[Question #2095] HERPES SCARE - HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO SLEEP!

47 months ago

Hi Doc, Since there is word limit I will try to limit it to facts. 04/13 - had protected sex with sex worker- oral and vaginal. changed condoms for each individual act. ( I was soft during intercourse and never came ) Four days after I started having hot flashes. ( feverish/unwell feeling ) but no fever. Robitussin seemed to take care of . 04/19 - Went to urgent care for std screening as I was concerned at this point. All came back negative but HSV 1 was positive.  I had HSV 1 for years. Also my blood pressure was very high 135/103 as I was very stressed. Next few days I had headaches all day long ( mild ) would go away with otc meds. ( But no hot flashes )So I went to follow up with my PCP ON 04/26 and he was like you wore condom so no way you have std's ( ignorant sorry ) I insisted him to take HSV1 and HSV2 ( IGM and IGG tests ). HSV 2 IGM and IGG both came negative. Things were going  ok then out of no where I felt throbbing pain one day. ( I would not tell if it was from lower abdomen, groin or even back ) Since then I feel like I have very mild pain in my testicles or groin ( could be imaginary ) Other symptoms:- I had buttocks pain ( only hurt when pressed like pain you feel after work out. ) lasted two days. Stool: mostly ok but one or two times I had watery discharge. Again yesterday I had a bad headache and the flu like feeling came back no temperature though. I am very stressed and for 3 weeks the only thing I have done is goggling it. It is 27 days now and no sign of sores or liaisons. Also, last time I did STD screening was last year and except HSV1 everything was negative and this is was first sex after that.

1. What is the possibility of HSV 2?

2. I know about IGM tests, but does this particular test has any significance as I knew of status last year?

3. Should I not have sex until 3 months with my wife to get tested or herpes lesions shows up?

4. If I take test 6 weeks after my initial exposure. How confident can I be about the test?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
47 months ago
I'm sorry you are having such a rough time after this encounter. 
The good news is that there is just nothing in your post that make me think you acquired herpes.  Nothing. 
The IgM issues are with false positives - but I have no idea who sensitive it is for actual infection.  Some major labs have now withdrawn IgM testing due to such poor performance.
I don't give advice about when people should resume having sex with a regular partner but I can say if you are negative at 12 weeks for HSV 2, there is a 92% chance, at least, that you are not infected.  Having given you those statistics, I think your chances of becoming infected at this encounter, if she happened to be infected with HSV 2, which we don't know, are incredibly low!  You used a condom for all of the encounter, you've had no lesions and you have a negative HSV 2 test - you are looking fabulous in this situation, in regards to HSV 2.
The test at 6 weeks picks up 70% of new infections, in general, but again, your statistics are likely way better than that due to your careful behaviors.

Terri
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47 months ago

Terri,

Thank you so much for your quick response. I have been waiting for one since morning then I forgot my user name and password and then reset.. see how worried I am. I respect your opinion below and I fully acknowledge it. I have been to few PCP's now for some kind of assurance in my situation and have got none. They look at web md and convey me the same message that I have been looking for 3 weeks now. My only concerns are the coincidences. ( symptoms )

1. I started having hot flashes ( feeling unwell ( feverish ) ) to the point I took off and the whole week I was feeling miserable. I had no fever though. May be at one time it was 99.6 and soon after I measured again it was 98.6. So, I don't think I even had a low grade fever. But this weak and stressed, unwell feeling lasted for a whole week. As I mentioned once I started having the flu med it was gone.

2. As soon as the feverish feeling went away, it followed by headaches. I barely get headaches even when I have cold. If I do get one it lasts for a day. This one lasted almost a week. During this time I had buttocks pain as well as I had described in the earlier post. The buttocks pain lasted just 2 days.

3. I was doing ok then all of a sudden at work one day I started having throbbing pain in my lower abdomen/groin/back. ( I couldn't tell ) I tool Tylenol next day it was gone.

