Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Thursday, September 10, 2009 Sorry Charlie, Community Member, asks

Q: How long have we been infected? Is there any way to know?

I am a 51-year-old male, married for 14 years. I ended an 18 month long affair 2 1/2 years ago. Six months ago, when my wife found out about the affair, she and I were tested for STDs. Sadly, we both tested positive for HSV2. She tells me that her test result was reported at a "level" indicating that she was "recently" exposed. This has subsequently raised her suspicion that I have had extra marital sex since the affair ended 2 1/2 years ago, which is NOT the case. The last time I had anything resembling the classic symptoms of an outbreak was 30 years ago. I had itchy bumps on my penis, which broke, crusted over, and disappeared after 5 or 6 days. I went to a public health clinic where the infected area was swabbed. Test results were negative, but I am not sure for what specific STDs the culture was tested. I had no knowledge of herpes 30 years ago and do not know if I was tested for herpes at that time. Since that time, I have periodically experienced uncomfortable, tingly sensations on my penis that will last for about 1 day, but no blisters or lesions like what I have read about. Knowing what I know now, I suspect that I have had herpes for 30 years and did not know it, and transmitted it to my wife sometime over the last 14 years of our marriage. I want to do anything, everything to save our marriage, and this is a real point of contention for her. So my question is this: Is there a test that can actually determine how long we have been infected? We both want to know.

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Honey, Community Member
12/ 1/09 12:23am

Well this is better late than never. You probably have already figured it out so I'll make it short. No there is no way of telling how long you have had the virus exactly. Now if you both tested positive for igg antibodies then that mean that you have had the virus for a while and the igm antibodies are positve when the infection is more recent ok? It seems you already know you had the herpes before your marriage. I'm glad u ended your affair and realize you want to work on your marriage btw. I say you guys are already 50 make the best of teh next 50. Stay safe. The good news..herpes isn't such a problem in your life right now beings you are married, you both have it, and it's not life threatening or even really an issue so enjoy yourselves and take care of your immune systems because I believe with age if your immune system is lowered by other diseases it could make you more likely to have outbreaks.Take care of each other.

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By Sorry Charlie, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/14/10, First Published: 09/10/09