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Coping
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This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding herpes issues such as: Herpes symptoms and treatments, causes, diagnosis, and herpes in men, tests, telling your spouse or partner.

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Coping

I need methods to cope. I've been diagnosed for a few months now and although some days are better than others I still have trouble. I'm solitary by nature & so are my great pleasures: films and literature. I find that when I try to read or watch I find myself losing interest and hearing that little voice "you have herpes" over and over. I started exercising which has helped a bit but still find it hard putting this out of mind.
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61 Comments Post a Comment
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1174003_tn?1308164419
How were you diagnosed? Which type do you have?

HSV isn't that big of a deal as it is really common.  HSV-1 Oral is extremely common.  You need to look at what this virus is... Microsopic and a coward.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hsv2. Diagnosed by blood test after initial ob. No problems since going on valtrex but can't stop thinking its there. Contracted it after a break up which isn't helping me cope. Know it's just circumstance but I can't help but read too much into it.
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1174003_tn?1308164419
Can you get us a copy of your results I want to verify you were propperly tested and that the numbers aren't in a range that may prove a false positive.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I tested @ 1.4 igg type specific 1 month post exposure. Had a vicious ob after. Went on valtrex & nothing since. Wasn't retested cause I figured the ob verifies. Was tested a year ago & was negative.
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1705114_tn?1314222104
So your outbreak, was it cultured or looked at by a doctor?
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Avatar_m_tn
Never looked at. Dr looked @ the blood test & wrote a script. Sure seemed like herpes though. Red base. Bumps that scabbed. Itched. Not bad but pretty typical.
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Avatar_n_tn
CDC does not recommend visual diagnosis; all herpes outbreaks should be confirmed through proper exams. Besides, it`s always good to know what type of herpes you have, 1 or 2, since the prognosis is different.
Your blood test is in a range that often yields false positives. Besides, it seems like you had a negative one as well? For HSV2 igg?

Grace will probably advise you better, but it would be ideal to seek confirmatory testing. Since you are taking suppressive therapy (which might mess up results when taken right from onset), you would have to stop it and wait a few months, then seek a test like the WB.

Before "coping" you need to know your status better! We'll help you with that.
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1705114_tn?1314222104
Definitely listen to Grace about the advisement of a retest. The best thing to do when you have symptoms like an outbreak is to be seen by a doctor.  Some other illnesses can mimic herpes. There is no way to know for sure that your outbreak was really due to herpes.
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Avatar_m_tn
No the igg was positive with 1.4. I had the restest debate with myself for awhile but then the ob happened & I pretty much gave up hope. The igg which was negative was in July 2010 & was less than 0.91. With the obvious symptoms I figure it's pretty much herpes type 2.
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Avatar_m_tn
Also. Grace already helped me with this back in April. I suppose I just go to get the blisters swabbed. Didn't think it necessary due to the typical ob.
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1174003_tn?1308164419
Okay I read the advice from grace.  Your coping is right now I think needing the advice given to you in the past.  Being tested properly is going to help in telling you what you have or don't have.  Why say you have something when there is a chance you may not.  Consider the re-testing now and I would go as far as getting the WB at this point.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just figured I should move past the denial phase. Was planning on a retest but didn't see the point after the ob. Do I get another igg or go for the wb?
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok I have an appointment on Thursday for a follow up igg test. I'll post numbers when I get them. Thanks guys.
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1705114_tn?1314222104
Just come back and post the numbers when you do. If you have another low positive test you may need a WB  as mistakeguy has stated. I personally would skip the igg and go for it
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Avatar_m_tn
I just wonder since most of the posts say that false positives are common with a lack of symptoms & I most certainly had them. Thanks for the advice though.
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1705114_tn?1314222104
You had symptoms, but you did not follow up and make sure that what you had was in fact herpes. You just diagnosed yourself. There is a good possibility it could very well have been herpes, but your igg blood test was low and you haven't had an outbreak since. Totally up to you on what you want to do. All we can do is give advice if we were in your shoes, we can't make you follow it
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey, don't despair. I know this is difficult for you but do yourself a favor and actually confirm your status first. You can bury yourself in the world of film and literature which I do as well these days but until you know your answer, don't get buried too deep :). Hang in there buddy, and hope for a positive resolution for you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks. I'll know soon. The 1st ob happened about a month after my positive igg test. Started small & then grew into about 10 small blisters. Lasted for 3 weeks. Anyone else had anything similar. Would almost clear then come back worse. Nothing since valtrex though.
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Avatar_m_tn
Forgot to ask this. Would antivirals lower an igg count?
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1174003_tn?1308164419
Valtrex doesn't impact the immune system from making antibodies really.
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Avatar_m_tn
Also. I've seen nurse Warren post confirmatory percentages for low positives. Anyone know the percentage for a 1.4 being truly positive.
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101028_tn?1348750963
it would be unusual for a recurrence to present with 10 lesions.

