Terri, thanks. I was examined by a dermatologist/PA at the tail end of my most recent symptoms (but I showed him the photos as well) but he didn’t seem overly concerned and suggested penile dermatitis/eczema as possible diagnosis and prescribed a steroidal cream. I don’t have a history of eczema on any part of my body.
Sorry to beat a dead horse, but this encounter has caused me a great deal of stress mainly due to the fact that the initial presentation of bumps/water blister was never examined by a medical professional or swabbed, so you can imagine the anxiety this uncertainty has caused me. At the same time, it seems hard for me to believe that such a limited physical encounter would have caused so much physical pain and discomfort. I also have been reading about others online who have tested negative for HSV1 (IGG and WB) countless times and continue to have weird recurring symptoms (one finally swabbed positive for HSV1 a year following exposure). Finally, the fact that HSV1 is extremely variable and has not been extensively studied makes me question everything about my symptoms and test results.
1. In your experience treating patients, have you ever PCR swabbed/cultured a genital water blister that tested negative for HSV1? I ask because water blisters seem to always be associated with herpes, from what I have read online. What else would cause water blisters (reaction to massive dose of antibiotics? balanitis? fungus?).
2. Hypothetically, if the person with whom I had the encounter with was infected with oral herpes a month prior to our encounter (no visible signs of cold sores), do you believe that this would make it much easier to transmit HSV1 to me genitally even though the oral to genital contact lasted 5 to 10 seconds (but a vigorous 5 to 10 seconds)?
3. According to the UofW, my Western Blot blood sample had to be retested (happens to 20% of samples). Although my results for both HSV1 + 2 were negative, does this raise a red flag in your view, especially for HSV1? I read somewhere that HSV1 antibodies sometimes interfere with HSV2 antibodies?
4. I realize that HSV1 has not been that well studied, but in your experience treating patients, have you seen a connection/pattern between HSV1 and fibromyalgia/neuropathy/chronic fatigue? I have had continual neurological symptoms following the encounter (burning and aching feet, legs, thighs, buttocks, groin + extreme fatigue + panic attacks + muscle twitches in feet + numb toes). Neurologist has done extensive testing (MRI, EMG) but is coming up empty and just wants to give me painkillers. I’ve never had these issues in my life.
5. I understand that balanitis and herpes are two different conditions, but I have also read that the herpes virus (in addition to fungal and bacterial infections) can cause balanitis as well. In your experience, have you seen a connection between a diagnosis of balanitis and HSV?
6. It seems unethical that the company that manufactures the IGG test for HSV1 would continue to advertise an over 90% accuracy rate when you have recently discovered that it misses 1 out of 4 cases of HSV1. This makes me question the accuracy of the Western Blot. How can we trust this test?
Have you looked into the $9 finger prick HSV test by the new medical start-up company THERANOS (available at certain CVS locations in Arizona and California)?
Thanks in advance.