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Can seroconversion be delayed for 14 months while on valtrex?

Hello and thank you for all you do to help educate us.

So I’ve been on valtrex for the past 14 months following unprotected oral and vaginal sex with a female (I am a male).  I started the valtrex right away when the person I was with reported having blisters vaginally.  This person claims that she was tested via pcr and came back positive for hsv1, negative for hsv2 one week post encounter. I have not been able to completely trust what I was told. The likely scenario is that I infected her genitally by giving her oral.  Having said all this, I have personally had a ton of symptoms including sensations in the legs , followed by small bumps and redness on my shaft and glans (but no blistering) on 3 occasions. With each of these, I had headaches and tenderness on my inner thighs, along with pins/needles in my feet mostly. Have also had multiple outbreaks on my mouth (even on 1g/day valtrex).  Historically I would get an oral outbreak every few years.
Any of the experts out there available to comment on my situation?  Specifically could seroconversion for hsv2 be delayed this long?  I have tested negative at 3, 5 and 14 months.
Thank you!
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207091 tn?1337709493
COMMUNITY LEADER
No, it shouldn't be delayed this long.

My suggestion would be to stop the Valtrex, see if the tingling/sensations in your legs stops (some people report this as a side effect of it). You might try acyclovir instead of valtrex. They are similar medications, but something in the Valtrex seems to affect people different than the acyclovir. The Valtrex doesn't seem to be working anyway.

Was your partner tested by PCR swab and it came back positive for type 1? If that's the case, then yes, it seems like she got hsv1 genitally via oral sex.

Small bumps and redness doesn't sound like herpes. That could be anything from irritation to an allergic reaction to something, eczema, dermatitis, etc., etc.

Are you testing with a type specific IgG blood test?
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6 Comments
Thank you for your response.  I have been afraid to come off the antivirals As I didn’t want to infect my current partner.
Good to know that valeted can cause some of the issues.
Yes she was pcr tested positive for type 1.  I have had trouble believing her due to some of my symptoms.
My tests have all been quest IGG type specific.
Is there an absolute in terms of seroconversion if on antivirals?  Like, no matter what....all will convert by X months?  
My type 1 results are always around 30.
I'm not finding anything on absolutes, which makes sense as everyone is different.

Has your partner tested? Do you know their hsv status? If they have hsv1 already, you can't reinfect them with something they already have.

So you have a few options here.

1 - Stop the Valtrex. See if it stops the sensations in your legs. Also, see if you get an actual outbreak on your genitals, and get that swabbed immediately.

2 - After being off Valtrex for a few months, get a final IgG blood test.

3 - Continue as is, and assume (reasonably) that 14 months is enough time. Or stop the valtrex, and still assume that your test is conclusive (reasonable).

There is no right or wrong answer here. It's only what you feel comfortable doing.
Thanks again for the advice.  I will consider the options you mentioned.

I welcome any other comments or experiences by others as well.
And, yes current partner is hsv1 oral only.  The reason for my fear is that partner 1 may not be truthful about her results of having hsv1.....when she may have hsv2, but just didn’t want to be honest.  I know it sounds a little out there, but with that doubt and the possibly that valtrex may prevent seroconversion......it sort of leaves me in limbo.  Particularly with having some of these symptoms.
No, I get it. If you don't trust someone, it leaves that room for doubt.

And limbo sucks. I know very few people who deal well with it, and I am certainly not one of them.

Let us know how it turns out, and if you have any questions.
Update- so I’ve been off the valtrex for 1 week.  I’ve continued to have sensations in my legs, particularly when sitting and laying down at night.  Have the feeling sometimes that something just isn’t right/sort of irritated around the genital area, but so far no obvious issues.
If valtrex were to contribute to sensations, how long could I expect it to last?  I.e....how long do antivirals stay in your system?  I hear  too that anxiety can cause sensations/twitches too, but I find the anxiety scenario a bit hard to swallow.  Any additional thoughts?
Avatar universal
Update- so I’ve been off the valtrex for 1 week.  I’ve continued to have sensations in my legs, particularly when sitting and laying down at night.  Have the feeling sometimes that something just isn’t right/sort of irritated around the genital area, but so far no obvious issues.
If valtrex were to contribute to sensations, how long could I expect it to last?  I.e....how long do antivirals stay in your system?  I hear  too that anxiety can cause sensations/twitches too, but I find the anxiety scenario a bit hard to swallow.  Any additional thoughts?
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6 Comments
If you are having the sensations moreso when sitting and at night lying down, I would think it's more along the lines of restless leg syndrome.  

That's pretty textbook for RLS - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/restless-legs-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20377168

Stay off the Valtrex for a bit, I'd think it would improve within a couple of weeks. If it doesn't, talk to your doctor about RLS. Anxiety can cause sensations and twitches, but the way you describe it, it sounds more like RLS. Anxiety might make you more aware of these symptoms, if it's RLS, but it's not causing it.

You should remain off the Valtrex for a few months before testing. Essentially, it's as if valtrex took over for your immune system. Because of the valtrex, your body may not have needed to make antibodies to help fight the herpes, if you do have herpes. You need to give your body time now to do that, and then test.



Thanks again for your input.  The no valtrex approach is scary for me, because if I do actually have Hsv2, I’d be more likely to pass along to my current partner- which would be horrid.  I’m praying parter 1 was honest about their pcr test being positive for hsv1 and negative for hsv2 and that what I’ve been experiencing is either medication or psychological somehow.  

I will keep this group posted as time goes on.  I just wish 12 weeks were already behind me now.
Are you just discounting the RLS, then?

So let's recap and back up a bit.

Don't forget that your previous partner said she tested positive for type 1. This means that she would have gotten genital hsv1 from you performing oral sex. Why would she lie about such a thing? That's not logical. If she's trying to be cruel, she'd tell you that she had hsv2 - it's more infectious, it usually has more outbreaks that are more painful, etc.

Your current partner already has hsv1. This means you can't infect her with it again. She has antibodies that protect her from getting it again in a different location.

You've had more outbreaks since starting Valtrex - it's clearly not working. Maybe it's stress. There's no reason for you to be on it right now.

Research RLS. You do yourself no favors by only focusing on herpes as a cause. If you have something else going on, and can get treatment for that, why ignore it and suffer longer? I don't know if you have RLS, but it sounds like a possibility.

Small bumps and redness can be so many things - irritation from you checking too much, a fungal infection, an allergic reaction, dermatitis, eczema - the list is really endless. Herpes wouldn't even be near the top of the list.

If you insist on thinking it's hsv2, just use condoms. That also cuts the risk in half.

Really though, I see no reason why anyone would lie and say it's type 1 when it's type 2.
Hi again.  No, not discounting the RLS possibility.  I reviewed it and think it could be a possibility.  
I completely agree with everything you said about not being logical for her to lie.  
I think it’s just been a combination of having so many weird symptoms  (never having had any of them prior to the exposure) and feeling like maybe she was embarrassed about having hsv2 and didn’t want to reveal it or upset me.  In other words maybe she would prefer letting me think that I gave her hsv1 than for her to admit she gave me hsv2.  So...just lots of doubts and insecurities on my part.  I really do appreciate the input and and am evaluating the RLS as a plausible explanation in addition to the stress.
If I was telling a partner that herpes had become involved in our relationship, and was taking the steps to admit this, I'd just be honest. It wouldn't make sense to lie about which type.

Hang in there!
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