[Question #3316] Herpes symptoms????

38 months ago
I received a massage parlor handjob 2 plus moths ago. No fluids exchanged. However, found a bump at base of penis popped it and it went away in 4 days. For one solid week the entire head of my penis tingled, scrotum, around anus all burned. I also noticed dark, dark red bumps not on the skin, but deep under the skin of my penis and they to went away in a day or so. All test results came back neg.
HSV 1  0.78 negative ( 6 weeks) igg
HSV 2 0.12 negative (6 weeks) igg
Question, I have tingling now in my forearms, wrists, hands and just above my knee on my right thigh.  Have you ever seen any of these symptoms as a sign of a STD?   
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
38 months ago
The upper body symptoms that you describe are unrelated to any acquisition of genital herpes. 
If the only contact that you had was the massage person masturbating your penis, that is not a risk for herpes.  The bump at the base of the penis is slightly concerning and your high negative HSV 1 result could actually be a positive.  If you do have herpes, it would be from some past exposure, not this one that you are describing here.  The IgG test for HSV 1 is not very good.  If you want to know for sure about this, the herpes western blot would clarify your situation. 

Terri
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38 months ago
Hi Terri,  thank you for your response, however this is very alarming news. I've been to 4 different doctors all telling me that I'm okay. So you think that the pain on my lower thigh could be related to herpes. You also believe that the HSV 1, 0.78 is a high negative and could actually be a positive?  I've been married for 17 years and never strayed from my wife. I can't even believe how this whole thing has spiraled this far out of control? My primary care doctor told me that the pimple was from shaving and not to worry about it. He also didn't seem concerned in the least about my test scores? Can I have sex with me wife without the worry of infecting her? Why do I hear experts saying that anything under a 3.5 is considered a false positive? Does a persons number ever go down or does it only climb higher? You mentioned that igg is unreliable should i retest?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
38 months ago
Wait.  I think you didn't completely understand what I wrote.  I am saying that it is possible that you have HSV 1 and have had it for years.  I do not think that this experience put you at risk of acquiring HSV 1.  HSV 1 infection is usually an oral infection - cold sores, nothing sexually transmitted.  Half the US population has HSV 1 infection - extremely common. 
I do believe you can have sex with your wife without concern about having acquired something from the encounter that you describe.
Research shows that about 50% of people who test positive in the index value range of 1.1 to 3.5 are false positives. But only about 6-7% of those who test by IgG for HSV 2 (at least 7,000 people over 7 years of data collection in our practice) fall into the low positive range of 1.1 to 3.5.  I don't hear any experts saying that anything under 3.5 is a false positive.  There is good research on this - don't get confused. 
I also did not say that the IgG was unreliable - I said it misses some infections, especially for HSV 1, and with a high negative such as yours, that could be the case.  And remember we are talking about two separate things here - false positives and false negatives.
Try not to jump to erroneous conclusions because of your anxiety, OK?
All I was saying about your HSV 1 index value is that it could be a false negative because it is higher than usual. 

Terri
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38 months ago
Thanks Terri,
This has been so confusing for me over the past 2 1/2 months I don’t know what I need to do next?  Or do I do nothing?
Do you think that the tingling in my hands and right leg is totally unrelated?
Do I need to do more testing? I would like to know more about to acquire the western blot test.
To be perfectly clear we are talking about an oral herpes and not gentital herpes in my case?
Honestly, I don’t even know the right questions to ask you. Please tell me what it is that I need to do?
Thank you so much Terri.
If I need to can I purchase and submit another question to you regarding this discussion?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
38 months ago
I do think that the tingling in your hands and right leg are completely unrelated to your herpes antibody testing.
Probably the best thing for you to do here is to get a herpes Western blot to clarify your HSV one situation. You can work through your own provider to get this or I can help you as well. Again, if you have HSV one, and we don't know that yet, I don't think it has anything to do with your sexual encounter. In a way, it would have been better for you not to open this particular can of worms given your low risk sexual exposure because now you're just confused and I have probably help to confuse you by saying that this high negative could indeed be a positive instead. There's no medical situation here to be concerned about. There's nothing that you really need to do unless you want to get clear about your type one situation. There is nothing different that will happen between you and your wife if the HSV one happens to be positive.  A very reasonable thing to do here would be to do nothing. Nothing is different than it was before. You have just done a test that confuses the situation slightly but it has nothing to do with the sexual encounter. 

Terri
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