Forum Replies Created
August 16, 2016 at 10:31 am in reply to: Is reinfection with a different HSV2 possible? #14812
Yes, he is having another test done. If he is still negative, it seems very likely he is not the source. The March 5 person would be more likely, but doesn’t really explain or account for all of the facts.
Just a thought- maybe the reason reinfection seems so impossible is because professionals don’t believe it when it happens, and therefore it does not get reported, and therefore seems unbelievable.August 9, 2016 at 4:07 pm in reply to: Is reinfection with a different HSV2 possible? #14758
And, to follow up my timeline, I am trying to piece together the truth based on these facts. Meaning, the answer has to account for all of them, I think.
1. I have had mild symptoms for over a decade.
2. These mild symptoms are not mild anymore. And, my body can’t seen to keep the virus in check on its own. I have to take acyclovir.
3. I had what appeared to be a classic outbreak, except it was preceded with prodromal symptoms not for 1 or 2 days but 6 weeks!.
4. I had a negative blood test and positive culture, indicative of a new infection, except the most likely suspect was also negative with a blood test, and still shows no symptoms at all.
5. A year later I have a positive blood test.
a) How likely is March 5 to be the source? I would believe this most wholeheartedly if I didn’t have prior symptoms and if it wasn’t so long from negative blood test and outbreak.
b) What will have had to occur for my current boyfriend to be the source? Something like he had contracted the infection right before we met, never had symptoms, and passed it on to me? Still doesn’t explain prior symptoms.
c) Third theory. Once I know you won’t like, but explains everything, I think. I had this for a long time, so long that I seroconverted to negative. The virus was likely not active for years, so why maintain antibody production? Under great stress, like so many other similar viruses (thinking shingles here), it came out of its dormant state, I believe building up in my body for a long time. By the time I responded with acyclovir, it was so prolific and I no longer had a lot of antibody, I had to triple the treatment. I then seroconverted back to positive blood/antibody.
The flaw with this theory is that something is different now. No matter how sure I am I had prior symptoms, those symptoms were somehow kept in check by my body. And, despite having a strong antibody response at this point, my body can’t fight the virus on its own. Which is why I always suspect reinfection.August 9, 2016 at 3:42 pm in reply to: Is reinfection with a different HSV2 possible? #14756
Pulling all of the pieces together is complex. Ruling out reinfection since you’re certain it is unlikely, here is the course of events as succinctly as I can write them.
– In the two years prior to outbreak, I quit two jobs, moved, was unemployed, and sold two houses. I had, at times, gone 50 days without a period. While this may be off topic a bit, the point is that I believe I was stressed out for so long, my body was affected.
– During this time I also had a lot of abdominal pains.
– I met someone at the start of 2015. Our relationship progressed quickly, and ended suddenly. The last time we had sex was March 5, 2015. There wasn’t anyone prior to him for more than a year.
– I did meet someone else after him very quickly. We ended up together (and are still). I didn’t mention it before because I didn’t want to confuse the issues. I wanted to work the March 5 theory. The reason I eliminated this later person is because as soon as I had my positive culture, he and I both got blood tests on the same day. Although I did not see he results, he told me he was negative for HSV2 (IGG test). I was also negative. And, we take percausions not to infect him. HE believes he is negative, so I don’t think he lied about the results.
– But, back to the timeline. We had sex the first time on April 26. I had my first symptoms a few days later…but, I had the mild irritation I had many times before, for over a decade. This wasn’t something new. I had this mild irritation for 6 weeks before the outbreak.
– The outbreak that led me to get tested, behaved like a classic primary outbreak- at first. But, unlike the outbreaks described, it wouldn’t go away. It kept going strong into the 7th week. It only subsided when I took a triple dose of acyclovir.
– A year later, I HAVE to take 400 mg of acyclovir every day to prevent an outbreak. Missing a day or two isn’t a problem, but missing a week is.
– I had another blood test a couple of weeks ago. It was positive.August 8, 2016 at 2:04 pm in reply to: Is reinfection with a different HSV2 possible? #14739
Ok, if most people seroconvert at 12 weeks with very few exceptions, why is that more likely than reinfection? Both seem unlikely. But one has to be the answer. I am not in anyway immunocomprimised, and haven’t been sick for over two years. Seems like I would have a strong immune response. Again, I know this is a weird virus, but does seem odd.
Also, I am trying to distinguish between the typical time from exposure to seroconversion (which you answered) AND typical time frame from exposure to outbreak. Two different things, right? You had indicated in a previous post that it was unlikely to take 13 weeks from last exposure to outbreak.
Also, if this is a new infection, how do decades of symptoms get explained away? And, no, it isn’t something else. I am sure of it!
