August 7, 2023 at 9:01 am #82538
Good day Terri, I’m hoping you can help me understand what might be going on here. I’m a female, late 40’s (I recently had a baby and still nursing – I add that only as a reflection of my exhaustion and possible lower immunity).
Around Feb-March 23 I had sexual interactions with three men, that involved both unprotected penetrative and oral sex. I had sexual contact with each of them twice, the last occasion being late march.
Two weeks later I went for a standard set of blood tests and included STD testing for peace of mind – I had no symptoms. The blood test was IGM positive for HSV1 and HSV2. All previous tests have been negative and I have no recollection of cold sores either for myself or in my immediate family. I know you are going to tell me I should just discount IGM straight off the bat! The IGG tests were negative. All three partners subsequently told me they have oral HSV1 but tested negative for HSV2. There were no visible oral herpes/or healing wounds to my knowledge.
Around 3 weeks later (7 weeks after last sexual contact) I got a rash in my bum crack and perineum area. The rash was bright red, but there was no sign of any bumps or blisters. It was itchy and burned. I also developed a smaller rash under my breast. It was examined at the STD clinic twice and the nurse thought it was HSV but the doctor said it looked like diaper rash or shingles. I think she thought shingles because of the rash under my breast. I was prescribed Valtrex and started on the 1000mg dose twice daily for 7 days. I ended up taking this for far longer because the rash just wasn’t going away. Even after 12 weeks, I still had a rash albeit less severe. I possibly have some nerve issues as well.
During this time I had 4 swabs and 3repeat IGG blood tests. All have been negative. The last set of swabs and bloods was taken after a few weeks of being on a 500mg dose of Valtrex and stopping for a couple of days before the test.
continued on next post
August 7, 2023 at 9:02 am #82539
I have been reluctant to come off Valtrex altogether as I am concerned about the risk to my baby, but this does seem like the next logical step. As an aside, I’ve also taken a whole host of natural supplements that are said to have evidence fighting HSV.
My most recent set of STD tests were all negative aside from thrush. I have had thrush plenty of times in my life, but never had anything like this raging rash on my butt! However, a dose of fluconazole did seem to help quite a lot.
My question is, what is the chance that I do still have herpes, and that the Valtrex has concealed the virus on both the bloodwork and swabs?
I cannot get the western blot as it is not available in my area. Possibly I could do it when I travel but I understand I would need to be free of medicine for 12 weeks.
Thanks so much!
August 13, 2023 at 5:12 am #82593
I should add that although the doctor suspected shingles two swabs that included herpes zoster and were found to be negative, but again I thought the valtrex could be interfering with the results.
I am continuing to have symptoms that I imagine might be nerve damage and hyper sensitive skin in that area, but it was red raw for the best part of 4 months.
August 19, 2023 at 10:54 am #82640Terri WarrenKeymaster
The rashes that you described do not sound like herpes and herpes would not go on for 16 weeks. that sounds more fungal than herpetic to me.
And most people with herpes don’t describe the presentation as a rash – they describe it as sores.
Nothing you’ve said here concerns me that your symptoms represent a herpes outbreak.
August 21, 2023 at 12:59 pm #82664
Thank you Terri
Whilst this is somewhat reassuring, I still feel that it is possible that I have HSV and it just hasn’t flared up yet. To what extent does valtrex impact testing on swabs and bloodwork?
Unfortunately, your response came just after a terrible couple of days of pelvic pain, lower back pain, and hot/cold sensations on the affected area. This was after 10 days off valtrex and having shaved the area. Im aware that anxiety may be contributing to hyper-vigilence but these symptoms do seem out of the ordinary.
August 27, 2023 at 8:56 am #82709Terri WarrenKeymaster
Valtrex, taken daily immediately after a new infection happens, can impact antibody testing, for sure. The medicine is keeping the virus from replicating and when that happens, the immune system cannot see the virus and therefore cannot make antibody, which is what the blood test is looking for
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