[Question #4056] Herpes Exposure

30 months ago

For the past two months I’ve had sex multiple times both unprotected and protected with a woman. I got myself tested a month in for everything including herpes and everything came back negative. I don't believe I've had any signs of an outbreak. I stressed out a lot about this in June and would check every now and then. Sometimes I'd see red areas that would come and go on my penis.  She let me know today that after a visit to the OBGYN they told her she was exposed to genital herpes. She received a blood test that came back positive. She has never had an outbreak. We had unprotected intercourse multiple times over the weekend. How concerned should I be that I contacted the virus? 

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
30 months ago
I would  ask about the specific test used.  If IgG, you want to be sure the number associated with the test is >3.5 or it will need confirmation. You also want to be certain it is an IgG test vs. and IgM test (unreliable).  If she has an IgG test with an index value greater than 3.5, and you tested negative by IgG for HSV 2, it would be beneficial for her to take daily antiviral medicine and for greatest protection, you use condoms.  The red areas that come and go do not sound like herpes to me.  Let's get some clarification on her testing,OK?

Terri
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30 months ago
11.90 on IgG
30 months ago
So how would you interpret that result and how likely would it be to contract herpes from about 6 unprotected sexual encounters given that she has never experienced an outbreak? After the first time we had unprotected sex I got tested for everything including an IgG test about 3-4 weeks after.  Everything was negative. We had sex  of and on two days last weekend. Her doctor said that it’s unlikely she passed it to me. Would you recommend I go back to get tested? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
30 months ago
I would interpret that index value of 11.90 as a strong positive for HSV 2 - I am assuming this was a type specific test and this was for HSV 2, is that correct?  It would be really good to confirm that, BTW. 
The odds are not high that she transmitted this to you since you have no symptoms and previously tested negative for HSV 1 and 2.  it would be good if you continue to have sex for her to take daily antiviral medicine and for you to use condoms. 
For greater clarity about your possibility for infection, you can retest with a type specific IgG test 12 weeks after your last unprotected encounter with her.

Terri
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30 months ago
Correct on the specific test. She asked her doctor about the odds that she gave it to me which she was told was unlikely. If I don’t experience an outbreak within 10 days I should be able to rest easy before getting final confirmation from a blood test down the road correct? I appreciate your feedback. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
30 months ago
If you don't have symptoms in 10 days, I think it is quite unlikely that you got infected.  A final blood test would confirm that, yes.

Terri
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