Is there someone in the field who works in the area of reinfection you would recommend I connect with?
Also, completely different topic, where is the field on a cure? I saw that there is new research out there– phase 2 study on herpes viral suppression through a vaccine of sorts showed promise. Any word on how to get into a phase 3 study trial?August 2, 2016 at 5:02 pm in reply to: Is reinfection with a different HSV2 possible? #14614
Yes, the culture and blood tests were typed. Blood was IGG for both screens.
I guess there are two questions I am asking:
1) how long does it typically take from exposure to outbreak from a recent/new infection? My reading indicated it was typically 2-14 days. I imagine longer is possible, but is it really likely to be 12-13 weeks? Your first response to my post (july 8) made me think this wasn’t likely, but now your last reply says that it is?
2) how long from exposure to antibody response? I think at one point you mentioned it could take up to 16 weeks.
The other issue complicating this are my prior symptoms over the last decade. I am certain these are the same symptoms I have now, just got about 10 times worse.
I am inclined to think that something (mainly severe stress for the 2 years prior) triggered a more severe and classic first outbreak. It seems like the only thing that could explain everything. While I realize I can believe whatever I want and the the truth can be hard to uncover, I’d like to to try to understand what is really happening. Physicians don’t seem very knowledgeable. Is it possible that I’ve had this for a a decade or more, and the first antibody test was negative because it was an old infection or because the test was performed incorrectly or just missed it (sensitivity/specificity issue)? I realize it is unlikely, but is it possible?
Finally, why are you so sure it isn’t a reinfection? It seems like whatever is happening with my case is part of one of several unlikely scenarios. I’d like to figure out which one.July 30, 2016 at 6:04 pm in reply to: Is reinfection with a different HSV2 possible? #14554
I am slow to respond because I wanted to get the results from my new blood test. Second time around I am very positive- IGG 3.26 H. The sample was collected on July 27, 2016.
My negative result, IGG <.90 was taken June 5, 2015. My positive culture was on June 1, 2015. The last time I had sex was March 5, 2015 with the person I suspected could have given this to me. So, you are sure he could not be the source of a new infection? What about re-infection? Is it possible that I had a strain for so long that my body no longer produced antibodies, allowing me to be infected with a different and more severe strain the second time? It’s the only thing that makes sense to me…. other than maybe I was under so much stress for so long that virus finally did it’s worst, whereas before it was relatively inactive/mild.
Also- I wonder if the action of taking the culture/scrapping could have led to the severe outbreak. I actually went to PP for STI screening because I was wary of the March 5th guy. In addition to the standard test, I asked for a herpes test. I just wanted everything tested for. They didn’t want to give it to me and told me I would have to have an exam first to determine if they would allow it. Well they did. The minor irritation I had was visible. They didn’t do a swab, they scrapped large portions of skin off my very sensitive lady parts. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life. After that everything went down hill. The pain from the scrapping was immense and just got worse. By that evening I had flu-like symptoms. Maybe it was going to happen anyway, but I feel like trauma of that culture could have triggered what occurred– changing what would have stayed as minor irritation (that I had experienced before) to a full-blown outbreak. Do you think that is also possible?July 3, 2016 at 6:17 pm in reply to: Is reinfection with a different HSV2 possible? #14193
and sorry to use another question, but no I was not taking any antivirals. Just green tea and fish oil when I rememberedJuly 3, 2016 at 6:16 pm in reply to: Is reinfection with a different HSV2 possible? #14192
I was confusing. 13 weeks after a possible exposure (the only one), I had a positive culture and negative IGG result. I understand it can take up to 16 weeks to test positive with a blood test, but most do by 12 weeks. Still, this would indicate a new infection without other consideration. My hesitation in believing this entirely a new infection is that most of my symptoms, though now more severe, are things I have had before and were unexplained. And, they are the exact same things- in my my best judgement not likely something else. Even my first outbreak was strange. Had irritation for a month prior, and it was the exact same irritation I had 10 years ago for about a month, which I discussed with at doctor, but never led to an outbreak. This last time it ended in a breakout, which is also strange because as I understand it most first breakouts happen within 2-14 days of exposure, and mine would have been 12-13 weeks after exposure. Also, to have prodromal (sp?) symptoms for a month before a breakout isn’t something that seems in common with other sufferers. Mostly I have read it is for a few days.