stop the valtrex at this point and go from there. I'm too tired to read through our past posting but 1.4 is low odds of being a true positive as I"m sure I advised you previously.  As I say frequently, just because it has feathers doesn't mean it's a duck - get proper testing to confirm your status - don't make assumptions. wouldn't you feel kinda silly if you wasted several months of your life being depressed over herpes and then find out you really didn't have it?

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
I would feel very silly. No worries about not reviewing the previous posts. Everyone here has been great. Thank you grace, mistakeguy & all the rest for your prompt & informative replies. I had a rather negative experience on another forum. Too casual. No info.
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Avatar_m_tn
Also. The blisters kept coming and going for three weeks. Started as 2. These scabbed in a week then came back as 4 these scabbed in a week then came back as 10 in a large cluster. These healed but left some white pin sized scars.
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897535_tn?1295210035
Both yeast and bacterial infections - even a dermatitis/allergic reaction, can mimic herpes. Get tested and go from there.
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Avatar_m_tn
Getting my 2nd round of blood tests today. I'll go from there when I have the results. Thanks guys. I'll keep you posted. Guess as I said the worst is over. I just can't think why I'd be negative a year ago & then falsely positive now. But I'll see.
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101028_tn?1348750963
it happens with the tests unfortunately :(

I can help you with your results when you get them.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks grace. Should have them beginning of next week. I'll be sure to give you the type of test as well. Thank you again for your through and rapid responses.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok. Was gonna wait until Monday with my new results but I'm living up to my name. I dug up my April paperwork. Hsv2 igg 1.45. Which is low positive but on the notes the dermatologist underlined negative. I called & left a message to confirm but am very confused? Any thoughts?
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101028_tn?1348750963
no thoughts. let's wait for your newest results since they will be more helpful than your previous ones.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok. Heard back from the derm. They said it was just a note to themselves. Awaiting bloodwork for Monday. If it's gone down is that a result of the valtrex or a sign of false positive.
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897535_tn?1295210035
The IgG number will almost always be different for anybody that tests, it's just the science behind the test. It means nothing. Wait for your test results and go from there.
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Avatar_m_tn
Will have my second round of tests tomorrow but I wanted to put feelers out. Anyone on here had a low positive score with what may have been symptoms only to eventually test negative? Could use some hope going into tomorrow.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok. Just got my 2nd hsv igg. Neg for type 1. Positive for type 2 @ 1.1. Down from 1.45. Found a place in town that does biokit for free. Thoughts?
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101028_tn?1348750963
you still have a low positive. the biokit at this point is a good idea.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks grace. Does the decrease mean anything or is it just how the tests work?
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101028_tn?1348750963
it's meaningless. you could get those results taking the same test twice in the same day even.
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1174003_tn?1308164419
Just how the test works.  The numbers will always change up or down.
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Avatar_m_tn
Is that a good sign that they went down?
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101028_tn?1348750963
it means nothing dear.
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Avatar_m_tn
So I contacted the clinic & they won't run the biokit for another 3 months after my last test. Is it worth going for the western blot or should I just wait another 3 months?
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101028_tn?1348750963
no reason to wait 3 months since this wouldn't be a newly acquired infection for you and you just need to confirm results.
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Avatar_m_tn
So I talked the biokit people into giving me the test. Going on tuesday. One final question before I post my results on Tuesday. All the discussions I see are for the herpe select. I was tested by labcorp which I've read is the captia. Does that make any difference? Still worth getting a biokit?
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101028_tn?1348750963
yes it is worth getting the biokit or I wouldn't have recommended it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Good luck for your test on Tuesday!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello,

Was just wondering if you're having any luck with your situation. I know how tough it is to learn you have this. I've been dealing with symptoms as well, twice since the first, which was 3 months ago. been in a long monogamous relationship and never had any reason to suspect I had this.

Hope you're doing better.
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Avatar_m_tn
So my biokit was an epic fail. Got called into work early that morning tried to reschedule & was refused. Been off the valtrex for a week & nothing suspicious so far. Trying to schedule a western blot. Keep reading the false positive stories but worry it's just creating false hope. Would it be better to wait for an ob to culture or get the test?
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Avatar_m_tn
Most of the specialists seem to agree that the western blot is the gold standard in blood testing... If you want answers now, I think that's your best bet.

