January 7, 2021 at 5:44 pm #72268
3 1/2 years ago, I was told by a Physician Assistant at a small family practice(not my primary care doctor) that I had genital herpes when I went in for a bad yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis (both of these were confirmed with positive swab test results). The herpes was a purely visual diagnosis- there was no swab or culture done of the sores he claimed to see and I have not had any signs of outbreak or symptoms since. I had a blood test for HSV1 and HSV2 done 3 months after this incident and they both came back negative. However, 5 months later, I had my blood tested again and the results were positive for HSV1 but still negative for HSV2.
That said, I’m still anxious and have some questions:
1. I’ve done extensive research on the symptoms I experienced in 2017 and found that more serious cases of yeast infections can often lead to skin rashes and irritation, which I think may have been what the physician thought was herpes. I also had BV which I would imagine would only make matters worse. What are your thoughts?
2. Since my initial antibody blood test post visual diagnosis came back negative for both HSV 1&2, wouldn’t that indicate that I wasn’t exposed by the sexual partners I had prior? Wouldn’t I have been positive for at least HSV1 on that initial blood test? How quickly can antibodies present themselves after initial exposure? Essentially I’m wondering if the 2nd positive to HSV1 could have been unrelated?
3. I currently have a partner of 2 years and we do not use protection. I have not yet disclosed anything because I figured if I am negative for HSV2 and have no symptoms that there is no risk for them to contract genital herpes. He is prone to the occasional cold sore (had them prior to us dating) but I have never had a cold sore despite being positive for HSV1. Does this play a role in the possibility of transmission? Should I disclose that he may be at risk of genital herpes even though I don’t have HSV2?
Thank you for your help.
January 7, 2021 at 6:00 pm #72269
To clarify, I just recently learned that HSV1 can also present itself genitally or else I would have disclosed sooner. Pretty much my whole dilemma is do I constantly wonder what the physician claimed was herpes was in fact herpes or can I move on with my life knowing that my initial blood test was negative for both and the second only positive for HSV1. There was never a positive culture test done on the sores the physician claimed to see and I have not had any signs of symptoms for 3 1/2 years. Thanks again.
January 8, 2021 at 11:37 am #72278Terri WarrenKeymaster
It is simply unacceptable, to me, that someone tells you that you have herpes based on a visual diagnosis, but sees fit to do swab testing for BV and yeast. Really???
The IgG test for HSV 1 is not great. It misses 30% of HSV 1 infections, so it could have been missed by your original lab test and picked up on the second. But even if the HSV 1 is accurate, you cannot know where it is on your body. Antibody can be picked up as soon as 7-10 days after infection, though the average is 21 days.
If your partner gets cold sores, then you both infected with HSV 1. The location really doesn’t matter – you don’t know where yours is anyway and it is highly unlikely that someone would get HSV 1 in a new location after being infected orally.
I think you are safe to move on. If you have a partner change, you could disclose that you have the virus that most commonly causes cold sores though you have not had one.
January 8, 2021 at 11:58 am #72284
Hi Terri- thank you for your reply. I know, it really is absurd that there was not a culture done. I didn’t know any better at the time or else I would’ve went to get a second opinion right away.
So do you think my yeast and BV could have just caused some irritation? My only symptoms during that incident were swelling, tenderness, and stinging when urinating but I never noticed any open sores myself.
And to clarify, since my current partner had HSV1 prior to being with me, he has no risk of getting it genitally? That is a huge relief. We have also been having unprotected sex for over 2 years so I’m guessing it would have presented itself by now if it was an issue?
Lastly, my OBGYN has given me vague answers on whether or not I should move on. She said I could have a genital outbreak without even really knowing so I should be cautious of any symptoms in that area even if it just feels like yeast? This seems incorrect to me- I feel like I would definitely be in pain or know there was a more serious problem. I just don’t want to be on edge about this for the rest of my life. Thank you so much again!
January 8, 2021 at 3:15 pm #72290Terri WarrenKeymaster
Well, having an OUTBREAK and shedding virus are two very different things, sometimes. yes, you will give off virus with an outbreak but you can also give off virus with no outbreak. By the time someone has had genital HSV 1 (if indeed you do) for two years, they give off virus on about 4 days out of the year, so not really much of an issue. I think you should move on and if you get an actual sore orally or genitally, have it swab tested.
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