September 28, 2018 at 11:10 pm #27028
Thank you for running this forum. On May 21st, I made the worst mistake of my life and slept with a sex worker while very intoxicated. I am married. It was protected vaginal and unprotected oral sex. I did not notice anything on the sex worker. I will attempt to be succinct with my testing timeline and keep my description only about herpes:
2 weeks post exposure: intense lymph node pain. Notice small scab on scrotum (didn’t feel anything, just noticed through inspection). Tested for IgM and IgG (both types) and scab scraped and test. Negative.
2-10 weeks post exposure: Intermittent lower back, lymph node pain, and tingling feeling around genitals and legs. No visible sores.
12 weeks post exposure: IgG type specific tests (HSV2 and HSV1). Both negative. The didn’t give me an exact number, just said my result was <0.9.
15 weeks post exposure: Noticed red patch of skin about 2cm long just under head of penis (Note: was after playing squash). No pain and not a traditional sore, but red and wet. Molecular swab test on sore and Western Blot for HSV1 and HSV2. All negative. Sore went away after a week.
Current (~19 weeks post exposure):Sore is back. Noticed after physical activity again. Mostly long red mark with a little wetness.
As you can see, I had a pretty bad exposure and I have very worrisome symptoms. I feel completely emotionally destroyed. My wife knows everything, I’ve ruined our lives. I feel suicidal. When I expressed my concerns to the doctor I have done testing with, he said “3 months after exposure is considered more than enough time for antibodies to develop to Herpes if you have the infection. I do not recommend doing any more tests for Herpes regarding this exposure. I personally don’t think Herpes is related to your current or previous symptoms.”
What are the chances I have herpes, based on my symptoms and test history, and what more can I do? Do I really possibly have to wait 6 months to get an accurate result? I can’t stand not knowing.
September 29, 2018 at 12:51 pm #27088
If your Western blot was negative, I think you should rely completely upon that result. I know you are anxious and sad and feeling suicidal but I really really don’t believe that you’re infected. You certainly aren’t infected with type II and the likelihood that you would become infected with type I at a single encounter of this kind is really so small!
It’s probably good that you discuss this with your wife so you’re not dealing with this alone and I wonder if you really ruined your life but only you can know that I suppose.
I totally agree with your doctor that three months is plenty of time to develop antibody. I hope somehow, possibly through professional counseling, you and your wife can put this episode behind you successfully.
September 30, 2018 at 6:01 am #27102
Thank you for your answer and your compassion. My wife and I are trying to work things out through professional counselling. My memories of the encounter are very unclear and it is obviously unpleasant to think about but I am trying to rectify things as best I can.
I’ve read that up to 15% of people with HSV1 never show on a blood test. That is very distressing to me. I’m not worried about me, but about passing it to my wife. I want to take you at your word but my symptoms just fit so perfectly with everything I’ve read about HSV1 infection. I’m not a hypochondriac in the slightest, the lymph node and lower back pain and now this red sore is very real. Nothing else seems to explain it. I keep hearing “the chances are low”, but this was a sex worker. So my additional questions:
Do those 10-15% of people who never test positive for HSV1 only apply to the IGG, or the Western Blot as well?
My wife has HSV1 orally (she gets cold sores frequently). Will this give her resistance towards getting it in her genitals? If so, what level of resistance? If she did get it, is she more likely to react badly since she gets cold sores? I mean over the course of our lives I feel like I would inevitably give it to her 🙁
If I have it, could I have contracted it genitally or would it have been orally? Maybe I didn’t use the condom properly or it was the skin around my penis, it’s hard to remember.
If it isn’t HSV1, what else could it be? What else can I do?
I know I sound like a ranting crazy person, but I’m at the end of my tether. I take pills to sleep. I’ve spent thousands on tests, medical appointments and medication. I don’t know what else to do. I’m so worried about my wife. I’ve hurt her badly enough, I don’t want to hurt her anymore. Thank you so much, Terri.
October 4, 2018 at 9:38 am #27164
Good news that your wife gets cold sores. Since she does, she is EXTREMELY unlikely to get HSV 1 genitally, if you have it. Also, if she has ever given you oral sex,you could have certainly gotten genital HSV 1 from her – I am guessing that you have received oral sex more often from your wife than you did from this sex worker. The fact that your wife is already infected with type I changes the whole thing and makes it far more comfortable for you.
The IgG test misses 30% of infections with HSV 1 compared to the Western blot.
November 28, 2018 at 1:43 am #28342
thank you for your help. It has now been six months since I cheated. I have gotten a red, moist spot on the same spot on my penis (on the top, just below the head) a couple of times now. There is no pain or sensation associated with it. My wife and I use protection when he have sex these days, but a few days ago we mutually masturbated and she rubbed my penis against her vagina. later that day, I noticed the red, wet mark was on my penis. It has slowly faded away in the 2-3 since. I haven’t talked to her about this, not because I’m trying to conceal anything, but because she is tired of hearing of anything related to STDs and thinks I’m crazy getting all these tests. I don’t care about whether I have it or not right now, I just care about her. So I guess my questions are:
“Good news that your wife gets cold sores. Since she does, she is EXTREMELY unlikely to get HSV 1 genitally, if you have it.”
How unlikely are we talking? Like negligible risk?
“The IgG test misses 30% of infections with HSV 1 compared to the Western blot.”
That’s good to know, but how many infections does the Western blot miss? Is there a statistic for that? Like people who are later diagnosed through a swab/obvious outbreak/passing it on to someone?
Thanks again for your help.
January 21, 2019 at 10:53 pm #29574
Hello, I was wondering if you could follow up for me here? The small red sore is back…Thank you so much.
January 29, 2019 at 11:28 am #29912
YOu should be having the sore swab tested when it shows up.
I have seen one case and heard about another in 35 years of practice where a person with cold sores cultured out positive on a genital lesion for HSV 1.
The western blot is 99.9% sensitive for HSV 2 and about 95-96% sensitive for HSV 1.
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