Avatar universal

Are these red sores herpes?

Hello, last Friday I used protection and had intercourse for 2 mins, then I removed the condom and she gave me intense handjob. After sometime again she gave me anhandjob. On Saturday again I masturbated twice in the evening I felt itchy down there. Today on Sunday I saw red boils and red patches very itchy do you think this is herpes? I went to urgent care she took swab but she says it looks like contact dermatitis but she is not sure, I never had these sores before, what other tests should I do?

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Avatar universal
My IGG after 6 months post exposure is still negative for both HSV1 and HSV 2 and absolutely no outbreaks neither penile nor oral, only thing I have is penile head skin gets very tiny red spots after masturbation but they go away within 2 days, that's it.

1) 1st swab - HSV2 positive
2) 2nd Swab - HSV2 negative 
3) 12 week IGG negative for both HSV 1 & 2
4) Western Blot HSV 1 positive and HSV 2 negative
5) 6 Months IGG negative for both HSV 1 & 2

What do I make of this? 
Helpful - 0
I would say that you have HSV1, which statistically is oral, since the WB said you do. The hsv1 IgG misses 30% of hsv1 infections, so it's probably missing yours.

I would also say that you do not have hsv2, and your swab was a false positive, or a lab error or something.

I don't know what's causing the little red spots, but you should let a doc see that. Make an appt, and masturbate the night before so the spots will be there.

Congrats on the tests :)
Avatar universal
Also, I had very bad yeast infection which was gone after applying fungal cream during that same time
Helpful - 0
It's not confusing, actually. Your one swab had to have been a false positive, somehow, either through human error or something.

Your blood tests and the other swab says you don't have it. The only other thing you can do is to get a Western Blot test. You can do that through your doctor or through Terri Warren on Westover Heights - https://westoverheights.com/getting-a-herpes-western-blot/

I don't think you need it, though.
This is what my doctor says:

"You tested negative for HIV and Syphilis and the antibody tests for HSV1 and 2 are negative.  It is hard to explain why.  False positive cultures are rare and your penile lesions looked like herpes.  To be safe I would still take the precautions we talked about. One possibility is that your infection was so mild that you did not develop antibodies.
Please message me if you have any questions."

How can it be possible that there are no antibodies developed after infection especially that infection went away, it means my body fought it hard
There is no such thing as a mild herpes infection, or a severe one, in terms of developing antibodies.

"How can it be possible that there are no antibodies developed after infection especially that infection went away, it means my body fought it hard" - this is correct. You would have antibodies.

It's like saying you are mildly pregnant - you are, or you aren't. You either have herpes or you don't.

It's possible for the blood tests to miss herpes infections. It's possible for the cultures to be false negatives. It's not likely that you had false negative cultures AND false negative blood tests.

Yes, false positive cultures are rare. I've seen it happen here, though. You are not nearly close to the first person I've talked with that has conflicting culture results. Some end up having herpes, some don't.

Penile lesions often look alike - I've seen syphilis lesions mistaken for herpes, and vice versa. I've seen people misdiagnosed with herpes instead of a fungal infection, and vice versa. This is why visual diagnoses are so unreliable.

You can always get the western blot test, which I don't think would be totally unreasonable. It's expensive, though, so you have to weigh the cost vs the benefits. You can set up a video call with Terri Warren and see what she thinks - she is far more of an expert than I am.
"mildly pregnant " you crack me up on that, yes, I still could or not have, I will take a western blot, thanks!
LOL I'm glad I made you smile in the midst of all this, at least. :)

Keep me posted.
My western blot came out to be negative for HSV2 but positive for HSV1 so more confusion:
1) 1st swab - HSV2 positive
2) 2nd Swab - HSV2 negative (this is very much false negative)
3) 12 week IGG negative for both HSV 1 & 2
4) Western Blot HSV 1 positive and HSV 2 negative
So you don't have hsv2. The Western Blot is the gold standard. Your first swab is the false positive, your second swab is not a false negative.

The Hsv1 IgG misses about 30% of infections, so it's not surprising that it missed yours. Most likely, that's an old infection you got orally as a child - like most people - and you don't have symptoms, again like most people.

So I can't say what happened with your culture. Maybe you have genital hsv1. Did you see the lab work? Did they actually type it as hsv2, or did it say hsv isolated, and your doctor called it hsv2 since it's genital? If it is herpes that you have genitally, and I doubt it, it would be too soon for it to be from that encounter. It takes at least 2 days to get symptoms.

