[Question #7619] HSV2

3 months ago
Hello, 
I am a 51 year old male. Two years ago I found out that I was a carrier of the HSV2 virus (IGG April 2019 was 5.1, and IGG from Nov 2020 was 4.4). Both times the HSV1 test was negative. I've never noticed any signs of infection, so I believe I am asymptomatic. 
9 years ago I had a 2-month relationship with a woman who had genital herpes. At the time she didn´t tell me if it was caused by HSV1 or 2. We always had intercourse with condoms, but once I gave her oral sex without any barrier.
I can´t determine if my HSV2 results from such relationship or other relationships I had. I was always very careful in what regards STDs, but I have to acknowledge that herpes was never in my radar, and therefore it was not part of the set of tests I would take  and I would ask a new partner to take before the start of a new intimate relationship.
Although I know that HSV2 is almost always associated with the genital area, I wanted to know if it is possible to determine if my HSV2 is either in my genitals or in my mouth (or both)? If it is found I only have it in my mouth, can I have unprotected intercourse sex with my partner without any risks for her (assuming of course no other STDs)?
Many thanks
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
3 months ago
We know that at least 95% of the time when someone tests positive for HSV 2, they are infected genitally.  A recent study found that some people who test in the higher range (like yours) are actually not infected.  If you've had no symptoms in two years, you may wish to obtain a herpes western blot just to be sure.  Your own doctor can order this for you in cooperation with the University of Washington if you want to do it.  You should call 206-685-6066 to order the kit you need for the test.  If your doctor is unable or unwilling to help with this, I can help you.  It's also quite likely that you are positive by asymptomatic, as you suggest. 
It is not possible to know for sure if your infection is oral or genital without a swab test that is positive from a specific part of your body, though I think you should assume it is genital.
Let me know what other questions you have.

Terri
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3 months ago
Thank you Terri, very clear.
I actually live in Europe, so unlikely it will be feasible to do the western blot in cooperation with the University of Washington, given the logistic constraints? In case it is indeed not feasible, do you know if such test is also available in Western Europe? 
Thank you again!

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
3 months ago
I don't think it is in Europe, but I've had many patients get the blot who live in various parts of Europe.

Terri
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