[Question #35] genital Herpes 2

40 months ago
About 16 days after a sexual encounter, I felt a little strange down below. It didn't hurt or itch, but just felt weird yet a little familiar. A day later there were two red spots on my penis. A day later 2 really small blisters. Then they healed within a few days. During this time I went to a dermatologist and he said it was not herpes. I asked him to swab and he didn't want to because "it definitely wasn't characteristic of herpes". I persisted and he swabbed and it came back positive. I was shocked.
I went to get the herpes blood test at my regular doctor. She ordered a full STD panel not knowing that herpes wasn't part of that. So I had to get retested.
So about 4 weeks post sexual encounter ( only 2 weeks after first symptoms), my bloodwork came back IGM 1.4 and IGG 14.5.

My question is how likely is it that I got herpes from this recent encounter or most likely have I had it.
After reading on the internet, it seems to say that I've had it awhile but there is mixed info.
Thanks. 
Basically would I have a 14.5 IGG if it was only 2 weeks post symptoms yet 4 weeks post encounter?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
Yes, I would completely agree that you've likely had it for a while, it is likely NOT new.  But since you tested 4 weeks later, it isn't possible to know for certain.  If you had tested at 14.5 two weeks out I would say this is certainly not new infection. It is a pity that they don't have the blood from the testing done 2 weeks after the contact - you could always contact the lab and ask if they still have your 2 week blood and ask them to run that for HSV 2 IgG if you really want to know.   I am assuming from the index value that you had a Captia test done at LabCorp.   
The IgM is completely meaningless.
It is important that you know when you got this?
Your experience with the dermatologist is SO COMMON.  Not all herpes looks like what people learned in their medical school training.  Yet that is truly the most typical presentation - subtle with small blisters. 
Please let me know if there are other questions I can answer for you.

Terri Warren
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40 months ago
Another question would be that I've read that symptoms usually appear within a week after contact. How common would it be to occur 16 days after a sexual encounter? I know it's possible but I guess I'm asking how likely ? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
Not likely at all, Michael.  The normal range described is 2-10 days, and I think 16 days is definitely on the long side.  The average time is 5.5 days from infection to symptoms.

Terri
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