I guess, I am not looking for you to diagnose so much as relay information on the few cases of reinfection. What is known about it?June 24, 2015 at 5:06 pm in reply to: conflicting lab results and their meaning #7618
At this point (about 25 days from my symptoms taking off… I had mild irritation for a month before they did), I am still suffering pretty badly. The day I had my culture taken, was the day it got unbearably painful. Prior to that I had a fever, flu-like symptoms,a swollen groin, tingling in the buttocks, and abdominal pain. Initially, the pain was mediated by warm baths and advil. I started on acyclovir 400 mg/ 3x day. By the next week I was feeling better, but then I got what looked to be a yeast infection. I took a cure. It appeared to go away, but severe itching has set in after. It was so bad Monday of last week I couldn’t work and pain meds wouldn’t help. The warm bath did a little, but not great. I finally had a bunch of wine and it stopped the itching. I started to get better again and cut back on the acyclovir to 2x /day for suppressive. However my doctor also prescribed valcyclovir (1 gm /day) when I told her what was happening. I don’t have good insurance so the 335 dollar per month drug isn’t really an option for me right now. So I upped the acyclovir again. And, in a previous post I mentioned propolis. I use it topically for the outer areas that were itching so badly. I have been applying it for the last 4 days with great success! But, now I feel like i have another yeast infection and/or bladder infection. It is accompanied by painful bloating (and I have been having this for over a year now), The pain is internal and more intense. I took a yeast infection cure again, but it made no difference. I am frustrated. And, don’t know what to do. I had an appointment with my doctor but there was a issue with validating my insurance. I was told I might have to wait up to two hours for them to verify. I was tempted to pay cash… but part of this visit was for testing of my thyroid and I wasn’t sure if I could swing it financially. Normally I would have waited, but I was in so much pain I couldn’t bear sitting there.
From my reading, the appears to be a very extreme primary outbreak. I am starting to wonder, though, if the symptoms will ever subside. I have lost so very much money and time trying to treat this, and with the exception of the propolis, haven’t gotten any real relief. And, I do the other stuff like wearing loose clothing, keeping thing dry, and peeing in a tub of water during the first week.
1. Do you have any advice? Is this out of the norm?
2. Despite the high expense of the valcyclovir would it be worth filling my prescription for a month? I could use it as suppressive therapy, taking 1 grm for 5 days? Or, should I stop and let my immunity build?
3. I know your intuition is that this is a first infection. Maybe so, but I have been experiencing milder symptoms for many years, and for the last year painful bloating and watery discharge. I also have had a very light, irregular cycle. This is the reason for the thyroid testing. I guess I wonder if this is all herpes related or if something else is going on?June 19, 2015 at 8:35 pm in reply to: conflicting lab results and their meaning #7499
Thank you for your reply!
It sounds like I am looking at one of three unlikely situations. 1) This is something I contracted from first partner (and still after three months had no detectable antibody), 2) this is a very old infection, or 3) I contracted it from my newest partner. Concerning the latter, if I understand the situation, and please let me know if you disagree… he would have to have been infected so recently that he would not have antibodies. We first met on March 19th. I know one can never know for sure, but I don’t believe he had any relationships with anyone other than me from that date until now (and his test was done on June 5). However, he is also older than me- 53- and I wonder if he might take longer to seroconvert? The other possibility, might concern his actual testing. I tried to get him to ask for information about his test results, but he was unable to provide any virus sub-type information or type of antibody test used. I am going to try to get him to ask for more information, but if it was an IgM test my understanding is that it is highly unreliable.
My next steps are to 1) try to gain more information from him about his test results and if he did have an IgM test, convince him to retest ASAP with IgG. 2) Re-test myself on or around July 5. That would be a full four months since last exposure to the first partner and if I am still a strong negative this would likely eliminate him as a source.
What do you thin of this synopsis and plan moving forward, any flaws?
Also, in terms of the mild symptoms that I mentioned having in the past….. I lot of the feelings I am having now are very similar to previous experiences. For instance, I have had bouts of anal itching since my senior year of college. It comes along, gets worse, and worse at night, and then disappears in about 8 to 10 days. I have had exactly the same feeling during the last week. Also, prior to this outbreak, I had skin irritation around the labia for a month or more. It was very mild and I thought it was related to having a new sex partner. I figured introducing new bacteria, friction, etc could irritate the skin. I also remembered having the same experience about 10 years ago. It was mild and went away in about a month. It didn’t even occur to me to be concerned because I remembered having had this before. Finally, and this probably less consequential, most of the pain with the outbreak is gone but the nerves seem to be over- active. I constantly feel like I have to use the bathroom (number 1) and when I go there is very little urine. About 6 months ago I had the similar sensation. I thought a bladder infection was coming on, but the sensation went away on its own in a day.
In your experience, are these prior episodes consistent with mild hsv2 infection?
Finally, do you know anything about propolis and the treatment and prevention of an outbreak?