One more thing: In the third paragraph up from the bottom, I say that the second group of 3 spots was very sensitive. What I mean by that is simply that they were fragile, in that they broke pretty easily.They were NOT painful, itchy or anything of that sort. Just wanted to clarify that.
we don't look at pictures here. why not is explained in our read before posting post on the forum.
bottom line is - you need to be seen and get these symptoms looked at. You also need to cover your bases with proper std testing since you had unprotected sex. You can check with your local health department to see what local low cost/no cost options are available to you. You can test for chlamydia, gonorrhea and trich anytime after 1 week post encounter. syphilis after 6 weeks. herpes, hiv and hepatitis after 3months.
have you had your gardasil shot series yet?
we recommend protected sexual contact because it works! Protect yourself in the future and only have protected sexual contact - that includes oral sex too. If you don't have insurance, it's well worth the cost of a condom so that you don't put your health at risk and rack up expensive medical bills!
do your symptoms sound like herpes? no they do not but they certainly need followed up on. no more shaving either until you know what is going on since it can further irritate things as well as you risk spreading an infection elsewhere too.
Grace, thank you so much for your response. I do have a few more questions to ask, if you would be so kind:
I called Planned Parenthood to schedule a cost-covered appointment for an STD test, but they could not get me in until next Thursday. After I had done so, my anxiety quickly built and I could not help myself. I am really stressing and flipping out, getting the "my life may be over" feeling. Anyways, I scheduled a same-day blood and urine analysis for 8 STDs, amongst them Herpes 1 and 2. I went in and took care of it (put it on a credit card), and I will have the results in 1-3 business days, so no later than Tuesday I presume.
I have read thus far that blood tests for HSV focus on detecting the presence of antibodies in the blood, but that in such a little window of time there may not be sufficient levels of these antibodies to come up as a positive, when you may in fact actually be infected. Here is my question: being that I am having visible symptoms which would include blistering, lesions, whatever you want to call them, if it is in fact Herpes will it show up on the results for a blood test as surely as it could be? I can't imagine how it would not show up positive in a blood sample if I am actually in the midst of my first outbreak. Is that a fair assumption or does the window of time still need to honored? Whatever the answer, I do intend to get another test for HIV and HSV at the 3 month mark, regardless of the outcome of these tests.
Also, in hind sight I would have rather elected to see a health professional to physically examine me and make the diagnosis himself. I did not get to see a professional who could make a diagnosis with a simple swab of one of the sores, all I did was submit a blood and urine sample; no one examined me. My second question is: regardless of the blood sample, would a visit to someone who would look at it and take a swab of the sore present a more sure way of diagnosing? I suppose either way I will need to see one, since I certainly need to determine what this is if it ISN'T HSV.
Grace, thank you very much, I appreciate it a whole lot.
whether or not you have actual herpes lesions has nothing to do with your body creating enough of an igg response to infection to be detected sooner on the blood tests. you pretty much wasted your money on some of the testing you paid to have done too early :(
these don't sound like herpes so I wouldn't worry about getting a lesion culture done at this point. being seen next week is fine. should things get worse, be seen earlier.
Would the accuracy of a lesion culture be accurate at this time? Is it a time sensitive issue like the blood testing?
lesion cultures are most accurate when done within 48 hours of the appearance of symptoms.
I know some of this is beating the same drum, but I am having a lot of anxiety over this. I thank you for your time, hopefully someone skimming the boards will learn a thing or two from my instance. I intend to report all my testing back when I get it.
I am going to request a lesion culture when I attend that appointment on Thursday, if the lesions are still there. They have not made any progress in healing in any of the three areas (the one on the top of my penis looks like a normal scab not a "lesion", nor does the second group of three that appeared that re-ignited my worry) since Wednesday.
The very first abnormality is almost healed and has been that way for a day or 2, and I believe the ones at the base of my penis are not healing because they stretch too much when I am aroused. I stretched my penis a bit to have a look at them earlier today and I felt part of one of them tear, so I can only imagine what an erection is doing to it.
I have been talking to the woman I was with, and she told me that she had been tested for STDs a few weeks prior, but was not tested for Herpes. She has never had any symptoms which is why she didn't get it done, although I know it isn't uncommon for someone to never have any symptoms at all and yet still carry the virus. She said that she had been with two men since the testing and myself, but both used condoms, and again she has had no symptoms.
Grace, do you know of any STDs that start out as a simple redness and turn white in the shower? Or maybe in broader terms, the actual diseases and conditions that would resemble this? I have seen Folicilitis, but none other, although many Doctors I have seen speak on the issue claim there are many diseases, infections and fungus that would do so, yet they never name any.
What has me so confused is that except for the fact that they all turn white in the shower, they look and seem to behave in three different ways.
The first 4 spots just started out as a redness, would turn white in the shower, and the skin would just fall off. No clear fluids, no pain or itching (beyond slight sting to the touch that an open sore would have). They look the worst, noticeably like lesions, like an entire layer of my skin is just missing. They also have the characteristic crusting that I have read is associated with Herpes; it usually only sticks around for a bit after I wake up, and is not visible again until I wake up the next day.
