Originally Posted by rollingwithit
Is there any way to determine approximately when I was exposed?
Is it possible (well, I know anything is possible, so is it probable/likely) that I could have been exposed longer than 6 months from when I was tested?
Could my culture have been wrong and the IgM be inaccurate and the symptoms I experienced be something else like a baterial infection? (I know...this is me being in complete denial.)
Bottom line...did my new love give this to me?
I can't stand the idea of exposing him if he doesn't already have it. If he doesn't want to get tested, I'm not going to pressure him. We will just have to take precautions. I just hate the idea of passing it to him if he's negative.
What should I do from here? Should I retest? If so, when?
Was just diagnosed two weeks ago, so I'm still struggling with the news. I'm such a wreck over this. It does get better, doesn't it?
There is no test for determining when you were exposed. I believe angeleyz81: it sounds like your new boyfriend probably infected you. It takes several months after infection before most blood tests will detect herpes antibodies. The combination of test results you mentioned suggests a recent first-time infection.
Also, your boyfriend's supportive attitude while refusing to be tested himself is puzzling, and suggests to me that he might already know he has genital herpes and probably infected you. If that is true, then his being tested won't tell him anything he doesn't already know. On the other hand, most people who believe they have no STDs, upon hearing that a recent partner has an STD, would want to be tested, and would at least take a step back from the relationship. I think Angeleyz81 gave you good advice: don't worry about him.
Finally, I would strongly encourage you to get another blood test in a few months. I was diagnosed with Herpes in an ER two years ago. I thought I had a bladder infection because I was having significant pain urinating. I had a sore on my penis, which I questioned. The ER doc was certain it was herpes. He scraped some cells and referred me to a urologist. A few days later, the hospital called me to inform me that my test was positive for herpes. When I asked which type, the doc stated the test was not that specific. The urologist confirmed their diagnosis by visually inspecting the sore. I asked the urologist to order a blood test, to which he replied, "why? It will just come back positive for herpes, and will be a waste of money."
I've been in a monogamous relationship since 1995, and we were married in 1997. Neither of us ever had any outbreaks, and my wife's OBGYN ordered blood tests for herpes as a matter of practice each time my wife was pregnant (4 times in all -- the last was 2001). Soooooo, imagine my wife's surprise to hear about my sudden new friends down there (in 2010). The thing is, I have not been with anyone but her since 1995, so none of this made any sense. How could we be married for so long, have as much sex as we have, with her never being infected if I was infected from the time we were married? Coincidentally, her dr. diagnosed her with herpes based *soley* upon her reporting my diagnosis. She saw her doc, explained my diagnosis, and requested blood tests. Her doc reacted as my urologist did: "I'm not going to order blood tests. Since you've been exposed, you have herpes, period, and blood tests are a waste of money."
Two years went by. I had another outbreak. I went to a different doc because I wanted to start taking Valtrex. My new doc immediately said, "that's not herpes, its a fungal infection." She ordered blood tests (Herpes Select) to confirm or refute the prior diagnosis. The blood tests came back very much negative. The cream she prescribed cleared up the sores.
I'm on this board now because I've had a sore for over a month. Its s single sore on the shaft on the side that contacts my scrotum. It won't go away, its very red, and it has what appears to be a paper cut going through it. I've applied anti-fungal cream and also took an anti-fungal prescription pill, but it has not responded and seems to be getting worse. It stings! I know its not herpes because of my blood tests and also because herpes sores appear, crust over, and go away in 1 to 2 weeks. This has been hanging around now for 5 weeks, and it is getting worse.
Sometimes, these things can be so difficult to figure out! I have an appointment with my doc on Monday, and am anticipating needing to see a dermatologist.
My point to your is this: If you have herpes, then you will develop antibodies which will show-up in blood tests. If you can't get a positive blood test in 4 to 6 months, then you don't have herpes. If the 'culture' they did on you is similar to the initial test the hospital did on me, then there was no culture. Some lab rat merely looked at cells under a microscope to try to spot various markers for herpes, and decided they he/she saw them, when in fact there were no herpes markers at all. Sometimes, people make mistakes, or worse, are incompetent. Herpes is often misdiagnosed. Hang in there.