[Question #7035] Herpes HSV-2

9 months ago
Hi,

I've made a huge mistake and would need your advice. I had unprotected sex 2 weeks ago and saw a small sore in my penis a week later.

I went to see a doctor right after seeing it. He took a swab that showed a really small amount of detected HSV-2. 

I then went to see my GP, who took a serology  blood test 13 days after exposure and both IGg and IGm came back negative. She's questioning whether the swab was done and analysed correctly as according to her it's very unusual to not see either antibody after 13 days.

It gets worse. I went to see an alternative health specialist before getting my blood test results back, thinking I definitely have herpes. He gave me an injection of 125ml of hsv2- specific IgG to fight the infection. An hour later my GP called, saying I possibly don't have the virus and should get tested again in 4 weeks time to find out for sure. 

M question is, is it possible that the tiny positive result from the swab was wrong, and how long do injected antibodies stay in my system? I'm afraid this will cause a false positive blood test in 4 weeks.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
9 months ago
There is no such thing as a swab test coming back with a really small amount of virus.  It's either positive or negative.  It's like being pregnant - either the test is positive or not.
Your doctor is totally mistaken.  Only about half of the population that gets infected with HSV 2 is positive by 14 days out, the other half take longer.  And if you were taking daily antiviral medicine, it will delay antibody development more.  That in itself is not an issue but it does impact the antibody test.
I have never, in 35 years specializing in herpes, heard of anyone giving a patient HSV 2 type-specific antibody.  Are you sure about that?
I think you should believe the swab test.  You had a sore, it swabbed out positive AND was typed! 

Terri
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9 months ago
Hi Terri,

Okay I'll beed to believe the swab test results then. It feels like my life is over.

I'm married and this is killing me. I have never before in my life made a mistake like this and this will ruin the beautiful life we've built together.

In your experience, is it true that most people only get one outbreak with HSV-2 and are asymptomatic after the initial outbreak? I only have one small lesion that doesn't hurt at all. In fact I wouldn't even know it's there if I didn't see it.

And what are the chances I could avoid passing this to my wife? I feel like the worst person on earth and this is out of character for me.

The HSV-2 IgG antibodies I got from an alternative health clinic here in Australia. The doctor said they use these with patients infected with herpes.


Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
9 months ago
Your life is not over.  You have a virus that can be sexually transmitted, but your life can go on with your marriage. 
Do you know if your wife has actually been tested to see if she has HSV 2?  If not, that might be a good idea, but I don't know if you've told her yet.
It also is not certain that you acquired HSV 2 from this person who I assume now is not your wife.  Are you able to ask that person to be tested?  If they are negative, then you've had this for a while and may not have noticed symptoms in the past. 
It is not true that most people with HSV 2 don't have recurrences, I'm sorry.  Some don't have recurrences.
If you take daily antiviral medicine and use condoms with every intercourse with your wife, there is an excellent chance that you will not infect her.  Have you discussed this medicine with your doctor?

Terri
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