December 7, 2014 at 10:33 am #2178
So I’m back with no answers still after 6 weeks post exposure, 7 doctor visits including my primary care physician 2x, dermatologist 2x, urgent care once, and planned parenthood 2x. Looking for help in finding answers!
Long relationship ended (we were both each others firsts, baseline negative for all STD’s except HSV-1 is unknown)
1 time hook up/ encounter – unprotected oral sex (receiving), protected vaginal sex. Also unprotected mutual masturbation. Used my hands to touch myself after touching her for a few minutes.
2 days after hook up I felt itchy all over my groin and anus. Once I researched I was convinced I had an STI – most likely herpes.
Also felt a slight pinching-like feeling inside tip of penis. It was very mild though.
Day 3 I noticed spots (almost like freckles beneath my skin on the head of my penis – very faint but noticeable spots/dots)
Went to urgent care, doc told me no way it was herpes and prescribed scabies and fungal creams.
Somewhere around day 4-5 I still had all the symptoms I just mentioned + white/yellowish stuff on the bottom of my pubic hair. Was difficult to scrape off and it smelled strange.
Day 5 went to planned parenthood and was screened for STI’s. All negative including HSV-2.
prescribed anti fungal creams.
Day 8 went to general practitioner. He said my symptoms did not seem to be STI related.
ran blood tests (CBC, thyroid, liver, kidneys etc) – all came back normal
prescribed more anti fungal treatment (pills)
Day 14 I paid $165 to have a HIV test that can detect within 10 days of possible exposure – came back negative
Day 16 went to GP again as I was having difficulty breathing and sleeping. Checked all my vitals and ran ECG – everything was fine. Blood work was once again fine. Told him that none of my symptoms had subsided. He recommended I stop worrying so much about STI’s. Said it still didn’t seem like one. Told me to try Lamisil for two weeks and go to a dermatologist if it doesn’t help.
Day 17 went to dermatologist anyways. Found two small genital warts and froze them off. I told her those had been there for years and that I got warts all over when I was younger. She also said I had molluscum contagiosum on my groin, and eczema on my arms and back as well as acne on my buttocks and back. Said she didn’t see any signs of Herpes. Also prescribed another anti fungal cream as well as acne wash.
Day 18 I started feeling like I had an ulcer or something. Stomach just didn’t feel good at all. Started having diarrhea (this lasted about 10 days).
Day 30 went back to GP. Had blood work done. All came back normal again including testing negative for all STI’s including HSV-2, HIV 1 & 2, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea & Hep A, B, & C
Day 35 went back to planned parenthood to have a “lesion” checked out. Doc told me it definitely did not look like herpes but instead looked like broken skin caused by friction. She also told me that she was very blunt and would tell me if she thought I should be concerned about herpes. She said my chances are low and swabbed the area. She also told me those “dots” on my glans and foreskin appeared to be fungal if anything and did not appear to be an STI. She asked if they had been red at any point as they were now brown. I told her I couldn’t remember.
A week later the swab test came back “not isolated”
Day 40 I went kind of crazy calling my doctor demanding to be put on anti-virals. He said I have no indications of herpes or any STI but would prescribe acyclovir for peace of mind.
Day 42 I went to dermatologist again. She still said she does not see any signs of STI and that an itch this long does not indicate herpes. She basically just thought I was crazy I think.
Day 44 sore throat, feeling a cold coming on
Day 45 (today) woke up with sore throat. Went to take my morning pee and when I was done and “shaking” my penis I felt a weird sensation inside my penis. It felt like a scratchy/slight burning feeling. It was very mild and quickly went away and has not come back. I have had a fever all night and have been pretty itchy on my groin and anus. Earlier in the day I was itchy all over. My groin, buttocks, anus, and legs (inner thighs and by my ankles)
This is where I stand today. Still with no answers. Still scared to have sex with anyone.
I have been taking acyclovir for 5 days (first day I took 400 mg 3x and for the rest of the days I have been taking 400mg 2x per day).
The itching has not stopped since 2 days after encounter. It’s still there. It comes and goes and is always on my penile shaft, towards the head (opening) and on scrotum and anus. Other body itches happen every once in a while. The inner thighs being the next most common area followed by buttocks and then ankles.
