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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:59 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:45 am
Posts: 6
Location: NJ
I am a complete mess. Yes, my fault, I know but I can't seem to get all the answers I need to help me deal with this horrible emotional roller coaster I am on. I hope I can get some answers here. My story...

I have been married for 14 years now. I started an extramarital affair almost 2 years ago. He is also married. Last year I went to the doctor for very ugly looking sores all around my mouth. I was told by the doctor that I had herpes and that I got it from kissing someone else that had it. I wasn't really surprised as my lover had sores at one time or another. She did not take any tests but prescribed a cream. She did not seem concerned at all so therefore, neither was I. A couple months later my lover went for some routine blood work and his doctor also took a test (not sure yet what type of test) for Herpes since he had a sore on his lip at the time. His test came back positive for HSV 1. His doctor as well was not overly concerned and didn't prescribe anything for him. Ok, so at this point we both assume we both have oral HSV 1 simply because of the cold sores but neither doctor ever said anything to us about being careful with oral sex or anything. I have not had another oral outbreak since then, although I do feel the tingling every now and then.

So now a year later my lover goes away on a family vacation. During that time, I had intercourse with my husband once. When my lover got back we had sex which included oral sex that I think could be considered quite vigorous. So then I start feeling some discomfort. Soon my right labia was red and swollen and had visible sores. I went to my Gyno. He swabbed the labia and had a culture test administered. Before I left that day gave me an Rx for antibiotics just in case it was a bacterial infection. He said the results from the culture can take up to a full week so I decided to read up all I could about HSV. Found SO much information and was SO pissed off that the doctors from the year before made herpes sound like it "was no big deal".

So the following week I went back to my gyno for my follow up. It was confirmed I now had genital HSV but the bomb was when he told me I had type 2. I won't even go into detail the way I felt. I had NEVER felt so low in my life. Anyway, I tell my lover and he makes an appointment with his doctor. By this time my lover had developed a sore on his lip but nothing else. He has another blood test done and he tells me his doctor confirmed that he too has HSV 2. I do not yet know what type of blood tests were done or if they were type-specific. So after he was confirmed with HSV2, we had sex once after that then HE ended up itchy and with sores on his penis about 1 1/2 weeks later.

So now my questions:
- is it possible to transmit HSV2 when you only have HSV 1?
- since we both apparently just had our first episodes (no previous genital sores), can I assume we both JUST contracted it?
- doesn't it take a while for the virus to show up in your blood? If so, how did his blood work come back positive for HSV 2 but just had his first episode.
- I have to believe that I contracted it from my lover (although it could very well have been my husband but I do doubt it) so how is it he had his first episode AFTER me?
- can blood tests determine if you have genital vs oral herpes? I understand their sites of preference but you can have genital HSV 1 so how does that work?
- how do we figure out who gave who the virus?
- could I have always had genital hsv and just not have known it?
- I am on 500mg of generic Valtrex daily. How long does it take for the meds to take affect?
- I have sex with my husband only about once a month - what are the chances I will infect him while on supression medication?

Yes, lots of questions. Hopefully I can get some answers here. My lover is getting the info on what types of blood tests his doctor took so hope to get more info on that soon too.


Last edited by losingit409 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:17 pm 
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So now my questions:

- is it possible to transmit HSV2 when you only have HSV 1?
HSV-1 and HSV-2 don't somehow change into the other, no. You can experience HSV-1 or HSV-2 as either an oral or genital infection, though. HSV-2 seldom infections oral/facial area, so a type-specific blood test positive for HSV-2 is presumed to correspond to genital herpes.

- since we both apparently just had our first episodes (no previous genital sores), can I assume we both JUST contracted it?
Symptoms of genital herpes often develop within 2-30 days after exposure, but not always. You can't pinpoint the time of exposure with real precision based on the development of symptoms.

- doesn't it take a while for the virus to show up in your blood? If so, how did his blood work come back positive for HSV 2 but just had his first episode.
HSV blood tests are based on detecting antibodies to herpes, not the virus itself. Almost everyone with HSV will test postive for antibodies about 12 weeks after infection, and many will test accurately sooner. This is independent of having symptoms.

- I have to believe that I contracted it from my lover (although it could very well have been my husband but I do doubt it) so how is it he had his first episode AFTER me?

As mentioned above, symptoms may not correlate closely to the timing of the exposure that resulted in infection.

- can blood tests determine if you have genital vs oral herpes? I understand their sites of preference but you can have genital HSV 1 so how does that work?

No, blood tests can only determine HSV-1 and HSV-2. As mentioned earlier, HSV-2 almost always relates to a genital infection. While HSV-1 is often taken to be an oral infection (and many adults do have oral HSV-1), the incidence of genital HSV-1 is increasing.

- how do we figure out who gave who the virus?

You really can't, not for sure.


- could I have always had genital hsv and just not have known it?

Yes.

- I am on 500mg of generic Valtrex daily. How long does it take for the meds to take affect?

