[Question #955] Apology for Question #944 and clarification...

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95 months ago
First, I wanted to back up and apologize if I came off as irrational or not listening on the last question set.  I did not want the discussion to close that way.  you have to understand my raised anxiety as my previous dermatologist threw me for a loop this week randomly changing his stance from confident I was fine, to thinking an STD was a reasonable if not good diagnosis in spite of negative tests.  Plus, getting a rash in your man bits is always scary stuff!!
I wasnt clear on your parenthesized statement, I had hoped you could clarify:
Amplivue is an excellent test, but all tests for the virus can't miss infection and often do. So that result doesn't mean anything. But the others are proof.
I assume you meant "CAN' miss infection and often do." But what result didnt mean anything?  My understanding is that the NAAT testing only misses if you wait longer than 24 or at most 48 hours to swab a lesion?  I think I was on top of that.

Please know that I am sharing these interactions with my gf.  We have no secrets.  but we were both a little confused on that.  I should also let you know how grateful I am for the site.  My local small town doctors are not as well read on STDs.  I was actually encouraged to get an IGM test at one time, and they were very limited on their hov knowledge.  
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Edward W. Hook M.D.
95 months ago

Steven.  As you may know, Dr. Handsfield and I share the site and respond interchangeably. Dr. Handsfield is not available at the moment and so I will address this question and expand a bit on my reaction to your earlier questions and comments.  First, with respect to the Amplivue- it is a superb test and given your negative tests AND your negative HerpeSelect tests in the past year, I would urge you to put your worries about herpes aside.  As Dr. Handsfield mentioned your symptoms are at worst non-specific and in my opinion are not worrisome for HSV.  Of course tests can miss infections but the Amplivue assay is as good and as sensitive test as is available at the present time.  Accept that you do not have herpes.  As for your rash, any number of other, non-STI possibilities exist including reactions to detergent or other non-infectious dermatitis.

I congratulate you on your open communications with your GF- this is a healthy behavior that I wish more people would pursue.  My sense in reading your earlier communication with Dr. Handsfield which is to some degree reinforced by this follow-up communication is that you are far more worried about STIs than is warranted.  STIs are an occasional downside of sexual activity but at the present time none of them (even HIV) is a "show stopper" which should interfere with having healthy intimate, loving relationships which include pleasurable, unprotected sexual contact.  As I understand it, you have both been tested, you have communicated openly, and I presume your relationship is currently monogamous.  If so, then move forward, enjoy each other, stop worrying about acute or chronic STIs that there is no evidence you have.  Invest in your sexual health, share with one another and your GF should have routine reproductive health checks.  End of story.  Lighten up and don't let puritanical (and to a degree, mythological) attitudes and stigma about sex and sexuality interfere with your relationship.  Spend some time on the ASHA website reading about sexual health- it may help you address your concerns.  EWH