If it's ghsv1, it's a result of oral sex, which you don't mention in your original description of the encounter.

If it is ghsv1, and I doubt it is, you will likely get very few recurrences, and will likely never transmit it. Ghsv1 rarely sheds, and since it rarely recurs, it almost never transmits.

Go with the Western Blot. It overrides all the other tests.

Thanks I am super confused, spend almost 4 months in stress, anxiety, confusion, ate ton of cake, drank so much coffee, I don't know what I have, I have no symptoms at the present moment, I highly highly doubt I even have ghsv1, and I never had oral hsv. I kissed the person for like 100 times and that same person did give my oral sex as well, if I had it, it should be on both the places and that exposure happened more than 6 months ago.
My swab was hsv2 positive by typing, did not perform hsv1 since both cant be at the same place.
Terri Warren confirms that I have hsv1 on genital or  oral but not hsv2.
I have been testing my IGG since 5 years now, but its always negative for both every year.
I was exposed to the virus on Friday 4:00pm, I went to ER on Sunday at 5:00pm so you can imagine.
God know where this is taking me, but I feel I learned a lesson to engage in any contact only knowing their past, but in todays world is hard to really go out, date, find long term partner and also disclose this as well ..
90% of people with oral hsv1 never get any symptoms, so it makes sense that if you have that, you wouldn't get any, even if you got oral and genital at the same time.

The only thing you need to disclose is that you have hsv1. If you want to share this story with a partner, that's fine, but you don't have hsv2.

You don't need to know your partner's entire past - that path doesn't usually end up well - but instead, just make sure you know your partner's STD status. Someone can have one partner and have an STD, or have had 20 partners, and not have STD.

Hang in there. You're going to be fine.
Thank you very much, you have no idea you have helped me, been my secret therapist, motivator and a great friend and person to share with, thank you for all your time and effort, please take care
You're very welcome, it's been my pleasure to help. We're always here if you need us. Take care. :)
Avatar universal
also, I have no so called outbreaks after the first one which lasted like 2-3 days
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
So I did my blood test and both HSV 1 and 2 came out to be < 0.91
9th Oct 2020: Possible exposure
11th Oct 1st Swab at ER: positive
13 Oct 2nd swab after 2 days at primary care: negative
29th Jan 2021: Blood test IGG negative

This is so confusing
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Avatar universal
last question, have you seen any false positive viral culture results over this blog?
Helpful - 0
I've not seen false positives on cultures, though I have seen cultures get mixed up with the wrong patients once.

If you want to confirm it, get a type specific IgG blood test. I still say if it's herpes, it's not likely to be from this encounter since you used protection. You can get the test now and see if it;s positive, and test again in a few months.
And I think you should confirm it, since you have conflicting cultures.
thanks my doctor says it was herpes from the pictures and also from the test which he thinks is very accurate but after that I had yeast infection, which I still have it so anti fungal cream is healing very fast.

I had the so called herpes sore for just 3-4 days, which I am seeing very strange from others experiences, I am going to get IGG blood test by 4 weeks and then 12 weeks
Sounds good. Keep me posted.
My doctor said to wait one more month before to do IGG, the funny part is that I dont have any outbreaks, even the first outbreak lasted only 3-4 days, is this normal?
Every person responds differently to herpes, so some will get frequent outbreaks, others won't. That's not a great way to tell.

I still say if this is herpes, it's not from the 2 minute, protected sex encounter you wrote in about. When was your most recent encounter prior to that?
Avatar universal
I went through some reddit posts and learned few things, please help me clarify my strategy for the next 5 years.

My debate is with antivirals vs vaccine which has highest cross relation to HSV 2

Suppose when I am not experiencing an outbreak:

non suppressive antivirals + protection = whats the efficiancy of not passing over?

suppressive antivirals + protection = whats the efficiancy?

Only protection = whats the efficiancy?

Now I really dont trust the antivirals, it can develop resistance from what I read, people have outbreaks even with valtrex

Also, I read some post of varivax vs chickenpox (varicella) vaccine, if I take this vaccine then I cant take antivirals? in that case how would the efficiency change?

varivax vaccine + protection = whats the efficiancy?

I have started to take lysine + elderberry + vitamin C + fish oil, any other oral supplement you can suggest as well?

what are the ways we can increase the antibodies in my body?