It's designed to speed healing. Symptoms will typically go away in a few days or a week or two, even without medication. The HSV antivirals should facilitate healing one or two days sooner than what would occur naturally.

- I have sex with my husband only about once a month - what are the chances I will infect him while on supression medication?


There is no specific figure that's universal. The landmark study that determined daily use of Valtrex can reduce transmission showed a reduction of about 48% but, as with all things, your mileage may vary.


I hope this helps.

Best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:21 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
just to add to what Fred already said - I can better help you if you and your lover both get your herpes igg blood test results to post here - e.g. hsv1 igg 4.3 and hsv2 igg 3.9 or whatever they are. that way we can be sure you were both properly tested. also if your lover can get his previous results he had from herpes testing, that will also help you both with the from whom and when part. If he actually had herpes igg blood testing then and it was hsv2 negative, you know you had it first.

your husband also should be tested to see what his status is. I'm going to assume that he doesn't know about your lover so up to you how you want to approach asking him to test. Perhaps something along the lines of you thought you cut yourself shaving and saw your gyn and weren't you shocked to hear her suggest that it was possibly herpes and then found out from your testing that indeed it was and that the blood test showed that you had been infected previously and never knew it so hubby needs tested to see if he has it too or not so you can decide together what precautions to take. that's pretty much the truth except for the other partner part of it all.

keep asking questions!

betsy

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:11 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:45 am
Posts: 6
Location: NJ
Fredo and Betsy...THANK YOU!! I appreciate your responses. They help alot.

When I went to my GYN, they took a culture test but took no blood work. I called and made an appointment for today to have that done plus a series of other STD testing. So I will post all my lover's as well as my results once I get mine back.

No, my husband does not know about my lover. I do intend to tell him but of course want answers to all my questions so I can be prepared before I do. I have not had and do not intend to have sex (nor have I had sex with him since before i developed the sores) with him until we talk.

couple more questions...
- testing - aren't all IGG blood tests type-specific? the doctor told my lover that the test that was taken last year was an IGG HSV Type 1/Type2 test. The result was 4.2 but he couldn't tell him if it was type1 or type2. Does this make sense?
- if my husband and I are both confirmed for genital HSV2 and one of us has a breakout or is shedding and have sex, would it trigger the other one to have a breakout as well?

Thank you again for the feedback.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
no, not all igg herpes tests are type specific. If he only received 1 result for both then he didn't have type specific testing done which pretty much is useless for adults.

no, 2 partners having hsv2 won't trigger ob's in the other.

The free herpes handbook at www.westoverheights.com has terrific info in it. I also recommend terri's "the good news about the bad news" book also if you can afford it ( it's reasonably priced ). It goes into more details than her handbook.

betsy

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:09 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:45 am
Posts: 6
Location: NJ
Ok, got my blood work back but again SO pissed at my doctor. He did NOT do what I asked him to. He seems to think that what a patient wants is irrelevent GRRRRRR!!! I asked for type specific testing and he didn't do it so looks like I will have to get tested AGAIN. Of course won't be going back to him though.

Anyway, hopefully, Betsy you can tell me something with these results:

My results are for type 1/type 2 (again not type specific)
igm (I know a waste of time) - 2.62
igg - 32.9

my lover's...
Last year's tests results were igg not type specific - 4.2
2 weeks ago...
igg type 1 - 4.6
igg type 2 - 6.63

Questions -
- can these results tell you anything like who gave whom the infection or when?
- why are my results SO high as compared to his? Could it mean I had it first?

thank you!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:26 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
all you know about your status is nothing.

your lover is hsv1+ and hsv2+. his hsv2 igg is over the typical false positive range so odds are it's a true +.

betsy

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:45 am
Posts: 6
Location: NJ
Man how frustrating...

Are there any home testing kits that I can order that will give you the results you need? If so, which ones? I need to figure out how I can get the results you need without having to get a doctor's referral.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
just to confirm - your lesion culture was hsv2+ correct?

betsy

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:55 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:45 am
Posts: 6
Location: NJ
Yes, correct


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
well if it was typed then indeed you do know that you have hsv2 genitally. You two might never figure out who had it first or even if you both came into the relationship with it and didn't realize it until you both had recognizable recurrences. At this point, if you test + on the blood test for hsv2, no way to know if it's new or old. about 1/2 of folks will test + on the igg test within 2-3 weeks of being infected.

have you spoken to your husband yet about your test results?

betsy

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:56 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:45 am
Posts: 6
Location: NJ
With the fact that my positive igg test (although not typed specific) was So high, could I assume that a type specific test would also be positive?

I am not trying to reconfirm that I am HSV 2+, I have accepted that. After searching and reading all I could about HSV, you seemed to be my only hope in trying to figure out timing. If I was newly infected, then I know my husband doesn't have it. I wanted to know this information BEFORE I spoke with him.

Any further advice you could give me before I speak with him would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for all your help!!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
The numeric value of the combined test is meaningless for the most part. It doesn't help you at all with the time line issue.

betsy

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