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Possible Primary Outbreak....testing partner...
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Possible Primary Outbreak....testing partner...

I have been with my girlfriend for close to 4 years. In that time I haven't slept with anyone else, only her.

I have what I believe to be a primary outbreak of genital herpes. I've had the sores cultured, and taken a blood test.

I'm awaiting on the culture results currently. On the blood test, I tested negative for both Type I and Type II. Actually he said my levels were extremely low. He believes this to be because it is my first outbreak, and my antibodies aren't currently there yet.

This also means, by what he says, that it is a new outbreak, and I've recently contracted the virus.....which would mean it's from my current girlfriend. I haven't been with anyone else, honestly....but I can't say if she has or not. Just being honest here. She says she hasn't, but she's had a questionable past.

If the culture comes back positive.....we're going to have that painful conversation. Here's my problem....if she's never had symptoms, never had an outbreak, never had anything......and she gave it to me through asy shedding....would she still test positive on the blood test? I ask this because when I bring it up....that's exactly where my conversation will be headed. She needs to get tested. She's absolutely going to deny having it, I already know that.

What I don't want to happen, is for me to bring it up, her to get tested, and then it come back negative.....when the only possible explanation is that I got it from her. Again, I haven't been with anyone else, and if everyone is right saying that you can't get it from a tanning bed....the only explanation is that I got it from her.

So, since she's told me in the past she's never had anything, no bumps, OB's, nothing.....would she still test positive on the blood test if in fact she does have it?
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31 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Also, is it possible for a herpes scab/sore to form around a hair/hair folicle? I've got two areas where a hair is growing straight out of them.
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1174003_tn?1308164419
The problem with having that "talk" is this.  About 80% of people in a study tested positive for herpes and didn't even know they had it.  That is a lot of people.  Once they were told what the symptoms were they agreed they had those very symptoms before.  Herpes isn't just bumps and you have herpes.  There is more to it then that.  Also bumps can be disregarded for anything.

Also about half the US adult population has HSV-1 orally.  Depending on your test coming back positive if she has HSV-1 and didn't know it (never can recall a cold sore) than you can't get upset.  Some people don't know they have HSV-1 because they don't have a cold sore.  So if she performed oral sex on in the last 3 weeks than chances are she was shedding the virus without an outbreak and you could have gotten genital herpes that way.

If she has had previous testing in the past using an IgG blood test and showed up negative than and now turns positive then you may have something to worry about as far as her status.  But you first have to know she was properly tested.  But even then that is not 100% as HSV is missed in testing about 1 out of every 10 tests.
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Avatar_m_tn
She has not performed oral sex on me in the past 8 weeks, so I'm thinking HSV-1 is not the culprit here.

I don't think she's every been tested for genital herpes before. What I'm worried about is me sitting down to have the talk with her, her getting embarrassed and denying the entire thing....and then proceeding to get tested....and it coming up negative.

I guess what I'm looking at are the chances of her testing negative when she really does have it, but has never had what she thinks is a breakout, or any symptoms.
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Avatar_m_tn
Are we all in agreement that if the culture comes back positive, and she's the only one I slept with in the past 4 years, and due to me not having any antibodies and that's a sign of it being a new infection.....that I got it from her?
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101028_tn?1348750963
most people are not routinely tested for herpes. if she's never had symptoms and never requested herpes testing specifically, odds are she's never been tested for it to know her status.  

If your basic question is - for herpes to show up now does that mean she had to have cheated on you? No it does not.  your risk overall was pretty low of contracting herpes from her if she has it and it could've happened early on in the relationship, 10 years into it or even never.  

Just present the facts as you know them. You had symptoms so you went to be seen and were told they looked like herpes so you've begun the testing process. Let her know that she too will need to go and be tested and find out her own status so that together you can make educated decisions about what precautions to take from this point forward.  Lesion cultures are notoriously falsely negative so you need her to also get tested to see what her status is now to see if you need to bother with repeat testing later on if your culture comes back negative.  Don't be accusatory to her about this - just present the facts as you know them. Don't throw her "past" up either - that's so totally not fair since anyone can have herpes - it doesn't take lots of partners to contract it  and no one needs any more guilt about this situation than they probably will have already.  Pretty much tell her the way you'd want her to tell you if the shoe was on the other foot.  

keep asking questions!

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm absolutely going to be as sensitive as possible about it, I'm not going to bring up cheating, or anything else. At all. I agree with what you're saying.

1.   Here's my fear.  Let's say the culture comes back positive, Type II. I tell her, and we go get her a blood test. Her blood test comes back negative for some reason, and I'm left looking like the bad dirty guy here.

