[Question #5510] HSV2 Question

22 months ago
Thank you for this service. 

Male (35). Recent full screen 30 days post possible exposure, including HSV1 and HSV2 (first time screened for these). All negative except HSV2 - a great surprise as I've never had any symptoms (mild or otherwise) nor has my partner (female) of 8 years.

1. Test was IgG Elisa based by Alegria (Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay).  Range of <20 negative, 20-25 indeterminate, >25 - positive.  I was 82.8.  Is this an accurate test and is this a low positive? I am unsure whether to accept this/take further tests. I reside outside the US (so WB is not available?).

2. Never any penetrative sex outside my relationship (ever). A number of occurrences with women (usually due to alcohol) which included kissing, strippers sitting on my crotch area (I think always one of us with clothing but unsure), me fingering and then masturbating my own penis (with vaginal fluid on my hand), a handjob, one brief blowjob (non-CSW) without ejaculation, and a recent instance with a CSW of a brief kiss on lips, breast touching and self-masturbation by me (she remained clothed other than her top). From reading this forum it seems extremely unlikely, if not impossible, to have acquired HSV2 from these occurrences and more likely that (if the test is accurate) I've had it prior to these instances or even acquired from my current partner?

Thank you.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 months ago
I would agree that herpes with your sexual history seems so unlikely.  Has your regular partner been tested? If not, I would start there if I were you. 
The recent contract for which you sought out testing - that was the brief lip kiss, breast touching and masturbation?  None of that puts you at risk at all.
I'm not as familiar with that particular test and it's false positive rate. 
Let me know more about your partner's testing status and/or sexual history

Terri
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22 months ago
Hello Terri,

Thank you for your very prompt reply.

I wasn’t as clear as I should have been. The occurrences described below at 2 were all whilst I have been in my 8 year relationship. Prior to my relationship I did have vaginal sex with various other people, most of the time using protection although there were also some instances of unprotected sex (it was a long time ago so I cannot recall full details). No more than 10 times unprotected maybe. There was also some unprotected oral sex (giving and receiving). 

I am unaware of my current partners HSV2 status (never tested so far as I am aware) although she does get Pap smears (does this test for HSV2)? I know for a fact that she had both protected and unprotected sex with various partners before we met. But like me, I do not believe that she has ever had symptoms suggestive of herpes2.

After this positive test I feel ashamed and do not want to put my partner at risk. But it does seem to me very unlikely that I could have acquired HSV2 in the past 8 years from these other actions outside my relationship and I’ve probably either had it prior to 8 years ago or acquired it from my partner. Is this right do you think?

I am now also very unsure about how to take this issue forward including retesting. Any thoughts?


Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 months ago
None of the recent activities that you describe to me put you at risk of HSV 2 but since you have had unprotected encounters in the past, that would be the most likely source of your infection, aside from your current partner, who, despite not having symptoms, could be the source of your infection.
If you want the western blot, we can usually arrange that, even for people who don't live in the US if you could find someone to draw and spin a single tube of blood and then you could ship it to the US, while working with me as the ordering provider.  Pap smears don't look for herpes though every now and then the cells identifiable as herpes will be found on a papa

Terri
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