Here is my plan for next 5 years:

First 6 months no antivirals - check how many outbreaks, check IGG

Next 3 months try out acyclovir or Valtrex and see if it stops any outbreaks. check IGG

Next 6 months no antivirals. check IGG
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I'm a little confused, or you may be. Varivax is for chicken pox. It's not for herpes simplex virus. It has no effect on herpes simplex. There is a study, or there was, I think, that is trying to determine the efficacy of Varivax on hsv2. Are you enrolled in that study?

The only reason you wouldn't be able to take both the vaccine and antivirals is if you were enrolled in that study, as studies have very controlled methods. If you got the varivax vaccine on your own, you could do what you wanted. You may have already had it. If you've already had a chicken pox vaccine, it may not be appropriate for you. Talk to your doctor.

There are some studies that show that lysine and the others have a slight effect on herpes. You'll get a lot more effectiveness at far less of a cost from antivirals. Yes, some people have outbreaks on antivirals - there's never been a claim that they totally stop them. They reduce them. There is no clinical proof of resistance. That's a myth.

The transmission rates for hsv2, male to female, over the course of a year, assuming sex 2-3 times a week:

Only avoiding sex during an outbreak - 8-10%

Adding condoms OR daily suppression - 4-5%

Adding condoms AND daily suppression - 2-3%

You can't increase the antibodies in your body. Your body will do what it will. It will either have frequent outbreaks, or it won't. Some people with higher test antibody test results get more frequent outbreaks, and and some with lower results get fewer - that's not a true predictor.

The IgG isn't a true measure of antibody levels. You will never get a true zero, even if you're negative. You could test today and get a 9.8, tomorrow and get an 11.6 and the following day get a 7.6. It doesn't mean much.

My best advice? Stop obsessing. Stop reading Reddit for medical advice. Reddit is great for a lot of things, but not medical advice. You have herpes. I know the idea of it sucks. I have it, too. It's not nearly as big a deal as you are making it, though. I swear.

Read the Herpes Handbook I linked earlier instead of Reddit.
thank you, now there is a new twist, I got negative in viral culture on the second time that I went to my primary care. I had cleaned that area pretty well and also before that I had applied steroid cream so maybe that killed the virus. I will do IGG test after 4 weeks to check the levels. Last night I had fever, chills and bad migraine.
The problem is not the pain and the itchiness it causes but I still have no clue if I can make a family and have kids with someone who is negative ...and yes convincing them to stick with you ... Indians are bit fast to judge, they think its like HIV
The steroid cream wouldn't kill the virus, but it could mask it on the swab. A false negative on a culture is far more likely than a false positive, but definitely get an IgG test to confirm.

A fever, chills and bad headache are signs of covid. Since you've had sex, you've had risk for covid, too, since you weren't social distancing. Consider getting tested for covid.

It might take a bit of education with your partners - that's okay. I've had to educate some partners, too. Be careful, though - you are assuming that all Indian people think the same, and they aren't. I know some Indian people who are very well educated about STDs. I also know some Indian men who are in relationships with women from the US (different races), so anything is possible for you. You are judging them, just as you are worried they will judge you.

Read the Handbook.
Avatar universal
Right now I don't have any sores or anything all is healed and clean thats surprising
Helpful - 0
Wow, I'm really surprised. Did they do a type specific culture? Do you have a copy of the results?

So first, your life isn't over, you aren't the only Indian that has it - you got it from an Indian, right? That means others have it there. We've had a lot of people here from India.



Globally, including India, billions have herpes. You aren't alone. If you were the only person in India, they wouldn't know how to culture you, right? It's just maybe not talked about.

Did this partner give you oral sex? I ask because it's so unlikely that you got herpes from a protected encounter, and if she gave you unprotected oral, you could have genital herpes type 1.

I promise you that your life is not over. Did your doctor talk to you about any kind of treatment?

Yes I am surprised too, I didnt have any oral contact, I had an protected encounter with handjob later. My urgent care doctor called me to say its positive, hsv 2 on genitals, I am still in shock, I am indian 34 m living in us and got it from Chinese girl. I know indian girls who are std free will never accept me anymore ... and we don't get much chance with other girls in USA. I don't know how will I convince now someone or how to even ask for having a safe sex to avoid not infecting the partner.
My outbreak is very much manageable I don't feel big pain or something but the itching comes and goes ...I don't know what to do ...
I have one more swab test to get results from my primary doctor and mostly he will help me with the treatment.
You don't know that Indian girls won't accept you. You don't know that. You might be very surprised. Everyone everywhere thinks no one will accept them - even in the US, where everyone else thinks we are all really sexually free and liberated (not true), but give yourself some time to accept it first.

