[Question #4790] STD testing in Momogamous Relationship

25 months ago
I was in yearly monogamous relationship with a 38 y/o white woman.  I'm a 40 y/o white male.  At 5 months into the relationship I was tested for Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and HSV1, HSV2.  All tests were NEGATIVE.     Could the Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia tests be positive now if I get retested today considering they were negative before and we both have only been with each other??

On a side note: A month after I was tested with the above tests she had an outbreak in her vagina and found out she has HSV2.  I developed a lesion on my penis and a DR thought it was genital herpes.  So I may have HSV2 but I am more concerned if the other 3 tests could show up positive now even though they were NEG before.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
25 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

You say nothing about potential STI risks in either your partner or yourself before your relationship began. However, the overall frequency of STDs is very low in people age 38-40. in any case, you clearly had none of the infections for which you were tested 5 months into the relationship. Unless one of you had other sex partners during your relationship, there is no need for retesting, except for HSV2.

Your herpes history is interesting. Since your HSV2 blood test was negative, it is unlikely that you infected your partner. But whether or not you acquired HSV2 from her also seems unclear. A doctor's visual diagnosis of herpes is not definitive. Apparently your penile "lesion" wasn't tested for HSV, which is too bad. But since it wasn't, I would recommend you have a follow-up blood test. You should do that around 6 weeks after onset of the penile lesion; and if still negative, do it again at 3 months. If both tests are negative, herpes wasn't the cause of the lesion. If positive, it will confirm the diagnosis and indicate that you acquired it from your recent partner. Both you and she should inform future partners of your HSV2 infections, although you can stop doing so if your blood test(s) remain negative. And by the way, have only the IgG HSV2 blood test, not IgM. The IgM antibody tests are highly unreliable and often falsely positive.

The tone of your question suggests you might be worried that since she has HSV2 and you might have caught it, this might mean an increased risk of other STDs as well. That's a reasonable idea on the surface, but in fact not an issue. Genital herpes is equally commmon in people with and without other STDs, and in people with a few or many past sex partners. Looked at another way, it seems likely your partner had herpes for many years, and that her recent diagnosis does not suggest she has been at risk recently for other STDs.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
---
25 months ago
thank you for your reply.  I did have one sore after I found out she was positive for HSV-2 believe it or not.  That was a month after my HSV-2 test was negative.  It was just under my head on my shaft near a vein.  It looked white and I took Valtrex and it went away.  i did have red dots on my penis farther down a few months later and that went away too.  i wonder why I tested negative for HSV-2 at 5 months in and then got these blisters after.  She was monogamous as so was I.  I'm waiting for a blood test as I type this.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
25 months ago
I'm a bit confused by this description. You describe "one sore", and then speak of "these blisters". Herpes doesn't cause "red dots" of the skin; that's probably unrelated. I'm wondering whether the doctor who "thought it was herpes" is highly experienced anbd how certain s/he was.

As I said above, I have and had no reason to suspect your partner was not mongamous during your relationship. Assuming she indeed has HSV2, mostl likely it goes back many years, although that judgment depends on exactly what her symptoms were and how she was diagnosed (visual exam only? culture or PCR? blood test? if blood test, details of the result). Let me know the details, as far as you know them, and more detail about your own symptoms. But let's wait until you have your blood test result (including the exact test type and numerical results for both HSV1 and HSV2), and do it all at once.
---
---