Herpes Community
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Avatar universal

herpes test,autoinoculation

I have been reading post's on here for nearly a year, found many very helpful...Last year I was tested at kaiser....Test was called HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS,AB,TYPE 1 AND 2,IGG ,EIA.....The results were positive hsv1 , positive hsv 2.....I have had cold sores on my left upper  lip maybe once,twice a year all my life, have not had any genital symptoms.  I asked my Dr. what numbers/results the test showed, he told me it only says positive or negative, no numbers or ratios show...In the past 2 years I have had 4 outbreaks in different spots,also left side(nostril,lower lip)

question 1> Is this IGG test at kaiser accurate,they will not order me a GG test, or western blot

question 2> is it possible the outbreak sites are different from autoinoculation, or is it possible they are just popping up in different yet near sites?

question 3> My gf and I have completely stopped kissing and having sex the past year and a half for fear of asymptomatic viral shedding, is this a reasonale fear?

Any help will be greatly appreciated, the stress and lack of help from kaiser has all but ruined my 6 year realtionship with my girlfriend, and has even caused me to seek counseling....I just want some answeres from someone knowledgable on the subject....Thank you in advance from the bottom of my and my girlfriends heart....
12 Responses
Avatar universal
If you have oral herpes it is at rest in your ganglia near your ear.  It can appear anywhere that ganglia nerve system services.  Cold sores appearing on your lip one time, and near the nose another time does not mean autoinnoculation, just the virus taking a different path along the nerves to your skin.  

You can go to any health clinic and pay for any test, including western blot, if you want.  I go to a state clinic.  However any positive IGG test should be conclusive.

Has your girlfriend ever been tested?  She might have herpes and just not know, leaving your concerns of transmission moot.  As long as you both have it and just avoid contact during OB's you should not worry about it.  

If she does not have it, you two should re-evaluate your committment to each other.  6 years is a long-*** time.  Do the research.  If you take daily suppressive meds and have unprotected sex 2 times a week, she has a 3%-5% chance of contracting it, IF she doesn't already have it.  The odds are even lower if you use a condom.  After 6 years it seems she should be able to decide if you are worth rolling the dice on with these odds.  Living a normal life should be more important than worrying about this to the point of isolation.  Are you guys being reasonable regarding your concerns?  No.  
101028 tn?1419606604
You definitely need to confirm your status.   You need to get your provider to order the confirmatory testing for you though.  The herpes WB or the herpes biokit hsv2 test would be the 2 best options.  If your kaiser affiliated provider won't do this for you, you will need to look elsewhere.   Kaiser can be a pain about these sorts of things unfortunately.  

I totally agree that if you have this and you two have been together for this long, you already know what the risk of transmission is - low. has she been tested?  No reason to stop all relations like the two of you have - to me that's far more stressful than the risk of herpes transmission!

Avatar universal
Sorry, I tried to respond earlier and think I did it to the wrong forum, I am not good with computers...In response, no my girlfriend has not been tested for hsv 1 or 2...We are very short on money, and since she has no symptoms ,she does not see testing as a neccisity.  She is a nurse(lvn) here in San Francisco and does not have health insurance, how skrewed up is our health care system?  

I found a clinic here in San Francisco that will give me a western blot for $150...  We are very short on money, but are cutting out on other frills so I can get tested next week, I will post results...Her feelings are that if she did not get symptoms in the 5 years prior to  my diagnosis, she is willing to take the risk....It is mainly me abstaining from contact, as I do not want to feel the guilt of infecting her...And it is extremely stressful on both of us,especially her...

As far as my outbreaks being concentrated to my upper lip the past 20 some-on years untill last year moving to my lower lip and nostril, what could make it take a different route all of a sudden?.  The only thing I have done different the past couple years is use abreva...I read how it is a leading cause of blindness and about autoinoculation and it scares the life out of me....But contrarily I read that autoinoculation is a bigger concern early on in infection(primary mainly)...I am so scared sniffeling when I have a runny nose that I may spread it too my sinus' and brain causing encephalitus...

