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Herpes OB 5 months post-exposure?
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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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Herpes OB 5 months post-exposure?

Doctors,

I posted on this forum roughly three months ago.  It’s the only other time I’ve posted, so would you please review my last post so as to be caught up with my situation?  

I have not had any sexual contact since that last experience.  This afternoon while at work I noticed pain on my scrotum encasing my left testicle (around the part that touches against my left thigh).  I came home and noticed definite redness (so far about one inch in diameter) as well as about three open “sores.”  The sores almost look like “cracks” or “splits.”  They are BARELY leaking what seems to be clear fluid.  It’s somewhat painful to walk since it’s so raw.  I know I said I was content to put herpes to rest after Dr. Hook’s response, but I’ve since read Dr. Handsfield state that it’s common for people to experience their first herpes outbreak weeks, months, or even years after infection.  By the way, I’ve had no history of chafing before.  Doesn’t make sense that it would spring up out of the blue.

My questions are:

1.) Could this be herpes?
2.) My current plan is to go to an STD clinic tomorrow for a culture AS WELL AS a blood test.  Does this sound like a good plan?  Would you do the same in my situation?
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Welcome back to the Forum.  Sorry to hear of your continuing problems.  The lesions that you describe do not sound too much like herpes although admittedly herpes can take many appearances.  In addition, I note that this has occurred in a different area than the lesions you were concerned about when you last wrote.   It could be a fungal infection which has lead to swelling and splitting of the skin or perhaps a non-STD bacterial infection which is referred to as cellulitis.  Either way, the right thing to do is to have a trained clinician take a look.  The STD clinic would be a good idea.  While a blood test might be helpful,. the other test I would suggest, is a PCR or culture for herpes of the lesions.  If you isolate herpes form the lesions, you know that this is what is going on.  On the other hand, blood tests, while sometimes helpful can also be confusing.  By getting both the PCR and blood test you will be able to determine if this is HSV or not.  I remain skeptical that it is.

Please let us know what is said and done at the STD clinic.  EWH
8 Comments
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I have an appointment scheduled at 8:15 AM tomorrow morning.  I hope that's not too late for them to get a proper culture done.  I'll let you know.  Thanks for your help, doctor.
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Okay.  Went to the clinic today and got the rash swabbed (there weren't open sores anymore, but there was still some redness.  Not sure how much help that will be, but I got a swabbed nonetheless) and I also got blood drawn for a type specific IGG antibody test.  I will update next week when the results are in.  
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If your rash was due to HSV, there is still a good chance the culture or PCR will be positive.  One does not need to have blisters or open ulcers to have a positive test. I presume that the health care provider you saw did not feel your rash was likely to be herpes, correct?  EWH
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She certainly acknowledged an atypical presentation by saying, "I mean, it could be" (in reference to herpes).  I'm quite sure she was skeptical as well.  That's good to know about the swabbing, though.  A negative blood test and a negative culture will certainly kill my apparent anxiety over this.  Again, I'll post the results as soon as I learn them.  Thank you for all that you do.
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Doctor Hook,

The blood test came back today.  As you suspected, they were negative for both HSV-1 and HSV-2.  I am still waiting for the swab results, but given the aforementioned, I can be certain the swab result will be negative as well.

Given that I have had three medical experts express heavy doubt my rashes were due to herpes as well as a negative blood test five months after my last sexual exposure...the chances that I have herpes are so minute that it can no longer seriously be considered a possible cause for any rashes that may develop in the future.  What a relief!

When I learn of the swab results Friday, I'll post them as well, just for documentation, unless you wish to end this thread now.

Again, thank you for your time and guidance.  Take care, doctor!
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Culture came back today.  Negative.  Thanks again for your time and help.
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Thanks for the follow-up. This appears to eliminate the possiblity of herpes as the origin of your sypmtoms.  Take care. EWH
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This Forum's Experts
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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