[Question #5494] Can HSV1 cause a partner to have HSV2

20 months ago
- I am a 35 year old female who had unprotected sex with a male who isn't my regular partner one time while being broken up with my boyfriend
- My boyfriend of 2.5 years tested positive for HSV2 IGM test because he had a breakout 3 days after him and I had sex which was two weeks after I had unprotected sex with that one guy mentioned in the bullet above
- I tested 2 weeks and 9 weeks after the exposure and was tested positive for HSV1 only (IGG). HSV2 showed up negative both times
- My boyfriend claims he didn't fool around with anyone in the 2.5 years I knew him and says I gave him HSV2 because I admitted to him i slept with someone else once during the time were separated.

My question is this: is it possible for me, who is infected with only HSV1, to have cause my boyfriend to have HSV2?

My gynecologist said HSV1 cannot cause HSV2 as they are two different viruses. My boyfriend is convinced I gave him HSV2, but I do not know how this is possible and obgyn confirmed that it is now. So I am turning to experts to try to come to the bottom of this and figure this out.

Please help.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
20 months ago
Timing is everything with HSV antibody testing.  And getting the right test is also extremely important.  The CDC says never to use IgM testing - it has a very very high rate of false positives.  Did he also have a swab test of the "breakout"?  How long after you had sex with the other person did you test yourself for HSV 2 antibody?  If it was 3 months or more after that encounter, it is accurate with 92% sensitivity. 
HSV 1 does not cause HSV 2 - they are different viruses. 
Has you boyfriend had an IgG test for HSV 2 antibody?  That is the correct test.  But that likely is NOT necessary if he had an outbreak that was swab test positive for HSV 2. 
The other option here is that your boyfriend has had HSV 2 before he met you. 
There is more to sort out here.  If you can answer my questions, I can help you more accurately

Terri
---
20 months ago
Please see my answers below:

Did he also have a swab test of the "breakout"? 
- No
How long after you had sex with the other person did you test yourself for HSV 2 antibody?  If it was 3 months or more after that encounter, it is accurate with 92% sensitivity. 
- 2 weeks after, 4 weeks after and 9 weeks after. Did IGG tests. All 3 times HSV1 came back positive and HSV2 came back negative
 Has you boyfriend had an IgG test for HSV 2 antibody?  That is the correct test.  But that likely is NOT necessary if he had an outbreak that was swab test positive for HSV 2.
- He had IGG test done for HSV1 and HSV2 and both came back negative. He did them while he was having an outbreak and next weeks will be 8 weeks so he plans to go test again. He also got IGM test done which tested positive during the outbreak for HSV2.

So there is a possibility he had it all along or possibility that he may not have it at all and it was just a false positive I guess.

Also, the other person I slept with did do a test as well and tested negative (or so he says, cant believe anybody I guess).

So if my bf tests positive for IGG HSV2 next week, is there any way to know if it is a recent infection or one that he may have had for years? And if he's had it for years and him and I been having sex, how did I not get it?



 

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
20 months ago
It is possible that he's had it a while yes and the IgG test did not pick it up or it is also possible that he simply tested a little too soon (I like 12 weeks with no antiviral medicine or only one or two weeks of medicine).  I think it is more likely that the test missed it since your other partner tests negative and so do you.  Another possibility of course is that your boyfriend had sex with someone else, got herpes and is blaming you.  Remember that  I don't anything about the parties involved here and I'm not trying to blame anyone, just throwing out the possibilities.  I think if he tests positive next week and you continue to test negative a few things are possible:

1) he had another partner and got it from them and will become positive on the test at some point
2) the test is missing an old infection in him
3) your test is missing an old infection in you and you infected him recently
4) the other partner is lying about his results OR he has been recently infected and not enough time has gone by for him to be positive and he infected you and you have no symptoms
5) the IgM is a false positive and the "breakout" is not a herpes outbreak at all and this is all just due to a poor test, the IgM

Terri
---