[Question #1177] Who infected who?

48 months ago
Neither of us ever tested positive to HSV2.  I was most recently sexually active while my partner has only had 3 sexual partners in 30 years. After 6 months of dating I had a minor breakout of two blisters...I tested positive for HSV2, a few days later he developed a small bump on his genitals along with mild flu symptoms and he tested positive as well. He blames me and if it was me I want to apologize and I feel terrible because I didn't know. Since I got an outbreak first, was it me who infected him?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
48 months ago
When you say that neither of you have tested positive for HSV 2, have either of you actually been tested with an antibody test?  And when you say that you tested positive, did you test positive on a swab test for herpes and/or and antibody test?  Did he get an antibody test following his bump - I guess I don't know exactly what you mean by he tested positive as well.  In order to help you both sort this out more clearly (maybe I can, maybe I can't), I will need a bit more information about the testing that you both had done, OK?

Terri
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48 months ago
Hello Terri,

We both within one year before we started to date had blood tests for herpes and tested negative. I guess I do not know if that would be considered an antibody test.

My latest test was a swab test from the actual blister, he had a blood test done within one week after I tested positive. 

He feels because he's had fewer sexual partners in the past 30 years and because my outbreak was first that I gave it to him. 

Before that 30 years he was a sexually active college kid.   I was monogamous 20 years but before meeting him was a bit more sexually active than him  but  I did take precautions of safe sex. 

So 6 months into dating and being exclusive with each other we were on vacation and I developed 2 adjacent blisters at the opening of my vagina and we stopped being sexual immediately.  Then went to get tested within a few days of my outbreak.  So how do we determine who had it first? 

Thank you...

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
48 months ago
OK, we still need a little more information here.  It would be useful to know which blood tests you both had done that were negative - IgG, IgM?  Can you check?
Then it would be useful to know about his most recent blood test - IgG?  IgM?
Did either of you have other partners within the four months prior to your initial tests?  If yes, then it's possible that one of you was in the process of going from negative to positive and the test was done too early to pick up a positive. 
It is also possible that if he had a positive IgG and you only had a positive swab test, that you would have been negative by antibody test, which would have meant that this was new infection for you but not for him.  But without an antibody test for you (blood) we cannot know that . 
It's possible that you won't know who gave what to whom, but looking back at your medical records for IgG testing (IgM is worthless) and then looking at the timing of the last sexual partner may be helpful.
It is also possible that the test missed infection in one of you at your earlier blood draw
Can you get you previous test results?
And I am assuming your swab was positive for HSV 2 and his antibody test was also positive for HSV 2?

Terri
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