[Question #7226] Herpes

8 months ago
Can someone get a herpes infection indirectly from a surface or from another person's skin (who just got it shed by someone else on their skin but didn't necessarily begin shedding yet)?

I understand that the virus can survive the easiest on is the skin (esp. thinner skin like the lips, labia, etc.) and can also survive on surfaces (typically dry)  for a short amount of time. How exactly is the virus staying alive on the skin before it gets under the skin to the nerve and starts replicating?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
8 months ago
You've asked this question on an earlier post and I've given you the best answer we can provide already.  Would you like to describe the exact situation that concerns you about this?

Terri
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8 months ago
Yes, I'll get straight to the point. 

I either: A. Contracted it and then unknowingly gave it to my girlfriend 3 days later (with my initial outbreak happening 13 days later), followed by her initial outbreak 14 days after that, or B. Contracted it and then unknowingly gave it to my girlfriend 18-24 hours after getting it (is that even possible), followed by my initial outbreak 3 days later and her initial outbreak 7 days later. 

I'm just trying to figure out how likely the second scenario really is considering it takes a bit of time for your body to become infected enough to start shedding the virus. Thoughts?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
8 months ago
I thought it was probably something like this.  So let me clarify:   in A, you had a different partner than your girlfriend, was that unprotected?  And in B, you also had another partner, was that a different partner than your girlfriend or the same person as in A.  Has A or B been tested to know that they are positive or negative?  You were both swab tested to get the diagnosis, is that correct?  Is it HSV 2?  have you or your girlfriend ever been tested for herpes antibody in the past?

Terri
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8 months ago
-Yes, it is the same other partner in A and B (and was unfortunately unprotected in both cases). 
-My girlfriend got swab tested during (what she thinks was) her first outbreak (either 7 or 13 days after we think I gave it to her), which came out positive 3 days later. 
-I got type-specific antibodies tested 3 months later, which came out slightly HSV1 positive ("Igg type-specific: HSV1 - 1.03, HSV2 - <0.91"). 
-My girlfriend has not yet been tested for antibodies but we both plan to get a second test soon for more accurate results.
-Part of why there's been confusion is I later asked the other partner (after we had broken up) if they got tested and they said yes but that apparently "nothing came up". 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
8 months ago
Was your partner swab test positive for HSV 1 or HSV 2?
Your antibody test is interesting.  Your HSV 1 is not positive, it is equivocal, but the IgG test for HSV 1 is not great - it misses 30% of HSV 1 infections compared to the gold standard western blot for herpes.  The IgG test misses only 8% of HSV 2 compared to the western blot so it's difficult to know exactly what's going on here. 
It's really important to know which type of HSV  your partner has, HSV 1 or HSV 2, as you try to sort this out.
When your other partner says "nothing came up", it would be good to know if they were specifically tested for herpes - are you able to find that out?
I'm happy to continue to work with you on sorting this out, if you wish, but save your posts, perhaps until you have more information or you'll have to start a new post, which of course you can do.
I'm glad we're starting to deal with an actual case, easier to sort through.

Terri
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