[Question #4486] Do I have herpes ?

30 months ago
Hi, 

I was recently diagnosed with having HVS2. I was with a partner for over 10years. I have always had HVS1 which I passed to him. However we split and I had unprotected vaginal sex one time with a not well known man. Not planned/ he got me drunk and took advantage. About a few days later after the encounter I had itching, used yeast cream and it cleared in about a week. About a month later I uncovered a open cut near my anus. I visited a planned Parenthood and they attempted to steer me away from having it tested. They said it didn’t look like herpes, I insist they swab it, this test was done about 5 days after the open cut appeared. 5 days after that they said it tested positive for HVS2. I insisted on a blood test, they didn’t want to give me but they did, blood test was positive for HVS2 but they never tested me for HVS1 they said that because of the location of the cut, also they told me that because the cut was near my anus they would only test for HVS2 and this includes the swab test too. It’s not that I don’t want to believe my results but don’t trust any of this process with them. My long time partner has no symptoms but he will be getting tested in the coming weeks. I am so confused because this cut just hurts and I know I have been straining when using the bathroom.  The cut  healed in about a week and reappeared again three days ago. Also I have been tested for everything else and all test negative  except  the herpes test. 

Please advise 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
30 months ago
I think there is a question in there, yes?  Are you wondering if you should believe the swab test?  I would say yes, if a swab test is taken from a lesion and is positive and typed and your antibody test is also positive for HSV 2, then you have HSV 2.  It is going to be impossible to know how long you have been infected, given that your antibody test is positive.  You could have been infected for a month or years, there is just no way to know now.  If you have a partner is not infected (negative IgG antibody test), you should consider the use of daily antiviral therapy to reduce the risk of transmission and also condoms.    Please let me know what other questions you might have

terri
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30 months ago
Thank you for your response. 

This has been extremely devastating. 

Is it possible to have had this for years and never experience an outbreak until now. Is this a common thing? 

Is it true that a one time sexual encounter considered low risk for HVS2? The Planned Parenthood rep told me that it is rare to get infected for HVS2 from a one time sexual partner. She insisted it had to be from someone I had sex with more than once. 

1) If this I had it for years and not I just got a sysptom does this mean systoms will be a reoccurring thing ? Could getting the systom twice in a three month time period be an indication that I should expect more frequent outbreaks ? 

2) What are my chances of a partner re infecting me vaginally  or another part of my body if they are infected ? Particularly my mouth from oral sex if they are positive when I already have HVS1. 

3)How long after an out break  finishes  should I wait to have sex ? 

4) Could I possibly have children ? 

5) Can I potentially expose another person by sharing the same towel or toilet? 

6) Could my outbreaks become worse in time ? 

7) Will my outbreaks sysptoms spread on other parts of my body ?? I currently have near my anus, will this affect my virgina ? 

8) Do I have to worry about having HVS2 in my Virgina?? Given the fact that I have this near my anus does it mean that it was caused by an anal  sex interaction ? Or does it matter where you have sex because the symptoms could appear any where. 

9) Do you know if there are going to be any vaccinations to prevent HVS2 symptoms in the future ? Where could I sign up for a trial 

10) If my partner is negative, which he displays no symptoms, if I have no anal sex with him but vaginal sex could this avoid him getting it ? Could I pass it to him orally by performing oral sex ? 

11) Does HVS2 have health complications? 

12) is it entirely possible that my outbreaks are a Cause of an entirely other health issue in my body ? If I had it for a while and did know 

I am asking a lot of questions because this new to me. This is making me so depressed. 

13) Could their be a possibility that my swab Test was wrong given the fact that I have no idea what type of test it was done or if it was taken at the appropriate time frame ? 

14) yesterday my primary doctor received my HVS2 results and he made me feel horrible by going on and on about it I needed medication for all the horrible symptoms scenarios  I could be getting. All I have is a minor cut near my anus. I wasn’t even there to to discuss HVS2, can my test be removed from my medical file ?? Can I request this ? 

I do not want to be known as just a Herpes patient. This is making me feel less than human. 

Appreciate any advise you can give . 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
30 months ago
Is it possible to have had this for years and never experience an outbreak until now. Is this a common thing?

That is possible yes, and relatively common, yes

Is it true that a one time sexual encounter considered low risk for HVS2? The Planned Parenthood rep told me that it is rare to get infected for HVS2 from a one time sexual partner. She insisted it had to be from someone I had sex with more than once.

That is correct - while it is possible to acquire HSV 2 from a single encounter, the odds are more than 1 in 1,000

1) If this I had it for years and not I just got a sysptom does this mean systoms will be a reoccurring thing ? Could getting the systom twice in a three month time period be an indication that I should expect more frequent outbreaks ?

Symptoms could be recurring now, yes, but I think you'll have to wait and see what the future holds now to be clearer about this.

2) What are my chances of a partner re infecting me vaginally  or another part of my body if they are infected ? Particularly my mouth from oral sex if they are positive when I already have HVS1.

