July 17, 2021 at 4:03 pm #74266
Two weeks ago I went to my doctor to inquire about PREP. I am a gay male, in my late 30s, & have mostly avoided engaging in any risky sexual activity/behavior, because I have a major fear of contracting some type of disease/infection – specifically HIV.
To overcome this phobia and not let it inhibit me from pursuing this aspect of my life, I asked about PREP and my doctor ordered a STD blood panel for me (which did include the screening for herpes 1 & 2). I received the results this week, which were quite shocking & terrifying. All my screenings were negative, expect for HSV-2. According to the report, I obtained the following results:
Herpes Simplex 1, 1gG AB .37 (I have had cold sores in past though?)
Herpes Simplex 2, IgG AB 3.14
Up until this point in my life, the only sexual behaviors I have engaged in have been deep kissing with someone I was seeing for a short-period of time, giving someone a hand-job (our genitals did not touch, I was fully clothed, & I washed my hands immediately after) & performing oral sex on someone (no cross genital touching, I was fully clothed, no fluid ex.). I am wracking my brain trying to figure out how I could have contracted HSV 2 from these encounters, as I thought they were relatively low-risk. I have never engaged in penetrative anal intercourse, vaginal sex or received oral sex with anyone.
My doctor informed me there is a chance these results could be false positive, lab error, cross reaction or a legit positive. He advised that we wait to see what the readings say in my one month follow up visit. However, will the same test that was conducted (IgG AB) still conclude a positive reading? I did mention the WB test, but he wasn’t aware of it.
The only physical symptom I can think of is a slight burning pain when I defecate (& shortly after) but I think it may be either a hemorrhoid or fissure – as I tend to spread my buttocks when sitting on toilet to help move things along.
Any insight? I am very worried.
July 22, 2021 at 2:27 pm #74289
Your value is in the low positive range, and I think, given the explanation you provided of your sexual experiences, this is likely a false positive, but you need the blot to confirm or deny, for sure. The only experience that presents any real risk is the giving of oral sex. And that is not high risk, for sure.
I can work with you to get the western blot or you can contact UW, get the kit and try to work with your physician to get this done. You need it.
July 22, 2021 at 3:38 pm #74304
Thanks for your reply.
I will schedule an appt to meet with you in the coming months (September) to gather information on how I can arrange a WB through the University of Washington. I understand that before taking the test I am required to wait at least 12 weeks since any possible last exposure event.
In the meantime, I am scheduled to go back to my PCP in a month for a follow-up appt and have additional labs conducted so he can review how the PREP is working so far. I am sure he will most likely want to test me for everything again, including HSV 1&2. :/
With that said, should I prepare myself and also expect to see another POSITIVE reading on the upcoming IGG exam? I just want to know what I should expect in advance so I am not caught off guard and startled – if in the event its high again.
Also, in regards to the minor burning sensation in my anus/rectum after going to the bathroom, do you think I should also mention this to my doctor and have him swap this area and check for lesions – in case it is related? I have been examining and assessing my parts and have not noticed anything alarming. However, I have managed to convince myself that it could be something herpes related – herpes proctitis or anal herpes. Although I am not sure how I would have acquired it in that region since my genital area has never been exposed or in contact with another person’s genital area. I am worry that maybe perhaps I could have acquired HSV 2 through a cut (in my mouth or hand) and it somehow traveled in my blood to my anal region. Not sure if that is even possible – but my mind is adept at imagining any far-fetched scenario in times of anxiety and panic like this.
The unknown is enough to drive me crazy, but I thank you immensely for your services and assistance.
If you could offer me your advice to my above questions, that would be of great help in preparing for my next PCP appointment.
Thank you again.
July 22, 2021 at 4:27 pm #74308
Any symptoms in your genital area are unrelated to herpes, so forget that worry. Your mouth was the contact, not your genital area.
yes, a blot in 12 weeks is best for you.
When did you give oral sex to the partner you described?
You didn’t get HSV 2 and it traveled to the genital region, that’s just not how that works!