I have also felt a very slight dull ache in my testicles throughout this time period. It comes and goes. I once believed it was related to my stomach problems. Then thought that it could have to do with not having sex. Both don’t seem to be the case though as it comes and goes regardless of how my stomach feels and regardless of whether I masturbate or not.
Headaches have been off and on. I have been having a terrible headache and toothache for a couple of days now.
I have noticed things that I worry could be something but have body acne so they seem to just be related to that. That is what the dermatologist said both times. Every time something pops up though I worry.
Anti fungal creams and pills have failed. I was tested for all allergies (well all the common ones) and am not allergic to any.
Have not changed anything in my life or been exposed to anything new except that girls vagina the one time.
My HSV-2 IGG test was .13 negative at 5 days, then again .13 negative at 30 days. I know this is too soon though.
She was tested (4-5 weeks after her last exposure before me / 1 week after me) – negative for any STI’s. She is being very immature about all of this and will not re-test I don’t think. She thinks I’m being crazy.
I believe doctors only know how to diagnose herpes in those with “common” symptoms and I worry I am one of the unlucky “strange” cases.
I am worried about passing this on and am scared to now have sex with anyone.
Any help or thoughts would be awesome
December 7, 2014 at 10:36 am #2179
December 7, 2014 at 10:40 am #2180
December 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm #2185
some additional notes I forgot to add:
The tip of my penis has been pretty sensitive and feels very dry and scaly during this entire mess. It seems to be worse when I am erect.
Ejaculating seems slightly off (almost like there is more pressure up there towards the tip or something. No sharp pain, but just extra pressure which feels slightly uncomfortable and worth noticing).
I have had occasional incidences where it feels like I have a rash, but there is not one. This happens on my inner thighs, the space between my scrotum and thigh, and above my penis around my pubic bone area. It feels like a burn as if I will look and it will be all red. But when I look there is nothing abnormal.
December 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm #2186
It was an error for you to push for and begin antiviral medicine. If you want an accurate herpes antibody test at 16 weeks, which I assume that you do, my advice to my own patients would be to stop them immediately! Taking antiviral medicine can impact the results of the antibody test. Five days isn’t going to do it, I assure you, but longer might. It also sounds like they are not helping you so why take them? We prescribers pick and chose the medicine we feel is appropriate for our patients based on what we see and find. I, for one, do not prescribe for things I cannot diagnose and do not strongly suspect. You pushed your provider into doing that and in my opinion, that was an error on your part.
You have been told by many people that you do not have an STI. You have asked for my opinion and I am going to give it to you that I also believe you do not have an STI. The rash that you describe does sound fungal. Did you use the Lamisil religiously twice a day for two weeks in all the areas that are red and itchy?
I believe that you have developed an obsessive compulsive reaction to this sexual encounter and your fear about what the long term effects of this will be in your life. You are anxious clearly and just can’t seem to accept professional advice, instead deciding that you have a most unusual case of something. My advice would be for you to forget seeing all these medical people and seek out counseling for yourself. This is eating you alive.
You asked for my advice and that is it. You can tell me all day about symptoms of this and that but I certainly can’t offer solutions from Portland OR that providers in your own town cannot give you. I’m sorry to be firm with you but I think someone needs to be very clear with you about these issues.
December 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm #2187
Ok, well clearly I am just a crazy person who needs anti depressants and therapy. That’s a tough one to grasp, but if you say it as well as all the others, then maybe it’s true. I just have the hardest time believing I manifested these symptoms using my own head (the one on my neck).
I just have one reply then, I won’t need to use two.
My final thoughts and questions are as follows:
I realize I may have screwed up with the anti virals. I’ve read conflicting reports about when to start anti virals. On one hand I wanted to let my body build a response to it (if I had it), as well as staying clear for an antibody test, but on the other hand I read that you can “dummy” the virus if anti virals are taken soon after infection so the virus is not as strong in the long term.
