[Question #6163] HSV-1 Risk

16 months ago
I drunkenly received oral sex on my penis from a random woman with, from what I remember, were no outward signs of cold sores.  I have no way of contacting this person to find out their sexual history or potential infection risks.  I am now terrified of a potential HSV-1 infection.  I have had no obvious symptoms but also know that with a possible genital HSV-1 infection there may not be obvious symptoms.  I know this is overkill but I have had 4 tests for HSV.  The first 3 were ImmunoAssay tests through Quest all negative at 4, 12 and 16 weeks.  The 4th test was an Immunoblot through LabCorp at 18 weeks also negative.  I know I am probably overreacting but I cannot get out of my head thinking that I could possibly be infected based on the inaccuracy of these tests.  I typically have a very strong immune system so I would imagine that I would have developed antibodies by now but I also read that it may take up to 6 months to develop antibodies and the HSV-1 tests are somewhat inaccurate.  I have a couple quick questions:

1. Should multiple tests with all negative results over varying time frames reassure me that I am not infected with HSV?
2. Should I be concerned that the potential 30% inaccuracy rate of a HSV-1 test would repeat itself in numerous and different tests?
3. Is the random itching/feelings in my penis that come and go throughout the day natural and I am over-reacting because of my anxiety?
16 months ago
I forgot to mention all tests were for IGg.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
16 months ago
1. Should multiple tests with all negative results over varying time frames reassure me that I am not infected with HSV?
Well, maybe, but the IgG for HSV 1 misses 30% of infections, which you know.  So I have seen it miss is multiple times, yes.  But you had two different brands done of IgG.
2. Should I be concerned that the potential 30% inaccuracy rate of a HSV-1 test would repeat itself in numerous and different tests?
We don't have sound research on that.  It might miss it with any test, it might miss it only with certain brands, these are things we don't know.
3. Is the random itching/feelings in my penis that come and go throughout the day natural and I am over-reacting because of my anxiety?
I think they are natural AND you are anxiety and so you notice very little thing.
If you want the best test, get a western blot

Terri

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15 months ago
Terri,

Thank you for the assistance with these concerns.  I mentioned I had not had any obvious symptoms at the time, but I woke up 11 days ago with a small flat red spot on the right side of my penis.  I have had itching in and around that area for about 2 weeks prior so I was checking daily.  This spot was a little bigger than a ball point pen in the midst of a bunch of fordyce spots and feels flat to the touch.  It has not itched directly and has not hurt, I have tried squeezing it multiple times and sometimes a thin whitish-yellow strand pops out of it, sometimes nothing.  I noticed today as it is going away that there is dry skin on top of it so I guess it was raised ever so slightly and the skin is drying as it is shrinking???  Anyway does this sound like it could be anything, I get a lot of pimples and this doesn’t look like any of those and because the spot has been around for 11 days now I was somewhat concerned and am not knowledgeable to know if there is anything that can cause a red spot for close to two weeks.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
15 months ago
What you describe does not sound herpetic to me, but if you continue to have concerns about this, I would recommend that you see your health care provider in person for a clearer impression

Terri
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