› Forums › Herpes Questions › Recently Diagnosed w/ HSV-2 – confused + questions
- This topic has 7 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 7 years, 2 months ago by Terri Warren.
January 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm #11206
Last summer I went to see two different gynecologists because I was experiencing burning during urination, discharge, and noticed a couple of blisters on my labia. Both gynecologists (based in completely unrelated practices) diagnosed me with a UTI and candida, but both were emphatic that it was not herpes (despite my frequent expressions of concern that it was herpes). I was prescribed some antibiotics and a cream for the candida and everything cleared up quite quickly.
A few days ago, I noticed two small blisters that appear similar to what I saw last summer. I just went to see a doctor at an urgent care practice and she visually diagnosed me with herpes. I had blood drawn that will be tested for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. I should have the results soon, but it seems likely given my symptoms that I am indeed positive for herpes (most likely HSV-2).
If that is the case, why did the first two doctors so readily dismiss herpes as a possible cause for my symptoms? I am confused because it doesn’t seem that either a UTI or candida would have resulted in blisters.
Additionally, I am looking for information on transmission rates if I were to have sex without a condom, when I am asymptomatic, and if I am on a long-term anti-viral medication (like Valtrex)? I am trying to figure out a future living with HSV-2 and when I am in a committed, monogamous relationship, my preference is to not use condoms. I would of course make this decision together with my partner, but I just want to have better information.
Lastly, my sister was (mis)diagnosed with HSV-2 years ago. She now tests negative for HSV-2 and HSV-1. But she says she does still occasionally get blisters on her genitals. Does she actually have herpes? If not, what is the likely cause of her blisters? Is there any chance that I would have this same condition (where I test negative but display symptoms)?
Thank you for your help.
January 1, 2016 at 3:44 pm #11210
No swab testing was done of the most recent blisters? There should have been as well as the blood test. If, for example, the HSV 1 antibody test is negative as well as HSV 2, this test misses 1 out of 4 infections, so if the blood test is negative for both, then you can’t rely on this, but if you had a positive swab test then you could really rely on that. Perhaps I’m looking for trouble where there is none and maybe your blood antibody test will come out a clear HSV 2 positive. How knows, let me know.
If your sister is positive for HSV 1 and negative for HSV 2 and still gets blisters, she could have genital HSV 1 infection. The next time she gets blisters, she should have them swab tested.
Why do doctors miss this? I have absolutely no idea at all. It all seems so clear to me. But it does explain why 80% of people with HSV don’t know they are infection, right? The thing is, you could have transmitted it prior be being accurately diagnosed.
January 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm #11212
In terms of a swab test, the doctor did take a swab, but then she opted to send off the blood work instead. She said that this would be more accurate than doing a culture of the swab, but based on what you are saying, this does not seem to be the case. In terms of accuracy, how accurate is the swab technique (better than the 1/4 misses of the blood test)? I presume that they have already disposed of the swab, but I can always call back tomorrow to see if there is a chance it can still be sent off for testing.
Additionally, I had asked this above, but it seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle: I am looking for information on transmission rates if I were to have sex without a condom, when I am asymptomatic, and if I am on a long-term anti-viral medication (like Valtrex)? I am trying to figure out a future living with HSV-2 and when I am in a committed, monogamous relationship, my preference is to not use condoms. I would of course make this decision together with my partner, but I just want to have better information.
Thank you for your help and information.
January 2, 2016 at 8:09 am #11217
It would be good to see if they still have the swab. If it was a culture, then it likely isn’t any good any more but if it was a PCR, it is very stable and could still be run. Also, you need the index value of your HSV 2 blood antibody test. There are some false positives on this test and we want to be sure yours is not one of them
In terms of transmission: let’s assume for the moment that you are HSV 2 positive. If you take daily antiviral therapy daily, have sex about twice per week and don’t use condoms, about 2 men out of 100 in this situation would acquire HSV 2 from their HSV 2 infected female partner. If you use condoms, it drops to about 1 man out of 100. That rate also includes your partners knowing about your herpes. Sorry I did not address this question sooner. I just want to be absolutely certain that you even need to deal with this issue by making certain this diagnosis is correct.
January 3, 2016 at 5:04 pm #11244
I have a couple of additional questions that have come to my mind. I am still waiting on my test results, which is occupying my thoughts pretty much around the clock.
Anyways, is it possible to contract HSV-2 but be asymptomatic for years before the first outbreak? Or if you are ever going to have an outbreak, will it be immediately after you contract it? I think I have a good idea of who I caught HSV-2 from, but this will help to confirm it.
Additionally, if I had both vaginal sex and performed oral sex on the person I contracted it from, would it not make sense that I would have contracted HSV-2 in both places? Right now I have displayed symptoms of genital herpes, but none orally. It is possible that on the same occasion I would have contracted it in one location, but not the other?
And lastly, when I had what appears to have been my first outbreak, I also displayed symptoms of a yeast infection and a UTI. Is it common for these to come in conjunction with HSV-2? As in, do many people also come down with yeast infections when they contract HSV-2? I realize that these are unrelated things (one being a virus, one being a pH imbalance) but I am curious to know if it was just a terrible coincidence, or if they were in some way linked?
January 4, 2016 at 9:58 am #11252
Yes, it is possible to be infected for years and not know it and then have an outbreak.
HSV 2 does not like the mouth area, and for that reason, most often people are only infected genitally, but I have seen people who have HSV 2 symptoms both orally and genitally.
Yes, some people who are having a first infection will also have genital itching which may or may not be yeast and also UTI symptoms, as sometimes lesions are in the urethra. However, these symptoms could just be yeast and a UTI!
January 6, 2016 at 8:57 am #11283
I received my tests back from the lab today.
The paperwork states the following:
HSV 1/2 IGG. Herpeselect Type Specific AB
HSV-1 : 0.17
I realize that the value for HSV-2 means that I am positive for HSV-2. And based on what I’ve read elsewhere on your forum, it seems that this value is too high for there to be a chance that it is a false positive? Is there any reason to undergo any further testing?
January 7, 2016 at 1:01 am #11297
Given your history of genital blisters and now this positive HSV 2 antibody test that is greater than 5, I do not see the need for additional testing no.
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