Avatar universal

Can the results of a Herpes exam come out erroneous?

Did an Igm Herpes exam and my results were HSV 1 IGM 1:20A Positive A and HSV 2 IGM 1:40A Positive A.

I have not had a genital herpes outbreak, but I have had a cold sore in two occasions in my mouth. Could there be a chance that the results for genital herpes are picking up on the antibodies for oral Herpes?

Is there a more specific test I could do to make sure that I have genital herpes?

How easy is it to transmit herpes to a sexual partner? Would they get infected with both types of Herpes if having unprotected sex?

Does this mean I shouldn't give oral sex?
1 Responses
207091 tn?1337709493
Yes, there is a good chance this is a false positive.

First, the IgM is not a reliable test. It doesn't do a good job of differentiating between a new and established infection, and doesn't do well differentiating between type 1 and 2. It's supposed to look for new antibodies, but can be reactive when someone has a well-established infection. It can also react to antibodies for other herpes viruses, like the chicken pox.

It shouldn't be done on adults. The CDC has said this for a long time, but doctors aren't aware of it.




Also, if you've had cold sores before, you have an established infection. You shouldn't have the IgM test, which is supposed to look for new infections - within about 2 weeks of exposure. (Though are you sure? Cold sores occur on the lips, not in the mouth. Sores in the mouth are canker sores, not cold sores. You should google them both to look for images to see which one you had.)

In any case, the test you want is an IgG type specific IgG blood test.

When was your last possible exposure? What was your exposure?

It's hard to say if you have it or not - the IgM is unreliable enough that you should act like you didn't have any testing - ignore it completely.

Herpes is infectious, obviously, but a lot goes into how infectious it is. It's more infectious with a sore present than if one isn't. If someone takes daily meds to suppress the virus, that lowers transmission rates.

If you have genital herpes type 1, which you can get from oral sex, that's less infectious than genital herpes type 2, or oral herpes type 1.

So let's cross that bridge when we get there. Get an IgG type specific test. It can take up to 4 months to be conclusive, though most will show positive by 6 weeks.

Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Herpes Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Here are 16 facts you need to know to protect yourself from contracting or spreading a sexually transmitted disease.
How do you keep things safer between the sheets? We explore your options.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia provides insight to the most commonly asked question about the transfer of HIV between partners.
The warning signs of HIV may not be what you think. Our HIV and STD expert Sean Cummings reports in-depth on the HIV "Triad" and other early symptoms of this disease.