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Chance of hsv2 at 2.63 to be false positive?

Hi all,
I know I have hsv1 for many years, never had an outbreak or I don’t remember if I had one as a kid. Had tested before and was positive 12.4 and 13. I had exposure on August 10 2019 and tested for everything mid November, everything came back negative but the hav1 at 52, and hsv2 at 1.02 which is equivocal. I thought it’s negative because I tested low positive in the past, hsv2 was 1.22 and few weeks later was 1.20, so I did western blot and came out negative. After the western blot I did couple of igg test and they were negative. On 24th of December 2019 something came on my lip and become a full blown outbreak, I don’t remember experiencing something like that before. I know I have hsv1 so I didn’t pay much attention to it. Yesterday I decided to do a hsv2 test to see if the 1.03 from my previous test got higher and got today a positive of 2.63. Since August I haven’t been sexually active.
How much of a chance is that to be false positive?
Also, is there a chance the outbreak on my lip to be hsv2?  

Thanks
1 Responses
207091 tn?1337709493
COMMUNITY LEADER
What was the timeline on your Western Blot?

Why, after the WB was negative, did you keep testing?

What was your exposure in Aug - oral sex? Vaginal sex? Anal? Protected or unprotected?

Oral hsv2 is very rare. It's possible, but not likely at all.

Experts say that anything under a 3.5 could be a false positive, but without knowing your risks, it's hard for me to say how likely that is.
15 Comments
First time tested positive for hsv2 at 1.22 was September of 2016, then October 2016 hsv2 was at 1.20, then November of 2016 did WB and it was negative for hsv2. Tested again for hsv2 igg December of 2017 and was negative <0.90.
The most recent exposure was on August 10 2019, unprotected, stupid I know! Tested November 13 for everything, the only positive is hsv1 at 52.50, and hsv2 at 1.03. Outbreak on my lip December 24, tested hsv2 2.63 on January 8 , value at 2.63. My concern is that the value spiked from 1.03 to 2.63, that’s 8 weeks apart. Makes me think I’m one of those people that develops antibodies slower then normal.
Do you think having an hsv1 outbreak creates more hsv1 antibodies and the test picked some of them to show positive hsv2 ?
Thanks
September  2016 - hsv2 1.22
October 2016  - hsv2 1.20
December 2017 - hsv2 <.90

November 2016 - WB negative

Exposure 8/10/19 - unprotected sex

November 13 - hsv1 - 52.50
                            hsv2 - 1.03

December 24 - cold sore on lip

January 8, 2020 - hsv2 - 2.63

Is that timeline correct? Why were you testing in 2016? Had you waited 4 months to test for the IgG and the WB?

It's possible that you have hsv2 now, and didn't before, though it's unlikely since in Nov., you tested with a 1.03. If you'd had it before, your number would have likely been higher.

At 2.63, it's hard to say if this is a false positive. The only way to know is to get a WB. You can get one now and it will be accurate.

Thanks again for your response. The time line is correct. T tested in 2016 just to make sure I’m clean, no symptoms. When I saw the low positive wanted to make sure it’s false positive so I did the WB. Every time I tested I made  sure it’s at least 14 weeks since my last sexual encounter. I’m sure I didn’t have it before August 2019,  tested many times and it was negative, and no outbreaks.  One encounter with a person I know from long time ago, and I trust, that was in August 2019. One outbreak on my lip December 2019 which I hope it’s from hsv1.
It was hard to get the WB, I hope I can get it again. I’ll test igg next week again to see what it shows.
Thanks
Testing with another IgG is pointless. If you're getting false positives, you'll probably continue to get false positives. You need a different kind of test.

If you can get a BioKit or WB, that would be best.
I was thinking to get biokit, I did it before, but the problem is that they come in a set of 20 for around $500-600. You can perform it yourself in 10 minutes and get the results right away. I like it, and I know it’s way more accurate than the elisa igg test that they use in quest diagnostics and lab corp.  I can’t find a place that they perform that test, or buy individual ones. I’m willing to get the set of 20 and if there is someone else that wants to use it, we can split the cost.

