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Test results
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Test results

My boyfriend's doctor told him that he tested positive for herpes. He's never had any symptoms and neither have I. The doctor did not give him any test numbers or anything and I don't know what kind of test he had. We would like to have a child. What do you recommend that we do? Thanks
25 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
I suggest that both of you get tested as soon as possible to see if both of you have it. If both of you do, no precautions need to be taken to prevent transmission, but you might want to avoid sex for comfort when you have outbreaks.

Does he have HSV-1 or HSV-2?

I think your boyfriend should get the test results (if he can't then he should get tested again) and ask grace to interpret the results because I am unfamiliar with test result numbers. Also, tests do miss about 1 every 10 herpes infections, so this could be applicable here.

If you're trying to avoid contracting the virus while conceiving then your partner needs to get on antiviral medication, which will reduce shedding and outbreaks. If he has HSV-2, it cuts the shedding rate of approximately 20% +/- ~2% in half. Since you cannot have protected sex and conceive a child then your risk will be a little higher. He needs to avoid having sex with you during an outbreak and when he feels an outbreak coming on. When he recognizes his symptoms and by refraining from sex during an outbreak, you are unlikely to catch HSV.

If you do catch HSV, the chance of your child catching herpes through birth is 1 in 3,000 at worst. Some experts suggest that it's 1 in 5,000, 1 in 10,000, but I like to use the lowest number to give you an idea. The chances are real low of a baby contracting this if you don't have an obvious outbreak, and if you do, a c-section will be performed to protect the baby. This is a common thing because approximately 20-25% of pregnant women have genital herpes. Feel free to ask more questions.
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Avatar_m_tn
The last time we had unprotected sex was a few days ago. He just got the results. Should I get tested now? We are waiting for his doctor to give us the particulars of his test. I don't know what kind of test he had or the results yet. The doctor only told him that he has hsv and recommended suppressive medication to prevent shedding. Neither of us have had symptoms. Any help or guidance you can provide would be great. Thx
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101028_tn?1348750963
did he have obvious symptoms that he was seen for or did he have routine blood testing that showed a herpes infection?

if he had a blood test done, ask him to call the clinic monday, get the actual numeric results and post them here - e.g. hsv1 igg 4.4 and hsv2 igg 3.4 or whatever they are.

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
Since neither you nor your boyfriend has had any obvious symptoms, as stated in your original post and reiterated in your second post, you both should be tested if you haven't been tested for herpes prior to this relationship. He could have given this to you, you could have given this to him, or it could be from a completely different source.
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Avatar_m_tn
He had an Igg test for hsv 1and/or 2. It reads "22.8 high". I don't know whether it is hsv 1 or 2 that he has. He is going to get retested. His results seemed unclear to me but the doctor prescribed valcor. He has had no symptoms and neither have I. We really want to have a child and he doesnt want to infect me.
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Avatar_m_tn
He needs to get a type specific Igg test to know if he has HSV-1 or HSV-2. Around a quarter of the adult population carries HSV-2 while 50-80% carries HSV-1.

Even if he does have HSV-2, it really shouldn't be much to worry about. You have an extremely, extremely rare chance of infecting your baby (stats are in my first post), and like I said, approximately 20-25% of pregnant women have genital herpes.

There is no guarantee that you won't become infected while conceiving, but if it happens it shouldn't be much of a big deal. Herpes has a stigma to it which is ridiculous and the bark is much worse than the bite. This is the least harmful STD out of them all by far, and is merely a skin condition that is manageable.

No need to get ahead of ourselves as I seem to be, but I wanted to reassure you that regardless of the situation, you will be ok, and this will be a minor inconvenience to you in comparison to other things in life (finances, trust, respect) if it happens.

When you get the test results, feel free to post them in this thread, and grace will be able to interpret them. Until then, feel free to ask any other questions, and I'd be happy to answer them and alleviate your concerns.
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101028_tn?1348750963
The testing had had done was non-type specific herpes igg blood testing. it was the wrong testing to have done :(  You really at this point don't know anything about his herpes status and there certainly isn't any reason for him to  be on medication at this point.  
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Avatar_m_tn
You guys are awesome. Thanks so much. A few questions -- is it possible that he is hsv negative even if this test says 22.8 high?? The designation of "high" kind of scares me. If this test that he got is totally unreliable why was it administered? It was an Igg test from labcorp.  Is it totally bogus? Should we disregard it??
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Avatar_m_tn
It is unlikely that he is negative given that his result's numerical value was high. However, HSV tests are incorrect a tenth of the time, so this could be applicable here. The test was administered due simply to the notion that some doctors are not thoroughly educated on STDs especially herpes. Another reason could have been that this was the only test they had available to administer. Has your boyfriend been a patient of this particular physician for a long time or is the doctor relatively new?