If you re-do the IgG you may once again test positive, or you could slip into the negative of equivocal range next time. I doubt it will go higher but when you do it, let me know the results and we’ll talk about it.
July 23, 2021 at 9:48 am #74327
The last encounter (where I performed oral) was around July 10th of this year. My test results were released a few days after that encounter ~ July 15th. As I do plan on having the WB test done for clarity and peace of mind, I figured I’d wait until the most suitable time to have it done in order to ensure accuracy and validity. Let me know if you think waiting until September is a good idea.
The other encounters (as mentioned in my initial post – kissing & hand – job) took place prior to that – within the past year.
Since this is my last paid for question on my subscription, I will reach out to you via EVIST to set-up a time to meet to discuss the WB procedure and let you know how things unfold in the coming weeks.
If you advise me to do anything else, please let me know.
Thank you once again for your knowledge and compassion. I look forward to connecting to you in the near future to discuss the logistics of having the WB done and what the results of my next IGG are.
God Bless and thanks for being a confidant and valuable resource!
July 26, 2021 at 12:17 pm #74340
I just purchased another round of questions, as I’ve recently had a few thoughts & revelations come to mind.
Up until I had my first STD/lab panel done (where I received the HSV-2 positive reading of 3.14 via the IgG) the only intimate/sexual experiences I have had consisted of deep kissing with one person & manually stimulating another person via handjob. For both these experiences, I was fully clothed, my genitals were not exposed, no genital to genital contact, & no immediate contact with bodily fluids (ejaculatory fluids/semen) took place. The other experience I did mention in my original post (when I performed oral sex on someone – same circumstances as above) was after I had my blood taken, but prior to knowing the results – there was roughly about a week in between.
Therefore, it seems if in fact I am legitimately HSV-2 positive, I was most probably infected during the encounter/occurrence when I gave a handjob (which was about a month before my blood test). Do you think perhaps the mode of transmission was through a minor tear, cut on my hand/finger that became infected when I gave this person a handjob? As I mentioned, after giving the handjob I immediately washed my hands, but now I am left wondering if maybe I contracted it at this time? However, I have no signs of herpetic whitlow on my fingers or hands, but was wondering if that could be why I tested positive for HSV-2?
Like I said, I will be returning to my PCP in a few weeks to follow-up and have my blood drawn again, but from what I have read online, it seems like I should expect NO different IgG reading & the only way to know for CERTAIN is via the Western Blot (which I do plan to meet with you about sometime in September – when it has been 12 weeks from any possible exposure). Just curious, in addition to a positive/negative confirmation, will the WB be able to identify the site of this infection?
Please let me know.
July 29, 2021 at 9:48 am #74370
I absolutely do not think that you acquired HSV via masturbation – NO. That is not why you are testing positive. The western blot cannot tell you the location of your infection, but if you are positive for HSV 2, there is a 95% chance it is genital.
I had someone who tested positive at 12 on the IgG test last week and their blot is negative. Stay very hopeful.
August 1, 2021 at 9:46 am #74439
Lastly, do you think it is possible I could have acquired HSV-2 though kissing? For instance, if the person I was kissing had HSV-2 in their mouth? I know HSV-2 generally does not prefer the oral region, but I was wondering about the likelihood of this. I did have a canker sore on the corner of my lip/mouth not too long ago, but I was able to treat it with topical ointments and believed it to be Angular cheilitis. Could that indeed been a manifestation of HSV-2? That would seem possible as I was seeing someone for a brief period of time and all we did was kiss. I am trying to deduce all possibilities. If that was in the case, would it then be possible to spread this to another area of my body if I were to touch my mouth and then another region (i.e. genitals) – for instance while showering?
I look forward to meeting with you via E-VISIT in September, and I will definitely update you on my recent blood tests.
Thanks again for your devotion/effort in providing factual and credible information on herpes. As the internet can be a scary place full of misinformation, it’s nice to have a reliable and valid source – such as yourself.
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