That would be highly highly unusual

3)How long after an out break  finishes  should I wait to have sex ?

We suggest until new skin replaces the outbreak, but you do give off virus even when there are no symptoms, as well

4) Could I possibly have children ?

Of course you can!  Women with herpes safely have babies all the time!


5) Can I potentially expose another person by sharing the same towel or toilet?

no, but we do suggest that you use your own towels for drying genitals as towels can stay warm and moist for a while and if someone used it to dry their genitals or face immediately after you did, there could be a tiny tiny risk.

6) Could my outbreaks become worse in time ?

Most often outbreaks get better over time, not worse

7) Will my outbreaks sysptoms spread on other parts of my body ?? I currently have near my anus, will this affect my virgina ?

You are infected in the sacral nerve group - it supplies the anus, vagina, labia, down to the thigh and up to the belly button

8) Do I have to worry about having HVS2 in my Virgina?? Given the fact that I have this near my anus does it mean that it was caused by an anal  sex interaction ? Or does it matter where you have sex because the symptoms could appear any where.

Yes, you will also give off virus from the vagina and labia from time to time

9) Do you know if there are going to be any vaccinations to prevent HVS2 symptoms in the future ? Where could I sign up for a trial

There are some vaccine studies ongoing - you can check clinical trials.gov to find locations

10) If my partner is negative, which he displays no symptoms, if I have no anal sex with him but vaginal sex could this avoid him getting it ? Could I pass it to him orally by performing oral sex ?

No, that is not a strategy that will work.  It is quite unlikely but no impossible that he would get it on his mouth by giving you oral sex.  The virus does not like the mouth area

11) Does HVS2 have health complications?

Probably not

12) is it entirely possible that my outbreaks are a Cause of an entirely other health issue in my body ? If I had it for a while and did know

unlikely, no

I am asking a lot of questions because this new to me. This is making me so depressed. 

13) Could their be a possibility that my swab Test was wrong given the fact that I have no idea what type of test it was done or if it was taken at the appropriate time frame ?

Not with a positive antibody test as well, I don't believe so

14) yesterday my primary doctor received my HVS2 results and he made me feel horrible by going on and on about it I needed medication for all the horrible symptoms scenarios  I could be getting. All I have is a minor cut near my anus. I wasn’t even there to to discuss HVS2, can my test be removed from my medical file ?? Can I request this ?

No,I don't believe that you can.  If your symptoms get worse or you have a partner who is uninfected, daily antiviral therapy would reduce the risk of transmission as well as decreasing the frequency of recurrences, if that becomes an issue

I do not want to be known as just a Herpes patient. This is making me feel less than human.

Of course you are more than that!  You are a person who has herpes, herpes is not all that you are, it is only a tiny part of who you are.  Keep that in your mind at all times.

Terri


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29 months ago
It’s official my partner of 12 years tested negative IgG for HVS 2, results were 0.14  which clearly without a shadow of a doubt he did not give me HVS2.  Verified the test results. 

The one time encounter gave me HVS2 for sure. There is no such thing as a low risk with unprotected sex. I must be the 1 in 1000 unlucky human being. The thing that is making me so confused still is that I got the herpes symptoms on my butt when I had no anal sex with this individual and also the fact that it was a one time sexual encounter. 

I feel extremely depressed. 

I asked my doctor to give me another test because I don’t completely understand how I got this from a one time sexual encounter. But there was no one else other than my long time partner and he doesn’t have it.  This is hard for me because I only had sex with this person once.  

My partners doctor told him that herpes tests are point less because if you have HVS1 you could also test positive for HVS 2 and not have it since your body is already infected with herpes. This made me even more confused. 

My partner is still willing to stay with me even after all of this and wants me to just forget about it. He doesn’t care. But it bothers me. 
I do not want to take meds everyday for this which means that it’s a risk for him.  So I have not had sex with. 

I want to take another test again just to be really sure just because I am still having a hard time with this. You sure my original test results couldn’t be wrong ! Given the fact that the only way I could have gotten herpes it was from a one time encounter (vaginal sex)? Could the test results be wrong ? Given the fact that the bump on my butt  is a small single bump and I have no burning when I pee or itching. Could it be that the bump is due to HVS1 not HVS2 but it tested positive for HVS2 because I already had HV1
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
29 months ago
So to review - the swab test and the antibody test were both positive for HSV 2 - is that correct?
And are you saying that in your life you have only had these two sex partners?  Is is also possible that you were infected years prior?
The other possibility here is that the IgG test missed your partners' infection - it misses 8% of HSV 2 infections and 30% of HSV 1 infections. 
Why do you not want to take medication every day to cut the risk of transmission by half?  The medicines are very safe, are only activated in the presence of active virus, and reduce transmission hugely.  I think this is safe and small thing to do to help protect your partner.  The bump would only be positive for HSV 2 if there was HSV 2 virus there. 
Your partner's doc is confused about type specific antibody testing, I am afraid - he is thinking of the very old crude antigen test for herpes which could not separate the two types.

Terri
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