Herpes Expert Forum
Herpes or something else? I'm worried.
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Herpes or something else? I'm worried.

About three and a half months ago (on June 22) I had an encounter with a female of unknown status. We ended up being intimate and I fingered her while she performed unprotected oral sex on me over the course of maybe 20-30 minutes.

At about the first week post exposure I started having trouble defecating and my symptoms seemed to match those of proctitis, so that scared me a lot. I went in to have myself checked out and though I did have a lot of irritation and constipation my doctor said he saw no lesions. After a flexible sigmoidscopy I was told that there was nothing to imply that herpes was to blame for this issue. The irritation in my anal area as well as constipation (along with itch) has continued and sitting is often uncomfortable. Three and a half weeks post-exposure, I began feeling numbness in my leg and hip as well as into my back.  I have also had a lot of stiffness in my joints and tightness and my muscles have been really tight to the point that it has been hard to breathe.  I’ve had numbness and weakness on my right side ever since. It starts at my butt/hip and goes up my back which is usually very tense and somewhat tingly and there’s twitching at times in both areas. There is also a part of my right pelvic area that feels very tender and sometimes it stings. All along I’ve felt pretty fatigued.  It was more pronounced in the first month after exposure but I’ve grown accustomed to feeling that way. The other symptoms I’ve had from time to time are itching (from the front to back and also perineal itching) and prostadynia which I’m told may be due to anxiety, but with every erection I have I feel swelling and I have had little to no sex drive.  I have had small red bumps on my thighs and buttocks but they do not appear to blister at any point. There is also some redness around the crown of my penis and dryness on the shaft (which only seems to happen upon contact or manipuation.

I've tested negative for everything but HSV-1, what could this be?
55646_tn?1263664409
Have you ever had a cold sore on your lip in your lifetime?

Terri
31 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
As a note, I have never had any sores any visible out break, and I am wondering if this could possibly be some manifestation of Genital HSV-1. I have been told not to worry about that possibility after 12 solid weeks of testing (and almost two years of the same results with past partners) but I would like to be sure. Will these symptoms ever go away?
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Avatar_m_tn
Also, all my HSV tests have been HerpeSelect ELISA IGG tests. Unfortunately Kaiser Permanente in the LA area does not give number results, just abnormal or normal.
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Avatar_m_tn
I may have had one many years ago (about 20 years) to my knowledge but I've never been completely sure. Ever since that one potential incidence I don't recall ever having any other cold sores. Until about 2010 I had never been tested for herpes antibodies so I assumed that my +HSV1 result was because of long standing exposure.
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Avatar_m_tn
Bump?
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55646_tn?1263664409
I ask about the cold sores because your risk here would be from HSV 1 from receiving oral sex.  The fingering would not present a risk.

Once you have been infected at one location (i.e. the cold sore), it is extremely unlikely that you would be infected at a new location (i.e. genital).  The immune response that you have to the cold sore virus would likely protect you.  

So in summary, my opinion is that infection genitally with HSV 1 is extremely unlikely.  Also, your symptoms really aren't consistent with HSV infection genitally.  Your symptoms honestly seem more musculoskeletal than herpetic.  

I don't think you need to retest because nothing that you did presents a risk for HSV infection.

Hope this helps.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
So the red bumps I've seen in my trunk/thigh area do not seem herpetic to you in this case? They are quite literally red bumps that do not blister or turn into sores. From what I have seen (and felt) there is no moisture coming from them either...would it be possible to swab something like that?
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Avatar_m_tn
Also, the anal irritation that I've been experiencing, that began only a week after my encounter. Is that ever a symptom of an initial genital infection? (since I know it can happen anywhere below the waist)
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Avatar_m_tn
I also wonder about the lethargy I've been experiencing...can HSV do that for this long?
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm sorry for all my questions I just keep thinking of new things to ask:

Would antivirals be useful to me?
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Avatar_m_tn
Is constant itching a sign of genital HSV infection? I honestly feel very irritated and it never really goes away.
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55646_tn?1263664409
Constant itching, persistent lethargy, bumps on the trunk and anal irritation are very unlikely to be symptoms of a new herpes infection.  Herpes can recur around the anus, yes, but I would expect genital lesions with a first infection, not anal lesions

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
So if all these things end up being chronic, what steps do I take if I never had these prior to my encounter? My skin in the genital area is also incredibly dry.
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Avatar_m_tn
There were never lesions, I got looked at when the irritation first began and nothing was evident back there or on the front side. Would PCR swabbing be remotely useful for a case like mine?
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55646_tn?1263664409
Your behavior was so very low risk since you already have HSV 1 infection.  I don't think PCR swabbing would be useful, no.

As for your symptoms:  I'm not sure what you should do really.  Since it seems unlikely they are herpes, I suppose you could work with a health care provider to sort out what they are caused by.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Would any other STIs bring about symptoms like this? I have tested consistently negative for HIV but I wonder. I just don't want to spread whatever this is to anyone else. I'm just tired of dealing with these symptoms everyday.
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Avatar_m_tn
Today I began feeling a dull ache in my testicle (one remaining after cancer surgery). Would that be something to look into? Also, is there no way I haven't already looked into that could help me figure out if this is herpes related? That is why I asked about antivirals before...would it be within reason to assume that I am having herpetic symptoms if antiviral meds helped them in some way?
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Avatar_m_tn
Would post-herpetic neuralgia be remotely to blame for some of the numbness and aches I've been feeling? I know it's a stretch but I have worried quite seriously about this.
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55646_tn?1263664409
This is not consistent with another STD (and you've tested negative, it doesn't sound like post herpetic neuralgia and herpes is not associated with testicular aching.

This will be my final post on this thread.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
I am aware that you said this would be your last post, but here are evidently my final questions:

1. Would a western blot help me at all?

2. Would you recommend antivirals at all?
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55646_tn?1263664409
A western blot might help you believe your status more and no, I would not recommend antivirals.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you...I only have 3 months of health coverage left so I'm worried about what comes next, but hopefully some doctor in my network will actually look at me like I'm not insane.
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55646_tn?1263664409
You can just use your insurance to get the western blot, right?

Teri
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes and no...I'm not aware that Kaiser Permanente covers a HSV Western Blot. I could always ask, but somehow I don't think they offer one. If I already know that I don't have HSV-2, what would the WB help substantiate?
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55646_tn?1263664409
Kaiser would not cover a western blot if it is traditional Kaiser insurance.  

A negative western blot would confirm that you are not infected

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Would another IGg or possibly and Immunoblot confirm this as well?
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55646_tn?1263664409
No, that would not be the same as a western blot.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Being that the only testing that Kaiser offers is either one of those two, would it be in my interest to find a way to get a Western Blot? I know you offer them at your clinic, would I have to become a patient of yours in order to arrange for one?
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55646_tn?1263664409
Yes and yes, or you could get the testing kit from UW and have the blood drawn by your primary care provider.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Unfortunately Kaiser doesn't know how to do anything outside its own system, not even pharmacy prescriptions (they mess up every time)...I'll probably do the latter.
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55646_tn?1263664409
OK, sounds good.

Terri
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Terri Warren, RN, Adult Nurse Pr...Blank
Westover Heights Clinic
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