October 7, 2014 at 9:22 pm #1504AnonymousInactive
Hello, I am a 38-year old male and am very concerned that I have been exposed to herpes and wanted to get an opinion on my situation. 6.5 weeks ago I was having sex with a girl and the condom broke (without me realizing). I would estimate the amount of time of skin-to-skin exposure could have been anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes. After seeing that the condom broke I became very concerned. My partner said she “might” have genital herpes but wasn’t sure. I wasn’t able to get any details from her as she kind of shut down and didn’t want to discuss it.
After 1-week of high anxiety, I went to the local clinic for testing. I was screened for Chlamydia, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and HIV – all were negative after the 1 week. After 1 more week, I was having possible STD symptoms.
– One of my testicles was a little sore
– The right side of my penis was a little sore (I would describe the feeling as a very light sunburn).
– I also noticed a pink mark on that same side of my penis. It wasn’t raised at all and did not look like a blister or seem to be a direct source of pain (it was maybe 3mm wide and about 5mm long).
– I experienced lower back pain (not normal for me)
– Headaches (not normal)
– Some fatigue
I went to my family doctor and he took a look at it and did not think it looked like anything other than a mark from friction. He did prescribe 10 days of Doxycycline for my testicle. I decided to have an HSV test done (type specific AB Igg) after two weeks (early I know) and my results were negative for both type 1 and type 2. The lab was Sonoraquest and it did not provide the lab values. That same pink mark that developed at 2 weeks is still present and has not healed (it has been over 6 weeks). Additionally, I developed another pink spot late last week at the area very close to the original spot. This area seemed to be a little more sensitive than the original spot (yet a little smaller). I also developed yet another darker red spot on the ridge of my penis, which was also in close proximity to the other two spots. It was not raised and was not sensitive. I decided to have another HSV test done this last Friday, right at 6 weeks, and the results I received today were also negative for type 1 and 2 as well.
Both last night and this morning, I received manual stimulation from a girl with lubricant and the spots have now graduated from pinkish-red to a more dark red and look like actual sores and are a little painful. They were worrisome before, but now that they are more like lesions, I am even more concerned (even though I know that there was a good amount of stimulation to the area that certainly must have aggravated the sores). The original spots (before the extra stimulation) didn’t seem to look like the pictures I have seen for herpes. But I know that the symptoms can be pretty non-specific so I am pretty worried. I wanted to get your opinion on possible causes of the irritated pink spots and my other non-specific symptoms. I know I need to wait another 6 weeks before I know if I am infected but I wanted to know if the original pink mark not healing (and additional spots showing up 6 weeks after exposure) sounded like to you. After the manual stimulation from last night and this morning, the sores are a little painful and definitely don’t look like healthy skin. I would really appreciate any insight you might be able to offer. Thanks a lot.
October 9, 2014 at 5:09 am #1507Terri WarrenKeymaster
If the pink spots have now turned into actual sores, I would strongly advise that you have a clinician evaluate them as soon as possible. And ask them if they think it looks like herpes while you’re there. And if they think so, insist on testing – preferrably PCR swabs. having said all of that, I think it is very unlikely that you would have a pink mark for 6 weeks that then turns into a sore and have it be herpes. Herpes just doesn’t behave like that. It also wouldn’t stay around for 6 weeks without changing much at all. If I were a betting woman, I would bet that you don’t have herpes. I like that the antibody test was negative both times. There is now a 70% chance that your antibody test will continue to be negative after this. Also, the person who has no antibody to either HSV 1 or 2 will produce antibody slightly more quickly than the person who does have HSV 1, then acquires HSV 2.
Also, we need to go back to the encounter. Two minutes of unprotected sex a single time with someone who may or may not have herpes is really a low risk situation. It isn’t zero risk, true, but statistically, really low risk.
October 10, 2014 at 6:36 pm #1515AnonymousInactive
Thank you for your response. After posting this, I did go back to my Doctor’s office to have the sores looked at since they had changed. He thought they definitely looked like they could be from herpes. He did a swab test (I don’t know what kind) and called last night with the results. The test was negative for HSV 1 & 2. Since the test was over 6 weeks from my exposure, do you think there is any value in the negative results? I was able to talk to the girl and she confirmed that she does have herpes and says she just gets a rash from time to time. She didn’t know it could be spread with use of a condom but she got worried when it broke and didn’t want to talk about it. I am no longer seeing her and recently met somebody that I am interested in starting a relationship with. I want to make sure a am not putting her at risk so I want to hold off on any possible intimate situations (and let the sores heal).
I will get another igg test at 9 weeks (mostly for peace of mind, assuming it is still negative). Would a final confirmatory test at 12 weeks be sufficient or do you think I need to wait 16 weeks to be confident that I am not positive? The 12-16 weeks seems like a large window. What factors into when a person seroconverts? If a person has a healthy immune system would antibodies tend to show up sooner? Thank you for all of the information. You really help to inform a lot of people.
October 10, 2014 at 6:44 pm #1516Terri WarrenKeymaster
Well, it is worrisome that the doctor thought they could be herpes. But I still think something there for six weeks, with your experience, is very unlikely to be herpes. And good the test was negative, though not definitive. And a little worrisome that the woman does have herpes for certain.
I think it would be best to wait the 16 weeks for a final test result. If you happen to have herpes, which I seriously doubt, you would be most infectious in the first six months, and that’s not a great way to start off a new relationship, right? Most people who are going to serconvert will do so in 12 weeks but some do take longer. If you want to test again at 12 weeks, that would certainly be useful information. You could discuss this whole thing with the new partner and see what they think. It might also be good if they’ve not been tested to get tested so everyone knows where they currently actually stand
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