October 30, 2015 at 10:20 pm #10372sprocketyParticipant
I’m a 45 yo woman. I’ve had 2 IgG tests (March & Oct ’15) with the same results: >5 on both HSV1 & 2. I’m baffled by this. I get cold sores but rarely; never had a genital outbreak.
I’ve gotten cold sores since my teens ( ~10x my whole life). I’m familiar with the sensation & process of cold sores; had two intense ones this past year. I know the subtle & intensifying prodromal itch/tingle, & the specific pain of sore, & the process of healing. Before this, it’d been ~8 yrs.
Other known history w herpes follows. I dated a man who got his first herpes outbreak May ’14. We’re non-exclusive, use condoms. When he had his outbreak, we hadn’t had sex in 3 wks. He had sex with a one-time partner who said ‘no STIs’ a week before his 1st outbreak.
From our study on the matter of what we’ve decided to destigmatize by calling it ‘becoming a vampire’ 🙂 , we’ve concluded he’ll never know where or how he got herpes.
His outbreak was confirmed by culturing a lesion. However, dr didn’t confirm if it was 1 or 2. He then had the IgG test– 3 mo & 10 mo post-outbreak. Results=all negative!?!? Takes 500mg Valtrex/day.
I was asked to do an IgG test by our circle of sex partners, tho I have always been asymptomatic genitally.
Been told I might have had a ‘minor’ genital outbreak and ‘not noticed’. By definition if it WAS unnoticeable, I would not have noticed 🙂 … but my experience with cold sores is that even ‘minor’ ones r DEFINITELY noticeable. I’m very attuned to my body–I find it hard to believe I’d overlook even one lesion.
With that said, my interest is in protecting my partners & my question is: How do I accurately disclose to partners? What’s the likelihood I shed genitally? Other than Valtrex(which I do not wish to take) & condoms (I use w all but one partner), how can I protect others? Is a >5 index on IgG is definitively genital? (Could my crazy cold sore on my nose have been HSV 2??) Should I do a western blot? Too many questions? Thank you.
November 1, 2015 at 7:12 am #10377Terri WarrenKeymaster
I love the vampire thing 😉
I believe that you need to disclose that you have both HSV 1 and HSV 2 infection and have the potential to infect others and that you cannot know when you are infectious. More than 95% of those who test antibody positive for HSV 2 by antibody test will shed virus from the genital tract at some point – some more than others. It is quite normal for someone with HSV 1 not to recognize or develop symptoms of HSV 2 when they are infected.
You could take a western blot just to be sure – the chances you would confirm are >90%.
Daily antiviral therapy reduces the risk of transmission by about 50% – may I ask about your objection to taking the medicine? Condoms also reduce the risk by about half. I doubt that the lesion on your nose was HSV 2 but you could have it swab tested next time it shows up. With a robust HSV 1 response, I think that is far more likely.
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