The one on the tip of my penis looks like a "normal" scab; when I popped it, only blood came out, and a very small amount. No clear fluid involved at all.
The second set of three were actually very very small (the tip of a needle) but when I first noticed them they DID have a small amount of clear fluid in them. They were so fragile that after a few times running my finger over one of them it broke, and the other two broke in my first shower after appearing. Is that common or are Herpes blisters more "firm" or harder than that?
don't waste your time or money on a lesion culture thursday . far too late then for it to be of any use. follow up with a type specific herpes igg blood test 3 months after you last had sex to cover your herpes bases at this point.
For what it's worth (not much, judging by my research on the condition), I got my test results back today. Again, it was taken 13 days after what would have been the exposure. Everything has come back negative (tested for 8 different STDs). For both the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2, the results were:
I know this doesn't mean much as far as certainty, but I do feel a bit better. I will follow up with my 3 month test when I go do it in October. Grace, thanks again for giving my post the time of day.
you posted the results interpretation ranges, not your results.
Oh, this is all I have been shown for my results. I guess I will have to call them. You mean the actual value that was below 0.91, right? That is the actual result?
Update: I called them, they told me that when they do the test they only keep the range as a matter of record. They didn't keep the exact value. Kinda upset considering the money I spent but there's nothing I can do about it other than not test with them again in 3 months.
Even though the test is not 100% reliable that early, would it have been fair to assume that a 0.80 compared to a 0.001 or something like that would have been a little more telling than just a range? I probably would have been able to feel a bit better about it if I just saw flat 0s all around.
Unrelated, my Hep C results actually had a value of 0.1, don't know what the deal with that is.
oh sorry I was watching the olympics while on the forum last evening and obviously my brain was distracted!!! yes, you are negative on your testing. sorry about any confusion. should know I can't do two things at one time!!!
is there a difference between a .1 and a .8 as far as being negative? no there is not.
since it's only been a little over 2 weeks since you last had sex, if you are really concerned, repeat your syphilis after 6 weeks ( you can call your local health department or ask your student health center if there are even any cases in your area to make it worth testing ) and herpes, hepatitis and hiv after 3 months. all but the herpes testing can be done at your local health department for very low cost. should you get new symptoms, be seen for them to try to get a better idea of what is going on.
Being that Herpes is permanent, concerned is definitely an understatement. The partner in question is going in for testing next week. If she tests negative, I will begin to operate on the premise that I don't have anything, but I will still be getting the tests done at three months.
I found these photos on the University of Washington website. I don't know if you folks prohibit yourselves from looking at photos period or photos of the actual people posting, BUT...
While there was nowhere near the amount, the ulcers I was experiencing looked almost exactly like Photo #27 when they began to scab up and heal.
The second set of three bumps that appeared looked very much like Photo #29, as well as one final small little deal that showed up about 2-3 days ago and is already gone (what remains looks exactly like the group of 3 it resembled).
The first four, the redness that turned white and came off in the shower, looked pretty much like Photo #31 for a period of about 8 days as they healed.
I don't know, I am just so stressed out about this. Like everyone says, not knowing is way worse than the finality, regardless of the outcome. I feel like I have to put my life on hold for the next 6 months, which is killing me because I just met an absolutely amazing person that I am going to have to tell about this soon.
many things look like pictures of herpes which is why follow up testing is recommended.
When I get the re-test at three months, do you recommend I get the same test or that I get a Western Blot?
the same test you had done is fine.
I can definitely add loss of appetite and swollen lymph nodes to my list of symptoms. It was in my lower left abdominal; I thought it was a strained adductor but the pain is now gone. I was waiting to see if it would go away to say anything about it. I didn't even know lymph nodes existed down there.
Hey there, just a follow up, more for the observers who come here for help. I received more testing for Herpes at 6 weeks and 3 months and both came back negative. I know it can take up to 6 months to seroconvert, but as far as I am concerned it's not Herpes and I have moved on. Dr. Hook and Hansfield would both agree that considering neither one of them thought my lesions were Herpes to start with 3, negative tests is pretty much conclusive. Thanks again for the help Grace.
glad you are able to move forward :)
As a matter of curiosity, I e-mailed the company I tested through about the precise test I had taken for my Herpes Type-Specific testing. What I want to know is, based upon what you understand about the different types of testing, is his comparison to a Herpeselect test valid here? Would you say that the 90-95% reliability figure applies with this test at 12 weeks post encounter as it does with the Herpeselect?
Again, I took this same exact test at 13 days, 6 weeks and 12 weeks post exposure.
This is the correspondence I received:
"At Labcorp locations we use the type specific CAPTIA serology test to detect herpes. This test is as accurate as the HerpeSelect, but it's made by a different company. It is a type specific IgG test and is very accurate at distinguishing between a type 1 and type 2 herpes infection. This is an industry standard test administered routinely in doctors’ offices nationwide. CAPTIA is a highly accurate, type specific test (as recommended by the Centers For Disease Control) with a very low false negative rate. A false negative is a negative test result in a person who actually has herpes. That happens less than 3% of the time. In other words, it’s very rare to have herpes and get a negative test result (unless you tested too early after an exposure)."
so much for moving forward I see.