I have also read that asymptomatic viral shedding is less common w/ hsv1 and the longer you have it,any truth to this?  This site, especially your responses to posts has been a god send, but there is so much info on the net tthat contadicts itself, that it makes it hard sorting fact from opinion...

Thank you so very much for your time, truly from the bottom of my heart, I will post my hopefully good results asap....
101028 tn?1419606604
abreva doesn't do a lot for oral herpes and really isn't worth the price of it.  You can treat cold sores with acyclovir for $4 if you have a prescription even if you don't have insurance.

this is not autoinnoculation for you on your face. it's where the virus lives.  Just if you are having recurrences more than every 2-3 months, make sure it's not a bacterial infection going on.  you don't have to worry about giving yourself a herpes infection in your brain either. relax :)

we don't have long term shedding studies with hsv1 orally. the study we have on hsv2 folks infected > 1 year is that shedding stays fairly constant after the first year.  

Avatar universal
    Since you live in Cali you can take advantage of the state's healthcare system.  Google map your local planned parenthood clinic and make an appt. for a blood test.  They charge for tests based upon a sliding scale, which in turn is based upon your income.  I am sure they won't do a western blot, but it is worth checking to see if they offer the biokit.  Ask if you have to provide paperwork regarding income and they should be able to tell you which tests they offer over the phone.  
    Regarding your partner, even though she is a nurse I hear of them being misinformed quite often.  She should know that even nurses can miss the telltale signs of an outbreak as they are not always 'classic'.  This warrants a test, she might even have hsv 1 from childhood and not know it as many + ppl don't get cold sores.  
     Get over the idea of auto-innoculation.  That used to torture me as well.  Then I learned that auto-innoculation, rare enough as it is, is more likely to occur when you first contract the virus, not after having years of antibodies built up.  Your body knows how to kill the virus now.  Just don't do anything dumb like lubing your contacts with saliva or not washing your hands often when you have a cold sore and you'll be fine.  I just trained myself out of the habit of touching/rubbing my eyes overall with my hands, a good practice anyway to prevent cold/flu/many other things.  Quit letting herpes control your life.  
Avatar universal
Thank you agian for your responses, as I said, I will be getting my wester blot within a week,fingers crossed....Where would I be able to get a prescription for acyclovir without insurance for $4...Would that be for supressive or actual outbreak?  

You folks have really put my mind at ease on the autoinoculation subject, I was washing my hands near raw during ob's....Last question on different sites, I promise...If its the same infection just taking a different route to skin from nerve, how far can I expect it to move?  Will it stay generally close to original site or is it common for it to pop up farther away, chheks,chin,forehead etc?  All ob's have been within 2'' -3' of original site on the left side(left upper lip,left lower lip,left nostril)..

You folks are a godsend and provide much needed information and support to many stressed out people out there who cannot get reliable info from there Dr.'s....I wish all Dr's were up to date on hsv info, you are definately appreciated and making a difference in this world.
Avatar universal
also I would like to add, in case anyone in the San Francisco area needs testing....The "San Francisco City Clinic" is an STD clinic that ask's only $10 donations for treatment....The Western Blot however is $150 there as it has higher expenses with shipping and what not I guess. But at least they offer it,which is more than I can say for Kaiser....But they offer std treatment of all kinds, testing and emergency post exposure treatment to HIV as well.  Free condoms and lube, and morning after pill as well....Thank you, there are resources out there, sometimes they are just hard to find
101028 tn?1419606604
Only 1 lab in the US does a herpes WB.  They don't discount their services for anyone :(

oral herpes ob's typically confine themselves to the chin, nose and lip area.