You should read the Herpes Handbook. It's free, and written by one of the world's leading experts on herpes - you can find it here - https://westoverheights.com/herpes/the-updated-herpes-handbook/

My guess is that maybe you had this before, and didn't know about it, because typically, your first outbreak is much worse than what you have now, with aches, headaches, fever, etc. I suspect, and it's a guess, that you already have antibodies that has helped keep this outbreak milder.

Are you living in the US? I know a lot of US women with men from India. I know that's not always easy, for a lot of reasons.

The handbook has info on transmission, treatment options, and living with herpes. I've had it for over 15 years, and will help answer any question you have. I can tell you that physically, it's just an annoyance. My allergies bother me more than herpes does.

My experience as a woman in the US might be different than yours, if you are a man in India. I haven't had any issues dating. Some people may not accept it, but I consider it the same as not accepting someone who smokes, or drinks, etc. We all have personal preferences. Some things we may think are deal breakers until we get some education, and often, herpes is one of those.

Take some time this weekend, read the handbook, and know you will be fine. Billions of people have herpes - you are not alone. Let me know what questions you have. I promise your life is not over.

Thank you for your good karma to give so much of information...I do live in US for 10 years now...I will go over the handbook soon..thanks again
Okay, I think even more that you're going to be fine. It's been a tough time for everyone, but you'll get through this, okay? :)
Avatar universal
My viral culture came out to be positive  I can't believe it, I am single I think my life is over and I won't be able to build a family, I am indian I don't think any indian have this ... no one is going to accept me
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you for your response, yes she did use a oil, but i think my previous photos are not very clear, I took this today:

Using the steroid cream my itch is almost gone I don't feel any pain as such as well, but I am seeing white fluid in those red spots do you think this could be herpes?

When my doctor took the swab she was in hurry and I feel there were nothing coming out of these blisters to get a sample, anyways she is going to get back in 3 days
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I think it's really spread out to be herpes. I think it looks more like an allergic reaction than anything, though it's often hard to tell just from pics.

Herpes does NOT like steroids. It often makes it worse, not better. Given that you are experiencing at least some relief from the cream, it leads me away from herpes even more. The white could be from the cream?

Do you mean this past Friday, the 9th? This has really only been a couple of days. Give it some time. Keep using the cream. It can take a few days to show real improvement.
I see, I did clean before taking pictures so white is not cream, yes last Friday 9th afternoon, I found the issue on Sunday morning, in case this is herpes, how would the sores look in the coming days? Would it increase in size or release some pus, I have very little itch at this point
It's hard to see in the pics, but do they look like blisters? If they do, get get them cultured today. Do it before they heal or release any fluid.

Make them do a type specific culture, or better, a PCR swab.

That will put this to rest for you.
Yes the doctor took swab for virus culture with typing not the pcr, but I feel she just rub the swab on top of all infected area so hoping its not false negative ...should I ask for pcr swab as well?
Did she do it when you had the white spots? If not, go back and ask her to culture it now again. If it's a blister, she may be able to get some fluid.
No she did when it had red spots, I have taken one more appointment with doctor two days from now, will ask him to do pcr instead of virus
Is today your appointment?

You started another thread about vaccines and cures, and so I can keep up with everything, I'm going to delete that and answer it here.

Your question was, "Is there any promising study going on for HSV like clinical trials or vaccines? I am not aware of any but I am curious, I mean I want to know if there is any hope in future for its cure."

First, you don't know that you have herpes. It's quite unlikely that you do.

Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of hope for a vaccine - either as a treatment or a cure - any time in the near future. There is some research happening, but not much. I'm okay with that. I'd much rather research money went into fatal, disfiguring or actually debilitating conditions, and I've had herpes for 15+ years. Herpes is mostly just an annoyance.
207091 tn?1337709493
That doesn't look like herpes, nor are they boils.


Your risk for herpes is very, very low. Getting herpes from a protected encounter is about 1 in 10,000, and there is no risk from a hand job at all.

When you masturbated, or when she gave you the hand job, did you use any kind of lube? Lotion? Perhaps you have an allergic reaction to that. I'd be very surprised if this is herpes.
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