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Herpetic Whitlow

About 18 years ago I was diagnosed with Herpetic Whitlow on my right middle finger.  Since then I have only had a few minor outbreaks on my finger, but it has been years since the last.  Recently I went in to get an STD test as my wife and I are going into a different lifestyle.  Well, I came up positive for HSV-2.  I have been with her for 5 years and we have an amazing crazy sex life, but her tests, thankfully, were all negative.  So, my questions are this:

1.  Is the reason I came up positive due to the Herpetic Whitlow since I have never had anything anywhere besides my finger?

2.  Would the infection be centralized to my finger?  Obviously if it were showing any signs of outbreak I wouldn't use it sexually, but it hasn't in at least 10 years.  Thanks for any and all responses.  
6 Responses
101028 tn?1419603004
do you recall if you ever had any lesion culture and typing done on your whitlow at all to know what type you have?

Could you please post your actual test results for hsv2 too? It's important to see your actual results - i.e hsv1 igg .34 and hsv2 igg 3.3 or whatever they are. that way we call advise you for additional testing or not.


Avatar universal
I was tested last week.  It was 11.40 HSV2 Positive.  Everything else was negative.  
Avatar universal
The question does remain though, how was your whitlow diagnosed. A visual diagnosis is not very accurate, particularly on the finger. A positive swab test from a finger lesion would confirm this.

If this was the case, then consequently you are positive for HSV2, no question, and it would be reasonable to assume that the hand is the infected area. It is known that the shedding is either extremely rare or non existent such that infectiousness is limited to when sores are present.

Without a positive swab, the issue as to whether this is a genital infection would remain.

Do you recall or experience genital symptoms?

What were the circumstances of the HSV2 infection? Did you have a positive partner?
Avatar universal
1.  I was diagnosed back in 1997 by a Doctor.  It was awhile ago, but I do remember the conversation and I remember him telling me it was a viral infection.  And I was like, herpes?  He said yes.  And they did do a culture.  

2.  No, I have never had any genital symptoms and my wife of 4 years tested negative.

3.  If I remember correctly, a former GF told me she had it after the fact, of course.  So, I always attributed it to that. There is little doubt it is whitlow, as it was very painful, was around for a 7-14 days, then went away.  Then, every other breakout was even more minor, but haven't had one in years.  
Avatar universal
Are you suggesting that you do not have the result of the swab test?

It does seem the more likely scenario here is that you have HSV2 whitlow, an exceptionally rare outcome. However it is hard to eliminate other more common scenarios.

I assume you are negative through IgG testing for HSV1. I would think that if you test negative for HSV1 on Westernblot then you are very safe to assume the finger is the HSV2 infection.

To be honest though, does this matter? You have a great sex life with your wife, there is no need to allow the possibility of a herpes infection change that. Just keep doing what you have been doing making sure you avoid contact with outbreaks.
Avatar universal
I have to contact my Dr. to see if they have my old records as I have switched Drs a few times due to moving.  Hoping they do.  

You are correct, I did test negative for HSV1 and all other STDs.

Reason it matters is my wife and I have explored an alternative lifestyle and we just want to be safe, which we are and as I have said I have not had any outbreaks in at least 10+years.  
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