4. After that I had a feeling that I have been having pain in testicles or groin which again not sure of. ( could well be stress related or imaginary )

All these happen after that encounter and I am having hard time believing it has nothing to do with it. I am more worried about herpes 2 as it can be easily caught even with protected. I should be more worried about HIV but I have convinced myself that it cannot be HIV as I have to be very unlucky to get one in this circumstances. So, it brings back to the same thing that if I have got something it probably HSV 2.

The day before yesterday ( Saturday ) I was going ok. Yesterday my headache started again and the weak and feverish feeling followed. I took the blood pressure and it was high 140/92. I am not sure if these two are related.

Questions:

1. The things that made me believe that I have herpes are the flu like symptoms ( feverish, weak, stressed, general malaise ) followed by headaches. Aren't these the symptoms of herpes. Or am I misinterpreting these symptoms. I have heard these can precede outbreaks. Or one can have these feelings for long time without outbreak. If these were the symptoms of herpes how long usually would it last. And headaches would that be on or off or continuous. Also, how would the headaches feel like. Mine is more towards left side near by eye.

I guess I am repeating the same things I said earlier but just wanted to make sure that these are not typical symptoms of herpes. I guess I read a lot online and misinterpreted every thing.

2. One fear I have is I have HSV 1 and its shielding my outbreak. In other words, I am having these symptoms but not the outbreaks as a result of it. It has been 25-27 days post exposure. If I were you have initial outbreak ( with HSV 1 ) present, is it too soon. I know primary herpes outline but it would not be same for me as I have HSV 1 correct. What is the time frame for outbreak in this situation.

3.  I worry because even though I used condom I am not sure if it was used correctly. I only saw that I was going hard and soft during the intercourse. But the penis was covered just was soft so I question.

4. Do you think my symptoms like feverish and headaches are due to fear and stress then the herpes.

5. Lastly, do you think my symptoms resembles any other std symptoms.

I apologize for the long email but it feel so comforting to talk to std's experts then other doctors at this moment. I have waited 3 weeks to talk to someone about this.

Sorry again.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
47 months ago
The flu like symptoms that you read about are most often accompanied by genital symptoms when you have herpes.  The "flu symptoms" that you describe could be from so many things - the fact that you jumped to genital herpes is quite an unrelated leap, I think.  The same is true of headaches - very non-specific.
2. If you had a new outbreak of HSV 1 as an adult the chances are pretty great that you would be symptomatic.  Symptoms would show up within 2-10 days. I'm ot sure I am understanding your question completely
3.  If a condom is covering the penis, be it hard or soft, it's offering you a great deal of protection against all STI's.
4  I don't know what they are due to - it could be a little bug or stress - I honestly can't say but herpes is really unlikely given no lesions and good condom use.
5.  I don't think they resemble any STI, no.

Terri
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47 months ago
Thank you Terri. In regards to #2 i meant I already know I have HSV 1. Because of which I may not be having a HSV 2 outbreak if I caught one since I already have HSV 1 antibodies. You have mentioned primary breakouts typicall occur from 2-10 days. What about the time frame for non primary infection initial episode. ( HSV 1 positive but recently caught HSV 2). In your 33 years of experience when does the initial outbreak for non primary herpes typically occur. My flu like symptom feeling very hot in my face and headaches started from yesterday and I have headaches. So, bottom line you don't think this is HSV 2 related symptoms?? In that case once you answer my above question you can close the discussion. I rather trust your opinion then spending countless hours looking for symphony's when there are none. So, you think my headaches has nothing to do with herpes?? Thank you again before I start writing a book again. I appreciate your help so much and admire for what you do. THANK YOU!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
47 months ago
OK, I understand now.  Having prior HSV 1 does make HSV 2 acquisition milder for most people but again, there just isn't enough risk or enough symptoms for me to be worried here.  When I'm concerned herpes might be a diagnosis, I don't hesitate to say so loud and clear.  I think your hot face and headaches are very unlikely to be related to a new herpes infection.

You are most welcome

Terri
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