Western blot was hard to get,  or I would say it cost me way more than the biokit.

Your doctor can't order the biokit? Why do you need to order it? Talk to your doctor first. It may be a better investment for him/her to do that than you.
As we all know most doctors are clueless when it comes to hsv1&2. I had to find out the hard way. I had no clue what herpes is until 2016 when I was diagnosed positive, which turn out to be false positive. My doctor said I’m positive, prescribed me antivirals and sent me home. I asked to retest and she told me I’m positive so there is no need for that. I did it anyway. I’m glad I wanted to know more about it and find a lot of info here on this forum. Found out that low positive can be false positive and need different confirmation test.
Oh yeah, doctors often suck with herpes. It's awful.

Keep us posted on what you decide to do. :)
An update:
I couldn’t find anyone to do a bio kit hsv2 test, and also couldn’t buy any. I found couple of med supplies but they told me it was discontinued. So I went to Seattle and did the western blot and just got the results which is positive for hsv2. I had sex once with that partner, I didn’t see any symptoms, and we talked she said she is negative. At 13 weeks after the exposure I was equivocal at 1.02 IGG test at quest. Now couple of months later positive on WB. I haven’t gotten any symptoms in the genital area. On 24th of December I had outbreak on my lower lip, my first outbreak ever. I didn’t give her oral. And still questioning if that was hsv2 outbreak orally. It’s hard to understand it, but I guess I have to just get to used to it. 1 in 10000 ratio to be spread from woman to man seams big but not in my case.
I meant the ratio 1 in 10000 seams small
If you didn't give her oral, you can't have it orally.

Since you definitely have hsv1, that would account for your cold sore.

Also, since you have hsv1, having those antibodies means you wouldn't have a primary outbreak, which most often are the big, bad outbreaks people associate with new infections. That usually only happens when someone doesn't have hsv1 or hsv2 already.

Did you have any sex in between your tests in 2016 and Aug 2019? Perhaps it's not this person that infected you, but someone prior to that? Even with a regular partner?

And it's really easy for someone to say they don't have it. Someone can go into their doctor, ask to be tested "for everything", and still not get tested for herpes because doctors aren't educated on what herpes testing entails, or they inappropriately do an IgM test that is unreliable, or something. Their doctors will tell them they are negative "for everything", and they assume that means herpes, when herpes wasn't included, or the wrong test was done. Or, you know, they lie. Maybe she didn't test, or who knows?

You may never figure this out. In the end, you have to determine if that matters.

How are you doing mentally with this? Has anyone talked to you about suppression or anything?
Thanks for your input.
I did have sex between 2016 and 2019 with others, but every time I do I wait 4 months and test, all were  negative. I had sex beginning of January 2019, then tested negative end of April 2019, then was the encounter in August. Talked to her and she is claiming she is negative, will do test tomorrow and let me know.

I’m angry at myself. I’m very careful choosing who I sleep with and here I am, positive. I guess I’ll be ok, just need time.

No one talked to me about suppression. I guess I have to have outbreaks to do that, so far I don’t have any. If I get involved with someone I’ll talk to her what I have and maybe then I’ll do it.
You can always talk to Terri Warren on her site if you want THE expert's opinion on it all - https://westoverheights.com/herpes-questions/

Don't be angry at yourself. Your selection method didn't fail - something in the system did. Maybe her doctor did, or her testing wasn't within the right time frame, or who knows?

Maybe one of your tests along the way missed something, unless you got a WB 4 months after every encounter. The IgG misses 8% of hsv2 infections.

In any case, we're here if you have questions about living with herpes, treatment, etc. I've had it for over 15 years. Give yourself time to let it settle, and you'll be fine.
It’s hard to know who you get it from even if you test after every encounter. The girl that I was with August 2019 got tested and she is negative. Before her my last exposure was December 2018, so it took almost a year for me to develop antibodies. I had some bio kit test left, and I tested negative September 2019. It’s very weird
No, I wouldn't say that it took you a year to develop antibodies. I'd say you had some false negative testing in there somewhere. If you feel like getting an expert's opinion, ask Terri Warren. I'd be interested to see what she says, too.
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