Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Confused and Tired of symptoms


Male: After 7-8 months, blood work positive for hsvll igm, NEGATIVE for IGG. No sores, blisters, or anything visual. Mild foreskin pinched feeling 24/7 and discomfort in perennial area for 7-8 months. Hsv symptoms would not last that long constantly. Urologist asked me to retest blood to see if it's a false positive. Went in for 2nd opinion different doctor, visual and said I don't have hsv. Penis looks clean and healthy. I'm really confused. I've been too long with symptoms and read on internet from Web md, Asha, and other known sites to disregard Igm results after 6 months and if Igg is negative that it would more likely be a false positive. Wondering if I should just do Western Blot test to confirm. I've been through a whole lot physically and especially mentally over these long months. With my info. Does it sound that I do have it or not. If you don't mind, I would like to hear your opinion.  Thanks. God Bless....

Hello John,
Don't assume that your penile symptoms (or lack of symptoms) are in any way associated with herpes type 2 (HSV 2). Infection with HSV-2 may occur on the penis/vagina, mouth/lips/nose, or virtually anywhere else the virus enters the body.  However, IgM does refer to immediate or very recent infection, and should last about a month around the time of an outbreak. Than IgG develops, and should be detected thereafter for life.  Indeed, if no IgG develops after a few months, I would recheck the IgM, as all antibody tests may have some falsely positive results.   

The actual DNA (NAAT) tests are satisfactory if a suspected lesion is detected and than sampled, and will count actual viruses from viral DNA.   Western Blot tests are generally not done for herpes, but for HIV as a blood confirmatory test, looking for certain protein components of the virus' genome.  

Not sure why you are so concerned about HSV, as you haven't talked about the actual symptoms or suspicions that drove you to this conclusion.

Good luck!

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Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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