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Avatar universal

Positive viral culture, negative blood test

So, about 2 weeks ago I had symptoms of what I thought was a urinary tract infection. I called my obgyn, who prescribed an antibiotic by phone. My symptoms did not get better, and I had a very small, painful place (I thought it was a tear) at the bottom of my vagina where the penis is inserted during sex. I went to the doctor, who said I was positive for UTI, but he cultured the place on my vagina, and tested my blood. When I went back about a week later for follow-up, he told me My culture was positive for herpes virus, but my blood test was negative. He tested my blood again, to figure out if it is hsv-1 or hsv-2. It is my understanding that viral cultures are very accurate, and I've come to terms with the fact that I have herpes. I have several questions that I failed to ask my doctor because I was in shock, I suppose. Here are my questions. 1. I have been having sex with my partner for 3 months. If the virus is not in my blood yet, did I get it from him? 2. I often perform oral sex. Will I be able to do this is the future- unprotected? I've never had a cold sore, but am quite sure my partner will have whatever I have, because we have consistently had unprotected sex. He does not perform oral sex on me. 3. If my blood test comes back negative again (its my understanding it takes 4-12 weeks for the antibodies to appear in your blood) how will I know if I have hsv-1 or hsv-2? How long should i wait to get tested again, to know for sure which kind i have? 4. If both me and my partner are positive for hsv-1, or hsv-2, can we have unprotected sex? Or will we be putting ourselves at risk for an outbreak? Also, what about me performing oral sex on him if we are both positive? Could I get a cold sore? Like I said, I've never had a cold sore before. 5. During the waiting period for our test results, can we have sex? Oral or intercourse? What are the  risks? Thanks! I have no idea what to do!
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Grace is a great source of information, I am sure she will chime in on this thread with her advice.  If your culture is positive and your bloodwork is negative it is possible this isn't your first outbreak and that you had Herpes already.  You might have had an outbreak that you didn't know was an outbreak at the time.  From what I read, a lot of people can be infected, be asympomatic and not realize it.  
101028 tn?1419603004
your bf will need tested to see what his status is but odds are this came from him. if you both have the same type of herpes genitally, it's not an issue for the 2 of you.  

did they type your herpes as hsv1 or hsv2 or just as + for herpes?

Avatar universal
They told me that I was + for herpes on the viral culture, and my blood was negative, then about a week later drew my blood again to test for what type, 1 or 2. I'm doubting it will test positive if it was negative before, cause it's my understanding it takes a while for it to show up in blood. So how will I know which type I have if they didn't tell me in reference to the positive viral culture? But does it really matter what kind I have? It's bad news either way, right?
Avatar universal
But I thought that when you contract it, whether you have an outbreak or not, the antibodies form in your blood regardless, in a matter of a couple of weeks to 3 months. I read in some cases, a rare 6 months for it to show up in your blood. He's the only person I've slept with in the last 6 months, and I want to know if I got it from him. I still dont know if i have 1 or 2. He's going to get tested in a couple of days, but I read that some tests arent accurate, or that like 1 in 10 type 2 detections are false negatives. He's really hard-headed and doesn't really wanna talk about it, I'm almost positive I got it from him because it isn't in my blood yet.
Avatar universal
I am no way an expert on Herpes, I was exposed myself, and I came to this message board an anxious trainwreck filled with questions.  I tested negative on my lesion culture and negative on my IGG, however I do a lot of reading, and Grace is the forum guru when it comes to Herpes, she is very helpful and knowledgable.  From what I have read, there is no real way to tell when you got it.  I have also read that the virus could lay dormant for a long time, maybe years before presenting itself.  If your boyfriend is acting shady and doesn't want to get tested, well then, you do the math as it seems he has something to hide.  
1174003 tn?1308160819

Chances are the bloodwork may not show the status at this point.  It does take some people 3-4 months to test positive on lab work.  The reason we ask type questions is to best advise you on next steps.  If you test positive with HSV-1 and its genitial then we can tell you that of the two to have in the genitial location type 1 is the best.  This is because the virus doesn't shed as often (3-5% compared to HSV-2 at above that) and it doesn't have a high reoccurance rate in people (many don't have a reoccurance after the initial and those that do only about 4 a year).  

Herpes doesn't work in the way you think.  Some viruses can be fought off before or when they infect the body.  That "exposure" to it makes the immune system.  For herpes this doesn't apply.  You either have herpes or you don't.  There is no expsoure to it and you get the anitbodies.  

If you have HSV-2 then we know that if you have a partner and you both don't have HSV-2 then we know at this point to advise you to get on daily therapy and avoid sexual contact when you have an outbreak.  Doing that will reduce the risk of transmission to 98% a year he won't get it.  

Now if you are one of a few people that don't test positive on your bloodwork and only on a culture than you will not know what type it is until you have a reoccurance to get typed when you do a culture.  This causes some challenges.  This is rare.  Now like you have read there is some test that will miss 1 in 10.  If it is HSV-2 the testing is better for it than HSV-1.  

The best way to know is once the results come back on your bloodwork if they come back positive then you have an idea of when the infection occured and who your last partner was.  
Avatar universal
If antibodies aren't showing in your blood yet but your culture tested positive, it's highly likely you got the herpes virus from your boyfriend. Unfortunately the same thing happened to me. He was really shady about getting tested and I slowly learned more about the disease from my OBGYN. I, too, thought I had a UTI developing at first and had a painful spot on my labia. I discovered I had two small sores in the area and I immediately had a bad feeling so I went to an immediate care center and got a culture done, which came back positive. Followed up with my OBGYN to get a blood test, which came back negative. My doctor told me that this meant my exposure was recent because no antibodies had been built up to it. A few weeks later I went back for another blood test and it came back positive. Needless to say I didn't stay with the guy I was with. He acted like it wasn't a big deal when I told him, but it was a big deal to me. Especially since he never told me he had herpes and I don't believe he ever got tested despite telling me he did.
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