I too read a lot into the false positives, but in the end the culture test confirmed it.

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1174003_tn?1308164419
They should have rescheduled you to get your Biokit.  Can your provider not get you in at all or not during that day?
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Avatar_m_tn
The biokit is @ a STD clinic which didn't want to do the test on me @ 1st since I'd already tested +. I begged & they agreed finally but when I had to reschedule they gave me the + is + run around again. My dr doesn't see the need either. I keep telling him about low positives not confirming & he just says that my low count means I should just be on episodic therapy.
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Avatar_m_tn
hey man, i was reading your posts re having herpes and the depression it causes u.
I had some symptoms and am still trying to figure out whats up w/my stuff. Tested neg for most std's incl herpes 1 wk after i met up w/someone at my gym in april but still having symptoms. Its been driving me crazy too. Going to get retested this week for my fuk3ing sanity and also to see if i mite have gotten hpv or some kind of bacterial sh#t on my penis and butt area. I really didn't do anything to have contracted these things according to everyone here including 4 doctors in two states [wtf] but the symptoms are still around and weren't there before i messed around. Anyway hoping u don't feel too depressed or alone w/this sh#t i know how it feels. Goin for a long ride on my motorcycle today helped me clear my mind a bit. Keep the peace somehow man and good luck.   Jake
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Avatar_m_tn
I tested weakly positive. 2nd igg was a 1.1.
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1174003_tn?1308164419
I would say your providers are doing you a disservice by whats going on without properly confirming your diagnoisis.  I would suggest that you contact Terri Warren's office.  She is the HSV Expert here are MH and she does do phone consults.  I am not sure if your insurance will pay for her time but they might if not she might be worth the money to get her involved.  She will look into your case and I am almost positive agree with Grace and order a WB to be done for you.  

For those other posters.  The best thing is keep your questions in your own posts.  

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Avatar_m_tn
I'm starting to feel that confirmatory testing is as stressful as diagnosis. Called quest. They will order the test with a dr order. Dr says it's a waste of $. Biokit people keep giving the runaround. Feel like I should just wait for a recurrence & get it swabbed. I'm gonna call Terri if I can afford it. Thanks for the continued advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
So I found another biokit provider. Have an appointment in a week. Curious about this though. When 1st tested I had the hsv igg combination. Results were 14. I know it's an unreliable test but I am confirmed negative for type 1 on my last igg specific. If my hsv2 is falsely positive what could cause a + igg combo?
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101028_tn?1348750963
many things cause the non-type specific test to be falsely positive which is why we don't recommend its use in general.
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Avatar_m_tn
So I saw an infectious disease specialist today who not only agreed but encouraged me to get the wb test. Saved me a long trip to get a biokit. I've been doing some reading though & I'm confused. The berkley graph states that 1.1 - 1.5 has an 80% chance not to confirm. But then I found the focus statement about confirming their test which states 3 in 100 are false positives. How do these #s correlate.
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Avatar_m_tn
So I got a call about my wb today. Indeed positive for hsv2. I took it better than I thought but my question remains. How do you cope/stop thinking about something that never goes away? I hear with time but it's been 6 months Now & it's all I can think about. All day. Every moment. Terrible.
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897535_tn?1295210035
Obviously having chronic thoughts like this can completely impair your daily life, and as you'd expect to hear from those of us who have herpes, it shouldn't. Best to seek a counselor/therapist. It's worked for me in my life at different times.
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101028_tn?1348750963
I agree with Petal, if you've still been having problems with this after 6 months, talking to a professional counselor/therapist is going to be beneficial for you I think. Also consider buying Terri Warren's book "the good news about the bad news". It really goes into the psychological side of having genital herpes more than her free handbook does and you might get a lot out of it.

Even though finding out for sure that you had hsv2 isn't the best news ever, at least now you know and can take proper precautions to protect a partner. Avoiding sex during obvious symptoms, using condoms properly and daily suppressive therapy gets the risk to a female partner down to 2-3%/year.  that's a very low risk!  If the weather man said 2-3% risk today of snow, you certainly wouldn't cancel a trip out for a nice dinner right? Genital herpes is manageable and you can reduce the risk to a partner significantly. don't let it have more power in your life than it should have!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the replies grace & petal. I have been seeing a therapist. It's just hard. I guess that it was a one time mostly protected encounter is what gets me. That & I wasn't disclosed to. I'll get there I guess. Eventually. Thanks.
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