STDs Expert Forum
Extremely Worried HSV
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Extremely Worried HSV

Hi Doctors,
I am a 44 year old male and received unprotected oral sex on 12/8/2012. On 1/28/13 I went to my doctors office and told him the head of my penis is read and burning. He took a look and said he cant see anything wrong but we can run a STD test. I was tested for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea,HSV1,HSV2. Tests came back Negative for all which was only 51 days after possible exposure. I do not have bumps or sores on my penis either. Is 51-63 days enough time for symptoms to appear for HSV 1 & 2? Im very worried because the burning on the head of my penis will not go away, it might go away for a few hours but comes back. It does not hurt when I urinate but I do feel a sting/burn at the tip but not in the shaft. Historically the tip of my penis is wet and I do have penis discharge on the toilet when I strain but its been like this for years and it does not hurt when I have discharge. I also developed a sore throat with white dots patches on my tongue but my Dr. said its just a viral infection and gave me steroids. On 2/7 I went to a Urologist where he also said that my penis looked fine and that I would have blisters if it was Herpes. I complained to him about my lower back hurting but he said hes never heard of Herpes causing the back/spine to hurt. He did a urine test which came back clean. Im extremely scared for my girlfriend of 4 years as we just got back together in early January where she have me oral sex and swallowed. If I do have HSV will she be infected with HSV1/2? The guilt is killing me.

HSV 1 IGG Type specific AB = 0.64 (Negative but seems high to me)  
HSV 2 IGG Type specific AB = 0.05
HSV 1 IGM Screen = Negative
HSV 2 IGM Screen = Negative

Are these figures low because it was only 51 days after? Should I get tested again? Is it really possible to get HSV 1/2 from receiving oral sex there are conflicting info on the internet. The girl I was with did not have any visible sores/blisters on her lips. Im just very scared and worried.



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Welcome to the forum.

There is nothing in your story that suggest you have genital herpes from the event described.  Herpes doesn't regularly cause any of the symptoms you describe, your doctor hasn't seen anything that looks like herpes, and your blood tests are negative.

Yes, of course it is "possible" to catch HSV-1 (but rarely if ever HSV-2) by oral sex.  Still, your risk was low.  After any single oral sex exposure, my guess is that HSV-1 probably occurs no more than once for every 10,000 such events.

Your comment that your HSV-1 test result number "seems high" indicates you misunderstand how the test works.  As long as the value is under the cut-off for a positive result (0.9) then the result is negative.  There is no difference between values of, say, 0.1, 0.4, or 0.8.  In fact, if the very same blood specimen is tested 10 times, the numbers each time will vary quite widely. It means nothing as long as the value is below the cut-off.

So my advice is to stop worrying about this, continue (or resume) unprotected sex with your regular partner, and don't have any more HSV testing.

Regards--  HHH, MD
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