February 12, 2021 at 8:30 am #72681anon377899Participant
I’ll like to explain the background of when I started to get outbreaks & hopefully get your thoughts and answer my 3 questions. Due to length, this is over two posts.
In Summer 2018, after having sex without a condom, I had what I think was my initial outbreak. Multiple small wet sores, initially in the perianal area, then on my penis. Due to work & anxiety about the symptoms, I wasn’t able to speak with a doctor about the sores, until a month later.
The sores healed 10 days or so, after they initially appeared (I didn’t take any medication). Before I got around to seeing a doctor, I visited a sex health clinic & got myself tested for some STDs. Those test were all negative.
I finally went to see a doctor around September 2018. That doctor did another round of STD testing. When I asked about herpes testing, the doctor explicitly said they wouldn’t do a blood test for herpes, since (in their opinion) blood test aren’t reliable. Their recommendation was for me to use condoms going forward, until (if) I have another outbreak, then come back & they’ll swab the sores.
The STDs that the doctor did test me for, were negative.
In the following 6 weeks, I took western blot blood tests for HSV I & II (IgM & IgG), while in Hong Kong. They were negative. I also took IgM & IgG tests for HSV, while I was in the U.S., soon afterwards.
When I got the results from the U.S. clinic, I was told every thing was negative. It was only after I left and began to review the results myself, that I learned that one of the tests (‘HSV I/II IgM’) was positive (1.28, with the equivocal range being 0.90-1.09).
I followed up with the clinic about this & they said that this test may not tell me if I have herpes or not. They said other things can cause it to be positive, and referred me to the IgG HSV I & II tests I did at the same time, which were negative. This was about 14 weeks after my initial outbreak.
February 12, 2021 at 8:34 am #72682anon377899Participant
Out of curiosity, I looked up my STD test results from before my outbreak, going back a few years. None of them ever show a positive HSV IgG or IgM result. As of October 2020, that IgM test from 2018 was the only positive test I’ve ever had.
Since that initial outbreak to October 2020, I’ve had 2 small outbreaks.
One in September 2019, which appeared as a single large wet area, that covered the ‘fat pad’ that is above the base of my penis. I initially thought I forgot to dry that area after my shower, but the area remained wet after I tried to dry it. This was the 1st & only time I seen anything like this, on my body.
The other was in September 2020, which appeared as one small ‘sore-looking’ wet spot on the side of my penis & 2 spots in the perianal area.
At both of those times, I had access to valacyclovir (I haven’t been diagnosed with HSV, but I was able to push the doctors to prescribe me a few days worth). At both of those times, I took some valacyclovir for 2-3 days & the spots crusted over (healed) & disappeared.
Since I haven’t had sex since the initial outbreak & I’m interested in being sexually active again, I went to a local hospital back in October 2020 & asked for a daily prescription for valacyclovir, to use as a daily suppressant. The doctor was willing to give me a prescription for 30 days. They also ran HSV blood tests for IgM & IgG antibodies, specific for types I & II. They were negative.
I starting taking the pills daily & after a week, some sores appeared on my perianal area. I stopped taking the pills & went back to the hospital & asked about the sores. They said the sores didn’t look like herpes (they said it may be something else) & when asked, was told that swab tests for HSV weren’t available at that hospital.
My questions are
-Should I assume that I do have herpes? If not, what would explain my symptoms?
-Can taking valacyclovir cause a herpes outbreak (or any other kind of outbreak)?
-What should I tell potential partners?
February 13, 2021 at 1:48 pm #72720Terri WarrenKeymaster
I seriously doubt that you had a western blot done in Hong Kong, for starters, IgG and IgM are not western blots.
If you are in the US, I think you should obtain a western blot to see if you actually do have HSV 1 or 2. Until you find this out, I don’t know what you should tell partners OR if you should take antiviral medicine.
If you are in Hong Kong, you can still send blood to the US for the western blot
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