Friday, October 31, 2014
Thursday, February 23, 2012 wonderingaloud, Community Member, asks

Q: Should a lawsuit be impending for a doctor who gave a misdiagnosis for herpes?

My wife just came from the doctors office in tears. After a cervical exam she was told she might have herpes.  I don't have herpes and the last STD test I had came back clean. It was prior to us getting together but since we've been together and we've been faithful. The only way she could have contracted the disease is by mouth to mouth oral which I've seen her take part in on a few people.  If this turns out to be something else, (yeast infection etc) do I have grounds for suing her doctor for mental anguish / duress? As you can imagine this is already putting a strain on our marriage and she doesn't get her tests back for a week. Also wondering if maybe I should get checked out in the meantime.

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Answers (2)
Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
2/25/12 10:56am

First of all oral herpes doesn't jump from the same person's mouth to the genital areas. It comes from another person infected with oral herpes performing oral sex on the unifected person.


I would give anything for a misdiagnosis of herpes. I have it and I certainly understand the anguish of finding out you may have it. Unfortunately, it becomes worse when the tests confirm you have it. Your share illustrates the emotional anguish having herpes causes on one's life.


With me, I was in the second year of a relationship with a doctor who denied having any STDs (he knew he had herpes) when we discussed it prior to starting a sexual relationship several months after we met. Six months prior to getting infected with herpes, I had a sore in which the doctor believed it was herpes and claimed my boyfriend had herpes. I tested negative: sore and blood work. It didn't even occur to me that he could have it and he didn't come clean at that time. He came from a shame based family of origin. At the time, I didn't grasp that people who carry shame, lie. After that, I never trusted him anymore and the relationship ended.


He once indicated that he began disclosing herpes afterwards (if you can believe him) and that it not a big deal with his partners since me. I really hope that persons who are infected with herpes recognize the emotional impact of transferring the virus to another person as shared by you about your wife. While he tried to apologize, it's about him feeling bad for what he did; not about atonement.


Finally, herpes is difficult to diagnose. My doctor suspected I had it the second time but because my ex-boyfriend denied having it, I wasn't tested for it initially. So I suffered immensely on my first outbreak. Let it go and use this opportunity to learn more about the virus so you can educate others about how this feels.

wonderingaloud, Community Member
2/25/12 11:23pm

Unfortunately my wife went to see a different doc for a second opinion and he diagnosed her with simplex 2 pretty much on the spot. I feel horrible as does she. We're both scared and angered but have agreed to work through this difficult time. We both have sexual pasts but we both had STD tests prior to getting serious 7 years ago. Both tests came up clean. Now this. It's like a bad dream. I feel so horrible for her. She's the love of my life the mother of our great child. It's a huge blow to our relationship and our lives. We're going to educate ourselves about this terrible disease as much as we can. This is her first outbreak and hopefully we can find her the best meds available. As for me, no outbreaks and I've yet to get tested. That will be next week when I can get in to see a doctor. Sorry to hear about your situation since your ex flat out lied to you. How selfish can one get? Every couple should get tested prior to getting heavier into the intimacy stage of a relationship. But as I've shared here, even that can turn out to be a nightmare.  I'm still in a daze because of this. Please tell me we can still lead a regular, somewhat normal life together.

Disclosing Herpes, Community Member
2/26/12 3:55pm

You are so right about getting tested for STDs prior to starting any relationship. In my case, the person knew he had it but as you indicate he was very selfish. What makes it worse, one of my treating physicians suspected he had herpes (before I acutally got infected) and never suggested blood test for both of us. I didn't know testing existed back then although I was told they were less reliable. Plus, the results do not show up until at least six weeks after being infected. If you test negative, your wife can take Acyclovir or Valtrex (it doesn't stop shedding but reduces it) and use a condom. Check out these websites: and




Melody, Community Member
3/18/12 7:17pm

No lawsuit...there is no blood test for herpes, therefore it is diagnosed by sight or better yet, a scraping of the lesion to be viewed under the microscope. 


Some people go years WITH the virus, and do not know it. You can't sue their physcian for not diagnosing them. 


I hope that by the time you read this reply, that the situation has been resolved.

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By wonderingaloud, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/18/12, First Published: 02/23/12