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Told I was positive for herpes, now told I'm not.
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Told I was positive for herpes, now told I'm not.

Last november I had two, what looked like to me, pimples on the shaft of my penis, right next to each other.  I was stupid and didnt go in right away, but I did when they began to scab.  The doctor took a swab and bloodtest and I got a call a couple weeks later saying I had herpes 2.  Needless to say I have had trouble dealing with it since.  

A couple of weeks ago I had a pimple around the rim of my nostril.  I popped it and noticed another right next to it.  The initial one scabbed and the other did not, but the "scar" or darkened dots where they were remain.  They look like the dark dots where the scabs were on my penis, which are still there from november.  I just accepted that I also have it on my face now.

So, I went into the doctor when I got a suspicious pimple near my mouth to be sure about face, but there was a different doctor this time.  He took out my tests from november and acts surprised when I told him I have hsv2.  My tests were less than .9, which means I don't have herpes he said.  I don't want to get my hopes up though and will just assume I do have it, until my blood comes back from today.  

Could I really not have herpes though?  I can't find any other infections that would produce these symptoms.  Could the culture taken in november not have been accurate because it was too late in the healing process?  I took a bloodtest the same day, so shouldn't that have been accurate?
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Avatar_f_tn
If you were diagnosed with Herpes via a positive culture result, then you have HSV2. (The only exception would be if your results were mixed up with someone else.)

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207091_tn?1337713093
You had a positive culture and a negative blood test?

If that's the case, that means that it was a new infection for you.  If you didn't have a positive culture, and had negative blood tests, then at that time, you didn't have herpes.

Aj
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Avatar_n_tn
In november they called told me the culture showed that I had herpes.   Although it wasn't in my blood yet.  So yes, I assumed I had just contracted it.

In november I was told that if it was just on my penis then, than that's where it will recur;  I wouldn't get it anywhere else.  It took until recently for me to get worried about my face.

In the past few weeks I've had what I thought were more pimples than usual on my chin.  I went in to check about a scabbed pimple on my face, and a different doctor from the one in november, read and showed me the culture results from november.  They clearly said my antivirals were below .9, so I don't have it.  

Yesterday they took another blood test, no culture, because he said "even if i was to take a culture of that, it's already scabbed over and almost healed.  The herpes is already gone from it."  

The initial culture was negative, though I did have 2 pimples which turned into little circuler scabs, kind of depressed, in red circles on my penis.  I can still see two brown dots where they were.  Is it possible they weren't herpes, or is it just that the herpes was receded from the scab when he took the culture in november?

I'm trying not to become relieved that I don't have herpes.  The back of my mind says I do.  There's nothing else those could have been in november, that I've heard or read of.  

Though they were present when he took a culture in november, they were scabbing, so doesn't this mean the herpes wouldn't be detectable at this point in the healing process of the blister?  And how do I get tested definitively unless I have another breakout?
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207091_tn?1337713093
OK I'm confused.

You said your culture in November was positive, but then said the initial culture was negative.

If a culture showed you had herpes, then you have it.  The blood test results showing less than .9 just means that your body hasn't had time to make antibodies.  When your doctor was looking at the blood test results from November, did he also know that you had a positive culture at that time?  I'm wondering if he just missed that, and therefore assumed you didn't have herpes.

Your blood test now should tell you if you have herpes.  If you had a positive culture, and only test positive for type 1, then you have genital herpes type 1.  Since many people also get oral type 1 when they get genital type 1, that could account for what is going on on your face.  If you only test positive for type 2, you wouldn't get that on your face.

It might be helpful if you could get copies of all these tests.  We can help sort it out for you.  Just tell the doctor you want copies for your records, and they have to give it to you.  Make sure to get copies of the cultures, and all of the blood tests.

Aj



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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry I'm being confusing first of all, but I'll try to explain it all again in a better way.

I went to see doctor 1 in nov.   I have a copy of the tests he did.  He took a culture and they tested for "HSV type 2-Specific Ab, IgG," which came back as negative as did my blood test.  Circled on the results are <0.9, Negative, and "No herpes simplex virus..."  They called back two weeks later, in nov, and told me I had herpes 2 because my tests were over .9 for the culture.  

I went to see doctor 2 monday.  He said the results from nov show I dont have herpes, to my surprise.  He gave me a copy.  But he also said, about the pimple near my mouth, that he couldn't get results of herpes (even if I did have it) because it was already scabbed over and healed.    

Is this why doctor 1 told me I do have herpes?  Did he identify it by sight, knowing that the results may come back negative?  (because the scabs on my penis in nov were too far along in the healing process?)


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207091_tn?1337713093
I'm not sure about something here.  

It is my understanding that a culture would just isolate a virus, and not give you a numerical value to it.  The term "HSV type 2-Specific Ab, IgG" is the blood test they did - not the culture.

The culture result should say something like "hsv2 isolated" or "herpes simplex virus, type 2 isolated" or detected, or something.

Aj



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Avatar_n_tn
Oh ok.

Under "HSV type 2-Specific Ab, IgG"  it has the scale and exlanation of the scale taking up most of the space.  

Under that is another heading "HSV Culture Without Typing" all the way on the left.  Indented below it is that heading repeated, indented farther in below that it says "Negative" and is circled by my doctor.  Below that says "No herpes simplex virus detected by enzyme linked virus inducible system culture."

A couple lines below, and last line on the tests says RPR and non reactive on the other side of the line.

This could all happen and I could still have it right?  Because of the scabbing at time of the culture?  I don't want to start thinking I may not have it, cuz I feel like I must.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ah ha now we get it.. Congratulations your herpes tests are negative.. both the culture and the Herpes select confirm that...Take care..
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207091_tn?1337713093
I agree with Dallas - you don't have it.  It appears someone read the test wrong.

Aj
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Avatar_n_tn
But what about the fact that doctor 2 said cultures won't show anything if the scab is far enough along in the process.

If that's true, then it's possible I could have it.  The blood test would have been negative because I just got it, and the culture negative because the scab was healed over, right?

Will my blood test of last week prove anything if I wasn't in the middle of a breakout?
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Avatar_n_tn
I did not fully read the entire post here but most hsv blood tests tests for the number of antibodies (thus, the number of 0.9 or such).  They are specifically testing for the antibodies to the hsv1 or 2, so they have separate tests for that as well.  You should ask your doctor to explain that to you to better understand.  No test is 100% - just keep that in mind.
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207091_tn?1337713093
Yes, your blood tests this week will help answer this.   Sorry - I think we all got a little confused.  You are right - the culture could have been a false negative, and it could have been too early for the blood test to be accurate.

Your blood test now will tell you.  You don't have to be having any symptoms for those to be accurate.

Aj
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