2.   From what I'm gathering from the doctor, she's the only person I could have gotten it from, since my blood levels showed negative and the culture is positive (if it is). That would show a new infection, new case, and since I've only slept with her, she must be who I got it from.

3. If she's who I got it from, is there any reason she could test negative on the blood test?? If it just lay dormaint in her system all these years, and never had an outbreak (which she may not have noticed), would she still test positive on the blood test (iGg?)

4.  I've got two scabs with hair growing out of them, and one that is pretty far down the base with several hairs growing out of it. Is that possible of herpes?
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Avatar_m_tn
One more thing:

**your risk overall was pretty low of contracting herpes from her if she has it and it could've happened early on in the relationship, 10 years into it or even never. **

5.  How could it have happened early in the relationship, if my blood levels for I and II were almost non-existent? Wouldn't that mean that it happened recently?
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101028_tn?1348750963
I was just pointing that out as an example as to why now and not earlier for you to get infected.


at this point wait for test results to come back - your culture and her blood tests.  why worry about "what if's" if you don't have to consider them as an issue?
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Avatar_m_tn
Right. I agree. I've probably slept 5 hours total in the past three days. It's been driving me crazy.

Can you answer some of my numbered questions up there? I have one more also.

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101028_tn?1348750963
when you have your test results and hers, I'll answer 100 questions literally for you. until then it's easiest to just wait until you get tested results back so I can give you more concrete answers instead of guessing :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Alrighty,

I guess what I'm worried about is her test coming up negative when the only possibility is that I got it from her. Can you at least answer that? The likely hood of that happening?
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101028_tn?1348750963
if you really do have genital herpes, odds are it came from her.

if your lesion culture is typed and is hsv1+ and both you and her test negative for hsv1, no way to know if she recently transmitted it to you and her infection isn't being picked up on with the blood test or if it's a recurrence of hsv1 genitally for you. even the best blood tests we have for herpes still miss 1 out of every 10 hsv1 infections. it's much more likely if your lesion culture is hsv2+ that it would be picked up on one of your blood tests.

as I said, it's a lot of whatif's at this point so just wait for all your tests to come back. talk about this with her today, it won't get easier the longer you put it off. just that your provider suspects herpes is a reason to have the talk and start the discussion, no reason to wait for actual test results to come back to start the talk with her.
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Avatar_m_tn
Grace, what I'm really afraid of is the likelyhood of her testing negative for hsv2 through a blood test if I have a positive culture test, and she's the one I got it from. I guess I'm asking what the likelyhood is of her getting a false negative blood test, when she's had it for awhile and obviously gave it to me.


Also....I think it's wonderful you have a forum like this where people can talk openly about these things. The social world stigma is really terrible.  
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1174003_tn?1308164419
The problem is that there is a possibility.  HSV-2 is a little less but there still is a chance.  The blood testing is better for HSV-2 than HSV-1.  But like grace said a chance the test can miss it and if it does no way to know.  

The question to me appears here is "was she unfaithful"?  Could be and couldn't be.  Think of the relationship though.  Is it worth it to make that the issue or "get the facts".  
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't plan on making it that issue at all. That never crossed my mind. What I'm dreading might happen is that if mine comes back positive, and her blood test is negative....then she'll absolutely point the finger at me saying she didn't give it to me...when all of the evidence suggests that she did.

I just don't want to be the guy holding the bag with the only positive test at the end of the day.
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1174003_tn?1308164419
Saddly there isn't a way to 100% give you that reassurance.  I would be lying to you if I said there was no chance at all.  While I may make incorrect statements from time to time I will not knowningly lie to any poster.  You are no different.  

The chance is low that is true.  But there is a possibility that will say she will test negative on a normal blood test.  You can go for a western blot in her case but again that isn't going to be 100% either.  

You won't know until the testing happens.  You won't know if she will come back negative now but in 2 months test positive because hers is new infection as well.  You won't know if it was missed on that test because of test malfunction or if she doesn't have enough antibody to be detected.  

I truly wish I could give you the hope you are seeking.  But as I said... I won't give you hope that isn't there.  That would be wrong on many different levels.
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Avatar_m_tn
My culture tested positive. Needless to say I'm devestated. She's the only person I've been with in the past four years, and she the only person with me.

My blood levels on both Type I and Type II, both came out negative. This was a week after I noticed symptoms.

I'm unsure of even how to bring it up to her, because if she tests negative on the blood test, there's going to be a lot of finger pointing going on towards me....when I think we're all in agreement here that I could have only gotten it from her.

