Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    HSVIGG/IGM Results
    libra posted:
    I am new here so I hope I am posting this in the right area. I need help my doctors have no clue as to what I am asking them. I tried asking them what the number range is for my result the doctors office & the lab have no idea what i am talking about. But everyone one here seems to have a number range on their results. my test say this:
    Name Value Reference Range
    HSV 1/2 IGM AB Negative Negative N
    HSV1 IGG Serum Negative Negative N HSV2 IGG Serum Positive Negative N
    Results: HSV1 Negative, HSV2 Positive

    Please Help I have never had anything down there but as a kid I did have cold sores.
    betsyo1967 responded:
    we no longer recommend herpes igm testing to be done. it's inaccurate.

    your hsv1 is negative.

    your hsv2 is evidently positive but since there is no numeric values, we recommend additional confirmatory testing to confirm that it's not a false positive. We recommend the herpes WB as the testing to be done if you are in the US.

    if you have a history of cold sores, then you know you have hsv1 even though your hsv1 is returning negative. even the best blood tests still miss 1 out of every 10 hsv1 infections

    Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)
    libra replied to betsyo1967's response:
    Thank you for getting back to me. I am going to be calling my doctors again on Monday and ask why nobody has ever seen an index value. I want to know what my index value is.That is important isn't it? I haven't had a cold sore since I was about10 years old. I am now 32. I know I can get one at any time but I just wonder if that's why the HSV1 came back negative. Do you think that could be why it came back negative? I don't know if my doctors can get the index value of the results but I would assume they can if they look into it. From what I read on the CDC website under the Herpes Testing Information for Healthcare Providers there should be a numerical index level on my results and I don't have any. It also said:HSV IgG antibody tests. Serology testing for both HSV 1 and 2, or for HSV 2 only, is
    acceptable. Don't order a combined HSV 1/2 test (i.e. a test that does not look for HSV1 and HSV 2 separately), and IgM tests' usefulness is very controversial. None of the FDA-cleared IgM tests are type-specific, so HSV IgM testing can give false positive results and is often not appropriate for diagnosing herpes. Why? There is crossreactivity
    between HSV 1 and HSV 2 (you could tell someone with cold sores that they have genital herpes — in fact, new genital herpes!). In addition, there may be crossreaction with other viruses; and finally, people with well-established herpes can periodically generate IgM antibodies so you can't reliably sort out new from old infection with HSV IgM. Basing a diagnosis of genital herpes on IgM results alone can mean a wrong — and very distressing - diagnosis for your patients. Then what I read goes on to say this:

    When you get the test results back, you'll see a numeric value called an index value, along with an interpretation of positive or negative. By package insert, any index value greater than 1.1 in considered positive. However, recent research has shown it not to be quite that simple. The sensitivity of the type specific IgG tests for HSV 2 in an STD
    clinic population is about 98% and for HSV 1, 91% (it misses about one out of 10). The specificity of the HSV 2 test is about 97%. Basically, that means there could be 3 false positives out of 100 positive tests. Studies indicate that most of the false positives occur with index values between 1.1 and 3.5 (low positives); it rarely happens with index
    values over 3.5. For those with low positive results, it is recommended to confirm testing by a second kind of test, perhaps herpes Western blot from the University of Washington.

    if you recall my lab was tested for that HSV IgG/IgM and the results had a HSV1/2 AB so do you think that could have an effect on why the HSV1 didn't show up and maybe it really isn't HSV2? I'm sorry to ask so many questions but you and others on here seem to know more than my doctors at this point and I hate to say that because I really like my doctor but this has really devastated me. Thank you in advance to you and anyone else that may have a answer.

    betsyo1967 replied to libra's response:
    it depends on the test they use as to if you get a numeric result or not. some don't have numeric results. I don't think you had a herpes WB done so probably an immunoblot - since there are false positive issues with the tests, confirming your status with a 2nd test is the best course of action at this point since you've had no lesions to culture. the WB is also more likely to pick up on your hsv1 infection too though it still misses hsv1 1 out of every 10 times too.
    Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)
    libra replied to betsyo1967's response:
    Thank you kindly for all of your knowledgeable information. I truly appreciate it.
    abe648 replied to libra's response:
    If you are in Canada then it is quite common not to get a value with your blood tests. You need to have your Doc call the lab and specifically ask them to provide the values.
    Read more in the Herpes Handbook. Watch the Herpes Video and Terri Warren's book The Good News about the Bad News. All located under the heading Herpes at

    Helpful Tips

    positive results
    I had unprotected sex with a woman 3 weeks before I had this tests done. here are my results: HSV 1/2 IGG HERPESELECT HSV 1 IGG ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    0 of 0 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.