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Dr. David
Dr. David, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  Ten years practicing as a licensed family physician.
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Hi, I live in Australia and just got diagnosed via blood sample

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Hi, I live in Australia and just got diagnosed via blood sample that I have/had HSV II. It took me 6 months after finding out my ex was diagnosed with it (after seeing 3 doctors and none wanted to do the test!). I really wanted to get tested as I now have 2 beautiful children that mean the world to me and the complications that it may bring forth if I had it during the pregnancies. I have been with my current partner for 8 years and never had a outbreak as far as I'm aware (although I get a lot of ingrown hairs and some thrush...or as I thought it was). My main concern now is for my littlest one who is 1 year old. About 5 days after he was born he developed a rash of sorts on the top of one of his balls. I didn't think to much of it as I showed my midwife, but we weren't looking for Herpes at the time. It wasn't blistered as far as I remember, like a rash, but it did kinda ulcerate before healing and looked a bit like after a bad blister had burst (but didn't see any blisters!). I used paw paw ointment and zinc cream on it at the time and it took about 6 days to clear up. It didn't seem to scab but I kept it very clean with warm water and it seamed to heal from the outside inwards. It was round (about 1cm), raw looking before it healed. He didn't seem to have any other rashes, maybe some mild diaper rash but nothing really. Then he was circumsized at 3 months old and it took a long time to heal, seamed to be slightly infected then we got it under control and healed quite well. I haven't noticed anything else 'odd' untill about 3 weeks ago (1year old now) and he developed a red spot between his penis and his scrotum (underside of penis)...he had had some really runny explosive diarreah which I thought was due to tomatoes (which ended up being gastro) and assumed some got left behind in the crease and caused a dark red rash/spot. It was a little tender for him when I lifted his penis to 'zinc' it. It only took 3 days to clear up and I couldn't tell really, but it didn't seem to ulcerate or blister, but there was definate discomfort for him. Could this be herpes he may have contracted at birth? As far as I know I didn't have anything odd down there, but my doctor said I might not be someone who has outbreaks (I was negative to HSV1). I'm concerned because in recall, I was a little itchy down there around that time and treated myself for thrush but didn't think to say anything to my midwife as its such a common thing. I had a waterbirth and I'm so scared I have given this to my child. The only other things I can find on the net that might look similar come up as impetigo (no blisters) or staph infections but would they clear up without antibiotics? He didn't have a fever on the first one and it didn't seem to bother him. The doctor says to me not to worry (however she didn't see the first spot on him), but if it was your kid, wouldn't you? It could change his life and raise a lot of questions in the future. Do you think I should push the doctor to do some tests? How could this effect him long term if he does have it and they don't test it to find out? He's such a happy kid, I just want him to be okay. Thank you. He also gets little red dots/bumps on his top eyelid sometimes, they don't blister , they just go away this normal?

THank you so much for your anticipated response.

Dr. David :

Hello. The reason why doctors do not like to perform the HSV II blood test is because it generates a lot more questions than answers. Probably everyone will have a high reading on this test because of the prevalence of HSV II exposure and possible cross-reactivity with other similar antibodies in the blood. I would go so far as to say that the test is meaningless. Having a positive blood test result does not mean that you have genital herpes. If you don't have outbreaks, then it sounds like you do not have genital herpes at all. You cannot give your children genital herpes through casual contact and I think it is highly unlikely that they were infected during birth. Especially if you did not have an active infection at that time. The rash symptoms that your son was having do not sound like genital herpes. They sound more like a yeast infection or other types of skin irritation that are common in young children. Please do not push your doctor for more testing. I think that nothing good would come of this. Yes, it is normal for young children to get all sorts of skin rashes and these typically disappear as they age. Dr. David

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