I feel.....numb.
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Avatar_m_tn
Got a second blood test, just to make sure that I couldn't have had this before. Two different labs with two different docs, both confirm I am negative for Type I and Type II HSV.

So going on that info I got this recently, and it had to have been from her.

Again.....I'm numb.
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Avatar_m_tn
hang in there man. im sorta in the same boat but i have hsv1 cold sore but keep coming up neg on hsv2 but feel like i have something going on down yonder. the only way ill know is if i get a lesion to culture. frustrating. im learning to cope. you will be fine how old are u? and how long ago did this happen? all the best dean
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101028_tn?1348750963
was your lesion culture hsv1 or hsv2+?

have you talked to her yet?

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Avatar_m_tn
They did not type the lesion culture. If the request is not made in the first three days, the doc told me they toss the culture after testing. I guess I missed it by one day. They said if I get a new lesion that they can type that, however the doc said testing my current lesions after they've been there for a week, and the fact I've been taking Valtrex already since Wed, it wouldn't do any good. Is that right? Taking Valtrex lowers the testing on lesions?

GY, I'm trying man. I've had broken sleep since last Wed, and my eating is all out of whack.

He also told me it's very very very unlikely for her to test negative on a blood test if I did indeed get it from her.

I have not talked to her about it yet.....I've been praying on the right way to go about it....also I'm scared to death she's going to test negative, and then I'm screwed from a social standpoint.

My levels on the blood test were as follows:

Type I - 0.011
Type II - 0.1

Those blood levels were taken 7 days after I noticed the lesions.

Another thing....I had no pain. No burning, no leaking, no weeping fluid, nothing. It was slightly tender like a pimple if you touched it. In fact, the only time I noticed them was when they were about to turn into scabs, like right before. No blisters or anything like that.

Completely bummed out by this.
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101028_tn?1348750963
the clinic you went to needs to update the way they order the herpes cultures. the CDC guidelines recommend typing all cultures and if they aren't ordering the cultures typed each time, they are not doing their patients the most good that they could.  It's pretty irresponsible in this day and age not to be ordering cultures typed automatically!

talk to your partner. get her tested. nothing else you can do at this point.

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Avatar_m_tn
I'm thinking of getting her two different blood tests (both HerpeSelect) from two different places, just like I did to have more concrete results and the chances of missing either a Type I or Type II result would be less.

Pretty heartbroken here Grace. It's not like I went out and slept around. I've been with the same girl for so long, and haven't gotten a thing (which is really, really weird that happened, why now?).....I mean how could I have expected this? I could understand if I was out running the town....but I wasn't.
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101028_tn?1348750963
you are on your own worst enemy at this point to be honest. just sit down with your partner tonight and talk about this! I'm sure she knows that something isn't right with you.  Get it out in the open and start the process of dealing with this TOGETHER.
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Avatar_m_tn
Also a Prodromal question.....


On prodromal outbreaks, you get an itchy feeling right where the lesion is about to come up. Or Tingly.


Is it possible to get the itchy feeling before a primary outbreak? Right where they are about to come up?
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101028_tn?1348750963
yes you do get prodromal symptoms prior to a primary ob most times.
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Avatar_m_tn
I won't be able to talk to her about it until tomorrow or Saturday.

I have a few questions.

We have had a decent sex life (no less than once a week) during the 4 year stint we've been together.

Going on that I have a new infection confirmed by two independent blood tests, Is it entirely possible I just haven't contracted it from her until now? What about the previous 4 years?  I was at risk the entire time correct? Why now?

The only other option is that she picked it up from someone else during our relationship, and I'm not even going down that road right now.

Is it possible I just somehow side stepped it for the last four years? I've never heard her complain of an outbreak, or anything of the sort.
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1174003_tn?1308164419
Some people don't know they have it.  They think it is something else other than Herpes.  We have had a regular poster here who got HSV-1 genitially after being with her boyfriend for 5 years and having what she calls and active oral sex life (her words).

Not every expsoure leads to infection.  That is the biggest thing about this virus is it is so weird.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah that's what's driving me crazy. It's not like that time was any different than any other time! It's just still really hard for me to believe.

I don't doubt she probably had things that she thought were something other than Herpes. I just don't see why it waited until now to just pop up.
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101028_tn?1348750963
it really is as much about bad luck as anything. you had sex when she was actively shedding the virus and your body was susceptible to being infected with it that day.  Nothing different you did/she did.  

talk to her this weekend and then stop back when you get a chance to let us know how it went :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Bad luck? WOW. Of all the bad luck to have.
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