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Includes Expert Content
Herpes Tests
An_209627 posted:
Hello, back in the summer of 2009 I had an HSV test for both HSV - 1&2, it was about 6 months after my last sexual encounter. An IgM test was drawn on me along with an IgG. I now know from research that IgM tests are useless and that it never should have been drawn on me. My question lies within my test itself. How can I know that I received the correct test for my HSV diagnosis. As mentioned before my first test was IgM and IgG. The IgG results were HSV-1: 1.5 positive and my HSV-2: .19 negative. I had a second round of testing roughly 7 months later but at my request it was only an IgG and this time both HSV - 1&2 came back negative. Everything I have read says to trust the IgG results, but how can I be sure that it was an accurate HSV test? Do most labs these days only give the right tests? On my lab results it says the following after my results: "Herpes M Comment - HSV1 and HSV2 share many cross reacting antigens. A low positive HSV2 result in..." the rest is cut off on my sheet. "Herpes G Comment - This assay is type specific for HSV1 and HSV2 IgG." Since the IgG says it is type specific does that mean that I received an accurate test? Is it safe to say that I don't have HSV? Everything I have read says you should get a type specific test for IgG. I would really appreciate some clarity on this issue so it can help me put this issue to rest.
betsyo1967 responded:
even the best herpes tests still miss 1 out of every 10 hsv1 infections. hard to tell at this point if you really do have hsv1 or not.

your hsv2 testing is accurate. you don't have hsv2.

yes the testing you had is accurate.
Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)
An_209628 replied to betsyo1967's response:
Thanks for the response Betsyo. My doc seems to think that the low positive followed by the negative HSV-1 results are not a big deal and that I shouldn't worry about it and believes that I don't have it. Man this can be a bit confusing lol. I have never had a cold sore or anything. Do agree that it is not a big deal? Is there even a way to guess the likelihood that I have HSV-1 or not based on my two results? Just wanted to ask a few more questions to clarify some things, I don't really trust everything you read the internet. Thanks for your time.
betsyo1967 replied to An_209628's response:
most adults don't get obvious cold sores to know that they have hsv1 orally. 60% of us though under the age of 50 have it. it's very common.

really no way to know for sure easily if you have hsv1. you can try getting a herpes WB to see if that picks up on it better but probably not worth the $150 to be honest.

has your partner been tested?
Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)
An_209629 replied to betsyo1967's response:
I appreciate your help! I currently don't have a partner because I didn't want to get into a relationship with anyone until I got this situation resolved and I feel that I have. In the end there is no reason for me to put my life on hold, I know that I'm HSV-2 negative and I guess I'll just have to accept my HSV-1 results and move on. Thank you very much for everything! You really have brought clarity to this situation.
Terri Warren, RN, ANP replied to An_209629's response:
I think you should get a herpes western blot antibody test. This can be done through Quest labs - the code is 34534. It is a bit better at sorting out infection with HSV 1 than the usual HSV antibody IgG test. I think for you, you would gain a lot from this clarity.

An_209630 replied to Terri Warren, RN, ANP's response:
Thanks for your advice Terri! I talked to my doctor yesterday and mentioned the WB and they said that they didn't think any further testing was necessary. They also went on to explain to me that over 50% of positive IgG results in my range, which was 1.52, turn out to be a false positives and the fact that my repeat test was negative proves that, my repeat test result was around .1 for HSV-1. I think I am lucky to have a doctor that is informed of HSV and testing because I read some real horror stories about GP being clueless about it! They said they would only do further testing if symptoms that resemble HSV appear and said I should accept the test results and move on. Does any of that make sense to you Terri? I'm asking because sometimes it's helpful to hear from different sources who you know are experienced in the field. I want to thank you and betsyo again for your time and help!
Terri Warren, RN, ANP replied to An_209630's response:
It used to be that 50% in that range don't confirm; with changes in the test, it is lower now, but you should do whatever is comfortable for you.

PreciousLove123 replied to Terri Warren, RN, ANP's response:
hey I replied to Besty before but I have heard nothing back. I was wondering what your input was. This is a copy of my last reply to her.
Thank you for replying. So the WB test will confirm my herpes? Can you explain the igg's and igm's. Mine have gone down and up. Do they go low when one is not having an outbreak? Should I wait to be test when I am having an outbreak? SO, is it possible I could have Behcet's?
WarmLight responded:
Hi, I just got some test results back similar to the above person and am looking for some guidance. My GP doesn't have the answers.

I swab-tested positive for genital herpes in mid-November. It wasn't typed at the time.

After reading Terri's book, I had IGM & IGG tests done. These are the results, can you help me decipher please?
HSV 1/2 IGM = 0.56
HSV 1/2 AB IGG = 10.10
HSV 1 Glycoprotein G AB IGG = 0.17
HSV Type 2 AB-IGG = 0.21

I assume the 10.10 number confirms I have HSV, correct? But the others don't tell me whether it's Type 1 or 2? So confused and now even more worried, thank you so much for your help!
foolishheart1 replied to WarmLight's response:
I was told 15 years ago while pregnant with my now 14 year old daughter that I had herpes. Recently, my husband and I split up and reunited after 5months of separation and he swore up and down to me that he had an std and I gave it to him. Fyi, he was with 3 different women while we were separated and only after he filec for divorce after dealin with stuff for months did I go out with another man. Anyway, we have both been tested for HSV and his was negative where mine was unclear. If I have had it for the past 15 years of our marriage, how is it possible for him to have not contracted it? And is that even possible? My recent results were Negative <0.9, Positive >1.0 and equivocal 0.9-1.0 for combination hsv1 &2 IGg and for combination hsv1&2 for IGm Neg-<.91, Pos->1.09 and equivocal-.91-1.09. What does that all mean? Pleazse someone explainall this to me. My husband is giving me a hard time over this and I need answers to help explain this to him more. Every which way I turn I feel like I am getting a door slammed in my face. U guys are mylast resort. Any help will be greatly appreciated!
foolishheart1 replied to WarmLight's response:
Sorry warmlight! I got carried away with my problem and still didn't answer anything for you, but the truth is hon I am just as confused as you are. My doc was so vague with my results that I'm just as lost as I was to begin with. Sorry I couldn't be any help to you!
WorriedSingle_mom replied to An_209630's response:
I hope someone may be able to answer my question. Let me briefly talk about my problem. I dated someone for about 4 months. It was a really bad situation. Prior to him leaving, he told me that he gave me something. Well I went to the doctor and got tested for everything. I tested positive for HSV-2 antibodies. All the doctor told me was. I dont have it, but I was exposed at some point in my life. Since I never had any symptoms, I must have a good immune system that fought the virus off. I started dating again and found the perfect man for me. Does this all mean that I am passing something on to him? Im confused because the doctor said I didnt have it.....
lookingforaccuracy replied to WorriedSingle_mom's response:
It's confusing when they put it that way and it's misleading. What he means if I think I understand from what others have explained about that kind of verbiage, is that "at some time in your life" you have been exposed to it and so you do have it (That's why antibodies form, because the virus is present) But It may be an old infection and not a new infection, (If your test was an IGG blood test then that's basically what it's reading, is previous infections) but you have had no outbreaks. And chances are you haven't acquired any new recent infections (or new "exposures")

Maybe another can weigh in on the explanation as well.
betsyo1967 replied to WorriedSingle_mom's response:
there's no such thing as testing postive for hsv2 and not actually being infected.

if you post your actual test results, terri or I can better help you - e.g. hsv1 igg 3.2 and hsv2 igg 3.9 or whatever they are.
Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)

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