[Question #2026] Herpes Scare

47 months ago
Hi,
I am a 25 year old male. I had protected sex during December 2015 and​ out of anxiety immediately did a 10 panel STD test a week or 2 weeks after. All results were negative except for HSV 1 IgG which came up as 1.09 Equivocal. I didn’t retest after that as I did not have any symptoms or outbreak.I did not have sex until January of this year. It was also protected. I got tested for the same 10 panel STD test this week and all results were negative. I had chicken pox Last month and I have been having mild itching before and after urination since then. There were chicken pox even in penis shaft and penis Head and the pain while urination was more then, the doctor suggested acyclovitir as a chicken pox medication for chicken pox treatment . Now it is all cleared up but still there is mild itching and burning and moisture in the region between my penis foreskin and head. I am uncircumcised. I am really confused here. Do I have herpes? Should I test again? Please do help me out. There are mild red spots on my penis glans (penis head)
Thanks!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
47 months ago
Good morning,
It's hard to know if you are HSV 1 positive or not - the IgG test for HSV 1 misses about 30% of infections compared to the gold standard western blot and with your previous equivocal test followed by a negative, I just don't know what to make of that. You may know that more than half the US population between 14 and 49 have HSV 1 - the cause of the vast majority of recurrent cold sores.  Too bad you had chicken pox at this age - it must have been terrible!  Did you have them all over your body or just in the genital area? 
Commonly red spots on the head of the penis are something called candida balanitis, a kind of yeast infection of the head of the penis seen much more commonly in uncircumcised men, it is NOT the same as herpes. 
Whether you should test again depends upon how much you want to know your HSV 1 status.  The statistical odds are that you don't have it - 70% chance- and it is very common.  And if you did test positive, say you did the western blot to double check - what would you do with the results?  You could now know if you infection was oral or genital, just that you had it somewhere.  What are your thoughts about all of this?

Terri
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47 months ago
Hi Teri,
Thanks for your reply.  I had chicken pox all over my body. I really want to get a know whether I have herpes or not to get a peace of mind. I have been really depressed  and confused since the past 2 months thinking about this.  I want to do the Western Blot test to confirm.  Should I do the Western blot test for herpes or the 10 test panel again to confirm? And what is the time frame to get retested?  I really really want to confirm.
Thanks
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
47 months ago
If you want to know about HSV 1 from the 2015 incident, you can test any time with western blot.  Repeating the IgG in the 10 test panel will not give you the clarity that you seek because it could miss it again or it could give you another equivocal or lost positive.  Are you in the US?  You can get the WB only at the University of Washington in the US - you have to contact them for a kit they will send to you and then you need someone to draw and spin and ship your blood.

Terri
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47 months ago
Hi Teri,
Thanks a lot for the information. I am in Texas. Can I go in person to University of Washington to do the test? Would that work? Do they allow that?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
47 months ago
well, yes, but your surely don't need to at all.  I order these for people all over the US from my clinic website and the blood gets shipped to UW - you can do it easily from where you are.  But you really need to think through what you are going to do with the results before you do this, since if you are positive, it won't tell you where you have this infection.

Terri


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