Avatar universal
Thank you, I guess I worded it wrong, the san francisco city clinic can order a western blot from the university of washington....But $150 for a definitive answer and peace of mind so worth it.....Where can I get acyclovir for $4 w/ out insurance?  Yea, I have not noticed a dramatic difference using abreva, it does not stop them asadvertised, but it does for me at least stop pain, and heals maybe a day or 2 faster, lets say 7-8 days begining to end instead of the old almost 2 weeks...Grace, you rock!!!! Thanks a million for your time....Symptom checker, thank you as well for your time and advice....Good bye for now, hopefully the next time I post I will have good news...Take care always
101028 tn?1419606604
sorry - forgot the $4 part. didn't sleep much yesterday.  walmart and most other stores and groceries are offering episodic doses of acyclovir for $4 with a prescription. don't hesitate to ask your provider to call and ask how to write it for that price too. Typically it's acyclovir 200mg, take 5x/day for 5 days, dispense 25. It's a pain in the butt to take it that way though so just take 2 at a time instead ( I really recommend taking 4 at a time 3x/day though. much easier ).  

antivirals work best for cold sores when you start them at the very first tingle/itch sign of a cold sore about to start. keep the acyclovir on hand to start when you first have those signs. studies show that if you start them within 6 hours of the first signs of a cold sore about to start, you can even ward off a full blown cold sore.  

plenty of much cheaper topical pain relief products out there for cold sores for pain relief. Including steeping a tea bag and using it as a compress and of course holding an ice cube to the cold sore several times a day ( I'm a cheap skate at heart!!!!! ).

Avatar universal
Thank you grace, no walmarts around here, but maybe walgreens...I will ask if the clinic can write me a precription...Ice has worked for me in the past, made them keep from reaching "full bloom" when I start at the tingle.   Im with you, Im not only a cheap skate by choice, but need to as well....I work in a freezer that is 30 below(grocery) so the temperature plays havoc on me,especially when it is hot outside.....

I have stopped nuts and chocolate,soda,coffee for the past year, which I think does help(a little).....I also take 500mg lysene daily, with 1000 mg vitamin c.....The vitamins dont seem to help me much,but we will see(anything is worth a shot).........I am half asian, so I eat rice daily,I cannot give up my grains.....The lysene arganine thing is not such a big issue with me, but nuts,soda,chocolate do make me tingle within a day or so....I think moderation is more important than anything...Oh and i made a mistake in my previous post, its meningitus,not encephalitus I fear hahah....

Thanks again....I wish there is something I could do like you, you posting in your spare time here helps alot of people....Not just the people you respond to,but the thousands who also read.....Are you in healthcare as a career as well, or just very knowledgable and well read? At any rate,you know your stuff,and thank you again,cant thank you enough...I was always told its not being a cheapskate, but being a wise spender =)
101028 tn?1419606604
no reason to change your diet because of oral herpes other than to watch your acidic and spicy foods IF they seem to be a trigger for you. typically it's illness and sunlight that trigger oral herpes more than anything though for some folks, hot and spicy foods or acidic foods like orange juice can trigger them.    the lysine/arginine theory never held up outside of the test tube and actually arginine has been shown in studies to be helpful with herpes.  No reason to supplement with lysine either, it doesn't do a lot and most of us get more than enough of it already in our diets ( not to mention you are taking far too low of a dose of it too of any of the doses found to have any effect at all in studies ).   Just tingling after you eat certain foods without a full blown cold sore very likely isn't a correlation.  If you are only getting cold sores 1 or 2 times a year, not worth changing anything for. also if you know you are going to get a cold sore when you are at the beach or when you are sick, it's ok to take a round of acyclovir ( or the cold sore doses of famvir or valrex ) to help prevent a cold sore too.

Frugal is supposedly cool again.  My friends still make fun of me though...he he he. Of course I'll be cheap about some things and then pay decent money to mail order heirloom beans from california...he he he.  Of course all my friends go to the farmer's market with me to get produce cheaper now :)  I'm a big fan though of using things around the house to treat injuries/illness when you can. Sometimes simple really is best :)  

yes I am in health care :)


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