The pimples that you describe do not sound like herpes lesions to me. Most people who get cold sores would describe them as blisters, not pimples. They usually take about a week to go away and yours sound like they are going away much more quickly than that. However, I know that you are concerned and your labs are slightly concerning to me. The screening ELISA test misses 1-2 out of 10 cases of HSV 1, so not great. If it would help you to relax a bit about this, we could order a western blot which is much better at picking up HSV 1 infection. It is done at the University of Washington but we can order it drawn at any local Quest lab in all but five states in the US.
The other thing that you can do is ask your doctor to do a PCR swab of the pimple when it comes. If they don’t want to do that or you don’t want to ask, you can become a patient of the clinic and we can send you PCR swabs that you could gather at home and ship back to us for lab processing.
Do you know that your partner is actually HSV 1 negative or do they just report no cold sore history? Those are two totally different things. the vast majority of people who are infected with HSV 1 and HSV 2 are not aware of their infections and may actually be without symptoms.
You’ve got two more questions to ask so fee free.