore was painful, made my groin swell, hurt to pee, and had pain on the back of the left leg.
Does this sound like hsv to you? My most recent IGG test was Dec 2020 with negative once again for both types. I am so confused and don’t know how to interpret all of this. It has sent me into a downward depression that I struggle with every day.
July 29, 2021 at 9:06 am #74359Terri WarrenKeymaster
Was the lesion swab tested? It definitely should have been. If yes,what was the result?
Without seeing it myself, I couldn’t say. The IgG test misses 30% of HSV 1 infections but only 8% of HSV 2 infections, compared to the gold standard western blot.
Given that it’s been 8 years since you’ve had sex and you are still worried about this, I think you should work on making room in your budget for the blot. Is this holding you back from a sexual relationship?
July 29, 2021 at 10:26 am #74377hambleParticipant
The doctor wouldn’t swab it b/c she said it was beginning to heal. I told her of my continual negative IGG results and then she all of a sudden told me to disregard what she had just said about it being HSV. She then said, “it could be a laundry list of things”. I asked for clarification, and she sort of rolled her eyes and said it could be a apthous ulcer. That’s the only other explanation she offered. I was completely panicking when I left her office, and decided to have more IGG testing done. She ordered it through LabCorp and once it again it came back negative for both types. I have all lab reports for all testing that I have done over the years as well.
I do plan on scheduling the western blot with you this Fall, but in your experience how likely is it to have IGG negatives and then get a western blot positive? Have you ever seen this happen? Once I get the WB, should I believe those results as conclusive? I just want to put this matter to rest once and for all.
Yes, I have intentionally avoided men and sex because of this experience. I am a hyper emotional person and all of this has been the most stressful and overwhelming thing that I have ever dealt with in my life. It has completely paralyzed me emotionally. I feel like a fraction of the person I used to be. I do realize that I can contact my ex and question him about his HSV status, but there is a lot of bad feelings between us as we didn’t end on good terms. I haven’t seen or spoken to him since 2013. Plus, he is probably too arrogant to even know or want to get tested although he practices medicine for a living. The only person that I have confided in is my mom, but I don’t want to burden her with my issues. I also don’t want her to be disappointed in me.
July 30, 2021 at 6:29 am #74399Terri WarrenKeymaster
I agree that the western blot is what you should do and yes, you should live as though this is the final answer and restart being your former self.
Have I seen people who test negative on the IgG and positive on the western blot? yes, I have, for both HSV 1 and HSV 2. But your sexual history really doesn’t raise a lot of worries for me. I understand why you don’t want to contact this person, but why are you waiting for fall to do the blot? Let’s get it done!
It’s too bad your doctor wasn’t more supportive of your concerns. Sexual health is such a tender area and as clinicians, I think we need to be as patient and understanding and as clear as we can be.
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