[Question #807] Genital herpes exposure and symptoms

54 months ago
Hi,

I've been dating a woman who has genital herpes and I'm very worried that I may have acquired it. We have had sex about 5 times, always protected. The last time we had sex was April 2 around 12 am. We went on a long hike on  Sunday April 3 and on Monday morning around 6 am on April 4 I noticed an open sore in the upper region of my pubic hair. It wasn't a blister and there were no hairs growing out of it. I squeezed it and some blood and pus came out. It didn't really itch or hurt and it was a single sore. It scabbed and healed within a week.
I knew at the time that I should get it swabbed but I was too anxiety ridden. I didn't really want to know the results. However, over a month has gone by and I can't get it off my mind. It's become imperative to my mental health that I face this, whatever it is. Without further ado, my questions:
1. Does this sound like herpes?
2. Should I get tested?
3. If so, what kind of test and when?

Thanks in advance.
Sam
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
54 months ago
Well, it could of course be herpes or maybe not - impossible to tell from our description.
Good that you are using condoms - is she taking daily antiviral medication do you know?
Too bad you didn't have it swab tested right away but that's water under the bridge. 
Have you ever had a herpes antibody test in the past?  If not, it is possible that you have had herpes for a while and this could be a recurrence.  Have you ever had a cold sore on your lip?
I think you should get tested but you can do it one of two ways  1) you can get an IgG test now for HSV 1 and 2 and 2) you can wait 12 weeks from the most recent intercourse and test with greater accuracy.  Obviously, if you test positive now, you don't need to retest.  And if you are positive, you could have been infected for years or be just recently infected.
For the records, most new infections present with multiple blisters, not a single sore, but people do vary

Terri
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54 months ago
No she was not on antiviral meds and I've never had an antibody test. I've never had a cold sore on my lips.  I've done some research and I can set up a type specific ELISA test online. Would this be appropriate? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
54 months ago

sure.  The tests online are just fine, but you want ONLY IgG, ELISA, not IgM, OK?

Terri
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