[Question #1737] Non-sexual way to contract HSV2?

43 months ago
I have been on and off with my kid's dad for several years and had no sexual contact with anyone but him since 2009. In 2015 I tested negative for HSV1 and 2 with antibody test. In December 2016 I had burning when peeing and was diagnosed with genital HSV2 by swab of genital sores. This outbreak coincided with a "reunion" with my ex after 5 months of no contact. He has tested negative with antibody test once in December and once again in February. His value is less than .90. How is this possible?
43 months ago
I should add he adamantly denies EVER being with anyone else but me.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
43 months ago
Have you actually seen the test results?  How long after you had sex with him to you have this genital sores develop?
There could be a few explanations for the situation in which you find yourself.  The first would be that the test simply missed his infection. The second is that he has recently had a new partner and has not had time to develop antibody - it can take up to three months be made in the human body to be detected by this particular test.  The third possibility is that you have been infected for a while and the test missed your infection in 2015.  In my experience, once the test misses an infection, it does so repeatedly.  The fourth possibility, and this seems quite a bit less likely, is that the swab test mistyped the infection and you actually have HSV 1 genitally.  The fifth possibility is that the test used was an IgM, not an IgG - that one is easy to check.  One way to try to sort all of this out is for you to repeat the HSV 2 IgG test again in March and see if it is now positive.  If it is, this suggests strongly to me that the swab test was NOT mistyped and that it is indeed new infection - you did what we call serconverted - you went from a negative antibody test to a positive one. 

The reality is that HSV 2 is a sexually transmitted infection.  If you truly have this infection and it is HSV 2, then you acquired it sexually.  If you are positive by IgG test now and you've had no other partners since 2009, then he has to be your source, right? That's the only thing that makes sense to me, 

Let me know other questions that you might have, OK?

Terri
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43 months ago
Thank you for your detailed response.  Just to give a bit more detail:  Yes, I have seen his test results.  On both 12/28/16  and 2/3/17 he was given a HSV 2 IGG Type Specific AB blood test which came back negative with a value of <.90.  We were having sex after months of being apart starting 12/15/16 and my symptom started appearing on 12/24 or so with a burning sensation when I pee.  I went to the walk-in on 12/26 and tested negative for UTI, vaginitis, etc.  Went to my doctor on 12/28 and she saw sores that were swabbed.  Herpes Simple Virus Nucleic Acid Test Detection for both HSV 1 and HSV 2.  The sore came back positive for HSV 2 only.

Prior to this, on October 9, 2015,  I had the Herpes Simplex Type 1 and Type 2, IGG Antibody test and was found to be negative for both HSV1 and HSV2.  I was with no one else in any physical way from November 2009 through today's date.

The reason I am fretting about this is because he is blaming me, obsessing, approaching my coworkers and community and basically telling everyone I have it and calling me names.  He denies EVER being with anyone but me (his past actions that I know about and his alcoholism/binges lead me to doubt this) and is really making me doubt my sanity. I know in the end, it doesn't matter how I got it.  

If he keeps testing negative in 6 months or so, then the logical answer is maybe my first blood test missed my infection and I could have been infected since before 2009 without even knowing it?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
43 months ago
Thanks for your detailed response.  Yes, I would say that if you continue to test negative (and you don't have to wait 6 months - you can do the IgG in three months from your last sexual contact with him), then the more likely thing is that you contracted this a while ago - before your last test - and the test missed it.  Now this isn't a 100% clarification - it is possible that you might seroconvert on the IgG this time when you haven't in the past, but that seems less likely to me.  Remember that the test also could be missing HIS infection.  Let's see what your test shows at 12 weeks, OK?  If you can afford it and want to do it now, you certainly can.  The other option is for him to do a herpes western blot  - that might pick up infection that the IgG test missed.  Do you think he would do that?

He sounds like a mean man and one without much class, that would tell your co-workers about your herpes.  You know in your heart of hearts that you are sane, don't let this drive you in that direction!

Terri
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43 months ago
He just showed me western blot results from February and they are also negative. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
43 months ago
From this February?  Who ordered the test, do you know?  And it is from the University of Washington?
If it is from this February, then the most likely explanation is that your antibody test missed your infection previously.  Even if you decided to retest and it was now positive, I think this is the most likely explanation.  Nothing else makes much sense.  The only other possibility is that he is recently infected, has taken antiviral therapy and has not yet seroconverted.  But now I feel like we are heading down a path where we are "reaching" a bit.  What are your thoughts here?

Terri
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43 months ago
He ordered the kit himself somehow in December. They are from the university. The whole thing gives me a headache. The coincidence of how and when I experience an outbreak. His test results. My knowledge. My thoughts are that I wish I had never gotten the first test as apparently results have no certainty, he has done all of his testing too early as he was in infected probably the week before he came back into my life, or i am someone who has caught it from a toilet seat although the world says that is impossible.  Whatever it depresses me and his reaction to it and all of this. 
43 months ago
But thank you so much for helping me with you knowledge. 
43 months ago
Is there no possibility of my swab test having having a false positive? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
43 months ago
No, swab for a lesion that is both positive AND typed is almost certainly going to be accurate.
Wait - toilet seat? No.  Are you saying that you've never in your life had sex with a different person?
I know this is very frustrating for you and I totally get it.  But we need to let some time go by and I believe this will likely sort itself out.  Please hang in there.  In the future, it will be more important to sort out how to manage this than exactly where and when you got it.  And we can't sort that out right now anyway.  This is your final post on this thread, but if you want to talk more, please renew. 
Best
Terri
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