The test is not 100% bogus, but it only gives you half of the answer (tells you that he has herpes, but does not specify which type). Whenever you are able to, I strongly suggest getting the type specific Igg to arrive at a conclusion and what precautions need to be taken. HSV-1 has a shedding rate of about 3%/year while HSV-2 has a shedding rate of over 15-30%/year. If he does have HSV-1 then he probably won't need to take any medication because asymptomatic shedding of genital HSV-1 is rare.

If the type specific test shows that he's positive for HSV-1, but not HSV-2 then it would be reasonable to conclude that his HSV-1 infection is oral due to his lack of symptoms. If it is HSV-2, it is almost always genitally.

Here's a great ebook that's free by herpes expert Terri Warren, which provides you with loads of information including pregnancy.

http://westoverheights.com/handbook.html
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks. He is going to get the type specific test but since the doctor recommended valcor and since it says "high" my sinking feeling is that he has hsv 2, which I was hoping he didn't.  His doctor is a cardiologist with not much herpes experience. I'm so afraid that I've contracted it especially because his diagnosis is high, but I don't want to end the relationship. He's started taking the suppressive medication to protect me.
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101028_tn?1348750963
I'm not sure where castello came up with some of that info - it's incorrect.

the combined test could be reflecting a hsv1 infection, a hsv2 infection, both or even neither. It often picks up on other viral infections too which is also part of why we don't recommend its use.   why is it still offered? it's a money maker for the lab more than anything and many providers aren't up to date on herpes testing, like your partner's provider and still order it.  your partners provider giving him suppressive therapy based on that test is actually malpractice :(  

yes indeed you too should seek out type specific herpes igg blood testing. you two can't make decisions about what precautions to take until you know who has what.  

should you end this relationship? herpes is NEVER a reason to end a relationship!! At this point since this can of worms was opened, you have to both follow up through and get better answers.  why did a cardiologist order up this testing anyways?
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Avatar_m_tn
That's been his primary care physician for years but now at my recommendation he is getting another doctor and getting type specific testing. This is important to me. I don't want to get herpes but I love him and we want a child. Thanks for your help.
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Avatar_m_tn
What information are you referring to, grace?
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Avatar_m_tn
So are the non type specific tests bogus? It seems from what you're saying that they are not reliable and that he may not have herpes as that test states
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101028_tn?1348750963
they don't provide any helpful info if positive - you don't know if you have hsv1, hsv2 or neither so they aren't worth drawing since 60% of adults will automatically test + on them due to hsv1 oral infections.

get the right testing for you both so you can get the information you need to make educated decisions about what precautions to take from this point forward.
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Avatar_m_tn
Will do. Thanks.  I'm hoping its not hsv 2.
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Avatar_m_tn
How long should I wait to be tested. I've read 3 months. Do I really need to wait that long? I've had no bumps or sores. Just some slight pain in my pelvis area. He has asked for the type specific test also.
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101028_tn?1348750963
if it's been at least 3 months since either of you had sex with anyone else, it's ok to test now.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have painful urination and pain in my pelvis area but no other symptoms. Is this indicative of herpes?
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Avatar_m_tn
I tested negative fir hsv 1 and 2. He tested negative for 1 and positive for 2 with an Igg number of 2.2. How do you recommend that we decrease the risk of me contracting it. I don't want to end the relationship and we want a child. Thanks.
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101028_tn?1348750963
his hsv2 igg is a low positive and will need confirmed with further testing. we recommend seeking out the herpes WB to confirm his status.   no reason for antivirals at this point until you've confirmed that indeed he does have hsv2.  

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Avatar_m_tn
He has had no symptoms. None!  I had a urinary tract infection and was given antibiotics.
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101028_tn?1348750963
how to get a herpes WB drawn in the US is listed in our read before posting post on the forum for more info. he should have it done.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks. Is the risk of contraction lower with a low positive?
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101028_tn?1348750963
the actual numeric result when you are infected, is meaningless as far as how contagious you are to others. It's all the same whether you have a hsv2 igg 2.2 or 20.2.  
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