Herpes Expert Forum
Never had a herpes outbreak but I have herpes?!
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Welcome to the Herpes forum. This forum is for questions and support pertaining to herpes simplex virus infections (HSV-1 and 2) and herpes zoster (shingles) and the virus that causes it, varicella zoster virus. Questions about genital herpes are welcome both here and on the STD Forum.

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Never had a herpes outbreak but I have herpes?!

I just got a call today from my dermatologist that I have HSV1 + 2. I am completely devastated and at loss of words. I always get a yearly check-up (Pap smear, STD checks, HIV etc.) and herpes never showed up. But I was also told that regular check-ups never include a herpes test. I apparently never had a herpes test in the past, and I didn't know this. This year, for some reason, because I told the nurse that I wanted to get everything checked, she did the regular check-up and included the herpes test. I have been married for 8 years and have 2 children. I never have had any herpes symptoms or outbreak, not even now. My husband does get occasional cold sores but we never thought it was herpes. He also got the shingles earlier this year. Is it possible to carry this virus for 15+ years (I have been with my husband this long) and never realized I had it since I never had any symptoms? Does a cold sore mean that you have herpes? If that's the case, is it possible that my husband gave me herpes (not knowingly)? Will I ever get an outbreak? I did some research and found that I can be a carrier? What does this mean?
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55646_tn?1263664409
Can you please tell me how you were diagnosed with types 1 and 2?  An antibody test?  Can you please get the numeric values of the positive results?  There are a few false positives in the low positive range (1.1 to 3.5) and if your HSV 2 result falls in there, you need a confirmatory test done.  But yes, you could have had it for 15 years and didn't know it.  Those who already have HSV 1 when they acquire HSV 2 are least likely to know they are infected.  Get me some more info and then we can talk more intelligently about what's going on here, OK?

Terri
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your message. I called the doctor's office and got the following numeric values:

HSV 1+2 = combined Igg 16.9
HSV 1 = Igg 0.91
HSV 2 = Igg 3.71

These tests were done by LabCorp.

Can you tell me what these numbers mean?

Thanks
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55646_tn?1263664409
Your HSV 2 test is in the range of values that doesn't need confirmation, though it is just outside that range, but if you did confirmatory test, my guess is that you would very likely be positive for HSV 2.

You mentioned in your first post that your husband was diagnosed with shingles in the past year.  Can you tell me about that?  Where on his body was it?  Sometimes clinicians mix up shingles with herpes, is the reason that I ask.

Given that you very likely have genital herpes, it might be a good idea to have your husband tested as well to see where he stands with this.  If either of you have ever had other partners in your lifetimes, you could have had this for years and never knew, honestly!  You could also have it without him being infected for years and years.  

The numeric values of the test results mean nothing except to detect infection (HSV 2) or not (HSV 1).  

I would encourage you to read all that you can in reliable places about genital herpes.  The website ashastd.org is a good place to start.  There is a free booklet that I wrote on our clinic website that you can download, westoverheights.com and also a patient counseling DVD that I would strongly encourage you to watch.  I also have a book available on amazon.com, The Good News about the Bad News that may be quite helpful for you.

Terri
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband had the shingles on his upper back (right side) and upper chest (also on the right side). Both of us never had any outbreak in the genital area. Does this mean that we both are carriers?
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55646_tn?1263664409
So the shingles didn't get mixed up with herpes, which is good.  
Do you know your husband's test values on the herpes blood test?  If he is also positive, then you both infected and don't need to think about this any more if you only have sex with each other.  If you never have outbreaks that you recognize, great.  You can have sex whenever its comfortable without any worries.  But to know all of this, he really needs a blood antibody test to find out his status.

Terri
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55646_tn?1263664409
Terri Warren, RN, Adult Nurse Pr...Blank
Westover Heights Clinic
Portland, OR
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