[Question #6770] Unsure about a possible herpes infection.

12 months ago

Hi. I recently did an IgG blood test which came back negative for both type 1 and type 2, I took the test probably around 8 weeks after my last possible exposure to herpes. My girlfriend (now ex) of 6 months had the virus for sure, we used condoms probably about half of the time.  The problem is I have recently been having very subtle burning and stinging in my urethra, and sometimes, but not very often, when I pee, although this has completely stopped now.

Is it possible to have herpes symptoms like I am having and not have any antibodies in the blood? Would it still take 12-16 weeks for the antibodies to appear even if I had symptoms as such? The blood test was also a finger prick style one, so was also wondering how accurate they are compared to a needle and syringe? I have never had any visible blisters or lesions. I have particularly noticed quite a bit of burning AFTER ejaculation as well from time to time, but not every time. Also with the peeing, I am now noticing slight stinging AFTER passing, which tends to linger for a good while. Thanks for your time and I look forward to your response.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
So with herpes, the burning happens DURING urination, if burning is going to happen, as acidic urine passes over open lesions in the urethra.  The IgG test, at 12 weeks out, misses 30% of HSV 1 and 8% of HSV 2, compared to the gold standard herpes western blot from the University of Washington.  If you want to be more certain, get the western blot - you can work with your own provider to get this or with me at westoverheights.com.  It really isn't possible to know for sure without this better test, BUT your urinary symptoms do not sound at all like classical herpes of the urethra.  Please let me know what other questions you may have.

Terri
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12 months ago

Okay, thank you. Any ideas on the burning/stinging after ejaculation?

 I don't think I have seen the western blot test available anywhere as I am located in the United Kingdom. You guys seem to be more clued up on this whole topic. Looks like the only tests we have available online here are the IgG and IgM. Our GP and sexual health clinics won't bother with you unless you have blisters/lesions. Maybe my best bet is to re-test the IgG after 12 weeks. What are your thoughts on the finger prick blood tests?

Thank you very much.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
I'm sorry, but I'm not sure exactly what test you had done, but the only finger stick test I am aware of for herpes only looks for HSV 2.  And if it is a test called Biokit, it is quite good actually.  I have ordered western blots for many people in the UK.  The trick is finding a lab or provider who will draw and spin your blood.  If you can find that, I can provide the lab requisition if we can talk together. 

And no, I'm sorry, I don't have any ideas about the burning and stinging after ejaculation that does happen with urination.  You may wish to have a prostate exam to rule that out as an issue.

Terri
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