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Herpes Misdiagnosis
Jan 21, 2002

I was recently diagnosed with what my family physician thought to be a primary herpes outbreak. However, not only did the test come back negative, but there was none of the characteristic symptoms (blistering, ulcerated sores, etc.) and the bumps were gone without incident within a few days. Is there anything that herpes is known to be confused/misdiagnosed with?

Response from Mr. Kull

It is important to discuss medical issues directly with your doctor. Testing for herpes isn't foolproof, so it may be wise to not rule out a primary herpes outbreak at this point. Blood tests for HSV-2 infection are highly accurate, yet do not have the ability to predict the future course of symptoms. Cultures of fluid taken from sores can produce false negative results, which is why clinical examinations are important.

Common sexually transmitted infections that are characterized by genital lesions are genital herpes, syphilis, and chancroid. Talk with your doctor about your next steps, how to rule out other infections, and how you should proceed if you experience similar symptoms in the future.

RMK



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