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my husband has genital herpes but i do not!

My husband recently noticed some bumps/blisters on his genitals and decided to have them checked out.  He was subsequently diagnosed with HSV2.  I subsequently got tested but am negative!  He swears he has not been unfaithful.  We have been happily married for 17 years and have 4 children together.  I want to believe him but I just don't understand how this could be possible.  Please help!
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207091 tn?1337709493
COMMUNITY LEADER
How was he diagnosed? Did he get a culture that specifically typed it and said "hsv2"?

Did he recently - within a week or so prior to his symptoms appearing - get a Covid vaccine, likely his 2nd dose?

When you tested, did you test positive for hsv1?

I ask all these because there are a bunch of possibilities. One is that he has genital hsv1, that perhaps he got from you if you have oral hsv1 and perform oral sex on him. A lot of doctors look at patients and visually diagnose herpes, and don't actually do any testing. If he wasn't actually tested in any way, he needs to be.

Another thing we've heard a lot of is people who've had herpes for a long time with no symptoms are suddenly getting symptoms after getting the covid vaccine, especially after the 2nd dose of it. Their stories are much like yours - married people who've never transmitted it, but have had it for years. And it's possible - herpes isn't infectious all the time. Some people never transmit it.

Obviously, I don't know your husband, or your marriage, so I can't tell you if he cheated. This alone isn't near enough proof that he did.

What does this mean for your marriage? Well, if you believe that he didn't cheat, probably not much.

We don't know anything about how those who suddenly get outbreaks after covid will respond long term. Anecdotally, some are having a hard time with lots of outbreaks, others aren't. He may choose to go on Valtrex for suppression for symptoms, and to reduce transmission to you.

If it's hsv1, and you both have it, it won't change a thing. You both have it, you can't get it again and you can't reinfect him.

You should both read The Herpes Handbook, written by Terri Warren. It's free and can be read on any device - https://westoverheights.com/herpes/the-updated-herpes-handbook/

Feel free to ask me anything. Really, anything.
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Thank you for responding quickly. He got a culture and it was determined to be hsv2. He did get a covid vacine but his seond dose was almost 6 months ago. Is that foo far away to possibly be connected?

I got a igg blood test and was negative for both. He is shocked by this all and swears he has no idea how this happened. If I suspect him, is there a way for me to prove for sure he got it at some point during our marriage? like in the past 17 years?
Unfortunately, there is no way to determine how long he's had it. The covid vaccine is too long prior to be connected.

How long ago did he get the outbreak? Has he had an IgG blood test? If he had a blood test, and it was negative at first, and then positive later, it's a new infection. Unfortunately, it can take as little as 2 weeks to show positive on the blood test - it looks for antibodies - so it isn't a great way to determine that unless the blood test is done really soon after symptoms develop.

Would he have opportunity to cheat? I suppose everyone does, but some have more than others. Did you have any reason to suspect him prior to this?

Hsv2 is transmitted only by direct, unclothed, genital to genital contact. There's no other way to get it - not toilets, casual contact like hugging, kissing, etc.

It is possible that he's had it for years and never knew it. We see stories like this a lot. We also see cheating stories. We don't know you or your marriage, so we can't determine that for you, unfortunately.
He hasn't had a blood test yet.  He first noticed symptoms a little more than 2 wks ago. His sores have scabbed and the scabs have fallen off already but the red marks are still there.  He didn't have any other symptoms no fever or chills or anything.  I read on this forum that hsv2 igg tests miss infections in 1 in 10 people.  so if i have him take a igg test now and it comes back negative but then it comes back positive 2 months later, if that conclusive proof he has a new infection or could his first igg test have missed his infection (if it's true that 10% of infections are missed)?  does that make sense?  he doesn't really have opportunity to cheat and we have been happily married, i think it will just be easier for me psychologically to move on if i know there really is NO way to prove he was infected recently.  i appreciate any advice.

one more question: if he does an igg now and a western blot now, and his igg comes back positive but his western blot comes back negative, but then he does another western blot 4 months later and THAT one comes back positive, would that prove a recent infection?  
Yes, if he has a test now, and it's negative, and positive later, it's a new infection. Keep in mind though that he could be positive already from a new infection. I tested positive at 2 weeks.

The hsv2 IgG misses 8% of infections, but it will miss it on all his tests, not just now and then find it later. If he's negative now, and negative later, that's a missed infection.

If you're going to do a WB, just skip the IgG. That one looks for all 16 antibody proteins, and won't miss any infections. The IgG only looks for one.

On the flip side, you can go today and get an IgG at any urgent care, and it might take days to get a WB. Time is really important here. You can also go to STDcheck.com and get one done today (depending on the time zone you're in).

Thank you. If he skips the igg and does the WB, but takes it now before antibodies have had enough time to develop, will he have a negative result?  and then if he does it again in 4 months with a positive result, would that establish the infection was recent?
Yes, that's exactly what it would mean.

Seriously, though, it can take days to get the WB ordered from a doctor. Every day counts here.
Ok thank you.  If the goal is to prove the infection is recent, why bother with the igg at all?  The WB takes longer to show a positive result so wouldn't it be better to have him to a WB instead (allows more chances for a negative first result followed by a positive second result)?
Because you can get the IgG done today at any urgent care or at STDcheck.com. The longer you wait, the longer he has to develop antibodies if this is a new infection.

The WB may show positive early, too - it may take a little longer to show positive, but unless you can get him a WB quickly, then get him an IgG now if your goal is to figure out if this is new.

It's already been more than a couple of weeks. I tested positive at 2 weeks.

Totally your call, obviously. You have to do what feels right for you. :)
Ok I think I understand.  If he starts taking valtrex and takes and then takes an igg or WB, will the valtrex have any effeect on the amount of time it would take for his antibodies to be picked up on a test?
No, it shouldn't. If it's an old infection, it won't have any effect at all - he's already developed antibodies. If it's a new infection, he's already been without Valtrex for 2+ weeks, giving his immune system time to kick in.

Also, I took Valtrex from the day I had symptoms - day 3 or 4, I think - and tested positive at 2 weeks.

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