Herpes Expert Forum
Possibility of a Misdiagnosis?
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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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Possibility of a Misdiagnosis?

Hi and thanks for your work!
I'm a 28 year old male that has been sexually active with a number of partners (none of whom I know to have herpes, not that we've discussed the possibility), recently, and have been inconsistent in my use of protection. Four days ago I discovered a red sore (about the size of a pencil eraser) on the glans (glands) of my penis that is neither painful, itchy, weeping, nor raised. Also, I haven't experienced any other symptoms like fever, muscle ache, swollen lymph nodes, pain while urinating, etc. Still, it's the first time I've noticed a spot like this and, of course, my concern is that it is a herpes outbreak. I visited my doctor the day after the discovery and, after a very brief visual examination, he stated that it was, in fact, herpes. He didn't order any tests for it, but wrote a prescription for an antiviral and made plenty of refills available.
The confidence with which he diagnosed me makes it seem unlikely that it could be something else but, based on the online research I've been conducting (oh, amateur online medical research!), it seems like herpes usually presents itself with more symptoms than the one I'm experiencing. I know that every individual will experience different symptoms with different severity, or no symptoms at all, but I'm wondering if you think that my doctor, based on a quick glance at the sore, could have jumped to his conclusion too quickly. Are there any other things that could be responsible for the red spot?
Thanks a lot for your response to my specific question and for your contribution, in general, to this great resource!
55646_tn?1263664409
Is it still there?  If yes, it should be swab tested using PCR testing.  If it isn't still there, you need a type specific antibody test for HSV 1 and 2, IgG only.  I feel very angry at health care providers who diagnose herpes by exam only.  20% of the time, they are wrong, and if they are correct, you need to know if it is HSV 1 or 2.  Personally, I rarely see herpes lesions on the head of the penis only.  The red spot could be fungal bacterial 0r an abrasion.  You definitely need more precise care and an accurate diagnosis.  Please seek out a swab test if it is still there and you can order your own IgG antibody tests online.  I use healthchechusa.com - at least I know what I am getting.

Terri
4 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Terri,
Thanks for your previous answer. Unfortunately, I was never able to get the sore swab tested.  As an update, though, the sore faded over the course of a week or so and, last week, I did go in for the antibody test, and tested positive for HSV 1 and negative for HSV 2. Of course, without the swab test, I won't know if the sore was due to 1, a new case of 2, or something unrelated to herpes altogether.
Based on this info, would it be foolhardy for me (read irresponsible to my partners) to carry on as if I didn't have HSV 2 before getting another test in 3 months?
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Avatar_f_tn
You should definitely use protection until you get your tests back Jake, you do not want to risk passing this on to others without the proper diagnosis.
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55646_tn?1263664409
I agree with Bc82.  I think you should behave as though you do have herpes, until you get negative testing.

Terri
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Westover Heights Clinic
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