Also the biggest piece to this puzzle, and a piece I have kept from you due to wanting to remain completely anonymous is that I have gotten together with a girl I have been friends with since we were little kids. She knows that I think I may have an STI – particularly herpes, and says she accepts the risk. Problem is I don’t think she sees it as a serious risk and thinks I am being paranoid. Therefore she is not actually accepting the real risk. Or maybe that is the real risk because again, I’m being crazy. I just cannot give this to her and that is my number one priority over anything. Over any doctor telling me I’m crazy or over giving in to my urges to finally become intimate with her. This was another reason I started on the anti – virals. I wanted to have sex with her finally and I felt that I should be on anti virals just in case to help prevent spreading it to her. I don’t think I can keep holding off from sex until 16 weeks. I don’t think she can. I bought myself a few more days but she is expecting intimacy. I can wear condoms but I want to make sure I am being extremely safe.
What is your take on this detail and situation?
As far as responding to your other points:
I do not have a rash anywhere nor have I this entire time. Just itching and occasionally a rash-like feeling to skin that appears to be perfectly normal.
The only thing I have are those spots that look like freckles (but more faint and are brown) on my glans as well as my foreskin. And if this were fungal wouldn’t the pills have taken care of it? The 2 pills I took one week apart? I could have been more religious about the lamisil though. I only used it for about a week and a half and sometimes just once a day.
to wrap this up is:
What do you recommend I do from here out?
I know I need to go see someone for my mental health. This has been eating me alive like you said.
Also I stopped the anti-viral pills, meaning I woke up this am and did not take any, nor do I plan on taking anymore due to your advice.
Should I wait until after 16 weeks now to be safe and accurate with my testing? How many days of anti-virals would typically screw with the antibody test?
Well that is all my crazy brain can come up with. I will be awaiting your response and hopefully an answer to those couple concerns I have had after your initial response.
I will take the information and use it to finally move forward.
Thank you Terri
December 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm #2190
I’m not saying you are crazy. I am suggesting that you are erroneously interpreting symptoms as herpes when I don’t think they are.
So glad you have stopped taking the antivirals so your test at 16 weeks will be accurate and you cannot look back and wonder if it was negative because ou took too many days of antiviral therapy. Here’s the problem with taking antiviral therapy while you are waiting for the 16 weeks mark to take your final test. The purpose of antiviral therapy is to reduce or stop virus replication. If it works well, your immune system, should you be infected which I don’t believe you are, cannot see the virus so it cannot mount an immune response. I have seen a patient in our clinic, who had an obvious herpes first outbreak (multiple sores all over the labia), did not have enough money to pay for PCR, begin antiviral therapy with no positive lab test – not my personal patient. Once she finished the outbreak, she continued taking acyclovir because she didn’t want to experience another outbreak, but we had no positive lab test yet. We want to be absolutely certain that every diagnosis we make is correct, so we kept ordering antibody tests and she was always negative. She refused to stop antiviral therapy and her doctor at the clinic agree to let her stay on the medicine. However, at some point she absolutely needed to prove that she had herpes. Nine months later we pulled her off therapy and within 2 months she was antibody positive for HSV 2 (no sex since diagnosis). The antiviral therapy kept her from making antibody all that time.
So now you understand why I wanted you to stop. A week of antiviral therapy will NOT screw up your antibody test.
December 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm #2191
understood. I think we missed a few points in my response but I guess this is really the only issue to discuss. I understand and thank you for enlightening me. I didn’t realize that if I had held off on those antivirals I probably could have taken a test today at 7 weeks to give myself around an 80% confirmation I am negative.
My main goal is to not transmit this like I mentioned before. When can I go back for testing given my circumstances? This is the second day I am off of them after the 5 days on. I’d rather go into this new relationship having 80% confirmation test results (I’ve read that around 80% of newly infected hsv-2 patients will test positive by week 7) than the results from my 4 week test that are probably somewhere between 0-50% revealing. Then of course I will re test at 16 weeks for a final confirmation.
It is important to me to have a test done asap to at least have more peace of mind since all I’ve done so far was the 4 week test.
December 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm #2200
You can go back for testing as many times as you wish. The issue is accuracy. I think you can get a test now, yes, but again, you need to wait 16 weeks for greatest accuracy.
I understand that you want to get tested as soon as possible. Everyone does in this situation. Nothing takes the place of waiting, however. And I know this is tough for you but there is really no other way.
We are out of questions now. I hope your future tests are negative as you hope
- This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Terri Warren.
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