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HSV2 low positive, awaiting WB results

Hello all,

So here's my story: I went in for a lipid blood panel following a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy. The doctor, finding out that I just broke up with my long-term partner, suggested that I get a full STI screening (including HSV2). Assuming that everything was going to be fine, of course, I went along with it. This was in September. The test used was a HerpeSelect iGG A/B.
My first result came back 0.94 -- equivocal.

We waited about 6 weeks to test again, and this was the result, given to me about 2 weeks ago:
HSV2: 1.3

I was shocked. I've never noticed any symptoms and from what I knew, neither did my partner of 3 years. I've just started seeing a new guy about a month before I got the first test, and he has reported no symptoms as well. These are the only two men I have ever slept with -- the long-term partner with condoms about half of the time (we stopped using them as the relationship progressed) and the new guy with condoms every single time.
With all of the talk of false positives in this range, I wanted to be sure, so I inquired about a Western Blot. Surprisingly, my PCP was fine with ordering it (although she's confident that it will be positive -- I'm pretty sure she's only writing it for me because she knows how anxious this whole ordeal has made me), and wrote me a lab slip. My blood was drawn today and sent to Quest to be sent to U of Washington.

Throughout all of this, I've been hyper-aware of every little itch and tingle. I've been carefully searching for any bumps but have found nothing.
The only thing that truly concerns me is my thigh pain. I've been experiencing it on and off for quite some time now -- the back of my right upper thigh will be sore for a day or two and then it'll go away. This is stressing me out a lot because I can't tell if it's indicative of my HSV2 status (I think it's called herpetic neuralgia?), or simply part of having neuropathy. I experience aches and pains all over my body, so it's difficult to tell what is what.

I guess mostly I'm just looking for opinions on what the outcome of my WB may be. It's all speculation, of course, and I'm just going to have to wait for the results to come back. But for now, I've been panicking myself to death. Is this leg pain a sure sign of HSV2? It would be nice to have an idea of what to realistically expect from this result.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
I have seen many situations such as yours where a HerpeSelect Elisa was either equivocal and then positive only to be overruled by a negative Western Blot. It's entirely possible. Stay positive. With no lesions and significant symptoms, I wouldn't be surprised if the WB comes back negative.

If it's positive, then the Elisa accurately diagnosed a recent infection, which could be from your latest/current "new guy." Has he tested himself? Even with condoms it's entirely possible to contract the virus.

Either way, hope for the best. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply. He hasn't tested himself yet -- when he tried to go to his PCP and ask for a herpes blood test, he was asked if he had symptoms and when he told them no, his doctor said, "Well, then you don't have it"! He knew that to be untrue just as much as I do, but we talked about it and chose not to have him tested until my WB came back. He has been amazingly supportive and has told me that he plans to stick around no matter what the outcome.
Avatar universal
I was also very thrown off by the person drawing my blood for the WB. My doc didn't have the blood drawn at her office because she said I'd have to go off-site, so she just wrote me the lab slip and sent me on my way. I called the local hospital's diagnostics lab and had the woman on the phone confirm to be that they would send my sample to Quest, who would without a doubt send it to U of Washington for a Western Blot. I asked for verbal confirmation on this twice. However, when I got to the lab, the gentleman who drew my blood was confused and said he had a difficult time finding the test -- eventually it got worked out, but he seemed to know nothing about the WB or where my blood was going.
I'm a little concerned by this because I have heard in the past that Quest does not always do Western Blot testing. I don't want them to end up doing some other kind of inhibition assay when my doctor SPECIFICALLY WROTE "western blot for herpes type 2" on the lab slip.
They can't do that... right?
Avatar universal
If the WB comes back positive, I would personally recommend having him (current guy) tested as well. If his blood test is positive as well with high numerical values, he could have been the source of your infection. Think about that. Him not testing or having excuses would raise eye brows for me. Remember, you can easily test for HSV by simply Googling for third party testing providers. You don't have to be seen by a doctor. Just a thought!

Regardless of the result, there's life beyond herpes. You'll be fine. Please post your results when they do come back. Here's hoping to a negative!
Avatar universal
I would still like other opinions on this.
Avatar universal
Grace, I notice that you're from PA. Do you have any experience with ordering the WB/know of people that ordered the WB around here? I just got blood drawn for it on the 27th and was told that Quest would sent it out, but I've heard in the past that they don't do the WB for HSV-2.
Any other opinions about this situation would also be appreciated!
Avatar universal
Update: Still no word from UW with my Western Blot results. I feel like I've been waiting forever to hear back from them. It's killing me.
I haven't had any symptoms since I last posted. I'm still hoping that I get the results back and the doc tells me that this was all a huge false positive scare. Fingers crossed.
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