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Low positive hsv 2 = recent infection?

Today, my doctor called to tell me I tested positive for HSV 2. My lab results revealed 1.33 for HSV Type 2 Specific Ab, IgG w/Rflx and 1.22 for HSV, IgM I/II Combination.

Last Thursday, I went in for testing four days after I had skin-to-skin genital contact (though not penetrative intercourse) with a man who is quite the lady's man. That, combined with the fact I was sore in the left side of my vaginal area, prompted the testing.

The doctor physically examined me, and said the soreness was musculature, and that she saw no evidence of herpes at all. She thought the soreness was from my horseback riding that same weekend. She seemed very confident it was not herpes -- so I was shocked when she called me today to tell me I am positive.

I tested negative for both types 1 and 2 back in 2016. I've had two sexual partners since then and used condoms. I have never had a herpes outbreak.

My question: the fact that I tested four days after getting herpes, could that explain why the positive results are so low? (1.33) If so, at least it would paint a clearer picture of when I got hsv 2. Though I am hoping against hope it is a false positive.

Could someone please tell me if I *would* expect a low positive value at first exposure, that goes up over time? Do I have any hope to cling to that this is merely a false positive?

Will be getting more testing and Western Blot done in future.
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207091 tn?1337709493
Okay, so first, breathe.

The herpes IgM is a TERRIBLE test, and shouldn't be done on adults. That is as likely to be wrong as it is right, so act like you didn't even have that test done.




The CDC recommends that the IgM test not be done.

Now, the IgG. At a 1.33, there is about an 85% chance that's a false positive. Most experts - and the CDC - believe that anything under a 3.5 needs to be confirmed with a different type of test because there's a good chance it's a false positive.

However, at 4 days post encounter, the IgG test shows nothing from that. I don't even think you're developing antibodies or anything - at 4 days, it's just too soon. Some people just test in that low positive range.

If you are still afraid it's herpes, test again in a few months. It can take up to 4 months to show positive on an IgG. Most do by 6 weeks - the minimum is probably 2 weeks, and that's rare.

In the meantime, if you get any sores or blisters, get your doctor to culture those as soon as possible. If you can get that done within 48 hours of a sore appearing, it is far more likely to be an accurate result.

So hang in there. No matter what happens, you'll be okay. :)
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Thank you--I keep oscillating between wondering if this is from prior exposure to HSV 2, more than 6 weeks ago, or if at all possibly from last week. My plan is to try and get the biokit done in the next two weeks, and then the Western Blot in 4 months. I've googled searching for where to get the biokit test--but it's unclear to me. Do I have to call around to various doctors asking if they perform it?
I should add that the last time I had actual, penetrative sex was a little over 2 months ago.
What kind of skin to skin contact did you have recently? I'm assuming it was grinding or rubbing? How long did it last?

Yes, you'll have to call around to get the BioKit, but ask your doctor first and see if they'll order it.

I know it's easy to let your mind wonder and try to figure out where it's all coming from, but don't forget that there is a really good chance - 85% - that this is a false positive.
Thank you for replying! He rubbed his genitals on mine for about a minute before I reminded him that we weren't having sex.
Another question -- should the fact that I tested negative back in 2016, then low positive this week,  make me less hopeful about the chance of false positive?
Nope, it shouldn’t change your hope level at all. It’s still an 85% chance of a false positive.

Rubbing for a minute isn’t a huge risk, but it’s not zero. It’s low enough that if it were me, I wouldn’t worry.

Try to hang in there. I know it’s not easy to wait.
I've scheduled a call with Terri to get the Western Blot done next week. I'm pretty scared. I've never had an outbreak of blisters or legions, but I have had itchy episodes over the past year that I thought were due to a yeast infection or underwear material. This is making me pretty pessimistic. Thank you, AuntieJessie, for giving us a place to express our fears, and for responding.
Awww you're welcome. I'm sorry you're going through this.

I feel so badly for you all in this limbo. When I got herpes, I KNEW. I got big, bad ugly blisters, and tested positive on a culture, and tested positive for hsv2 on an IgG- very clearly - within a few weeks. No one wants herpes, but at least my answers were clear and fast.

Remember that your chances of getting herpes are so, so low, and that the chances of this being a false positive are, statistically, 85%, just based on the number.

Whatever happens, you're going to be just fine. We'll get you through it. :)
Wanted to give an update: I just got the results of my Western Blot, and I am negative for both hsv1 and hsv2. So my positive IGG 1.33 ended up being a false negative. It's been four+ months since my initial post, so I have confidence in this result. I'm glad I didn't just accept my doctor's diagnosis as hard truth, and got the confirmation testing.

Thank you, Auntie Jessi, for the reassuring words as I grappled with this news. It helped immensely to know there was someone knowledgeable that I could talk to.
So my positive IGG 1.33 ended up being a *false positive
Thank you for posting! I have been devastated from a 1.25 IGG test a few months ago but I haven’t done the western blot test yet. I am married....have been for 15 years however was sexually assaulted prior to my husband and never completed follow up testing like I should have. My husband is supportive so that is not an issue but it is just stressful and I didn’t want to spend the money for western blot if it was just going to confirm what we already know. With Covid going on, were you able to get testing fairly easy?
Cat04001, yep, I went through Terri Warren and AnyLabTestNow. I had my choice of appointments for the blood draw and I was the only person there when I went. I received my results a little over 3 weeks later.

For me, the hsv2 stress came from wondering whether or not I *really* had it. I realized my mind would be much more at peace knowing the final verdict, either way. So if it is the same for you, I think it would be money worth spent. Best of luck!
On your original IGG test was your hsv 1 positive or negative? Mine was negative and I read that if it was positive the then the likelihood of false positive hsv 2 was lower so you more than likely have hsv 2 if your hsv 1 was negative. Hope that makes sense. I will work on getting in touch with terri warren
My HSV1 came back negative on both the IGG and Western Blot.
Thank you for updating, and congrats!

I'm glad you have the answer, either way. I feel for you all - the not knowing for sure seems worse than knowing you have it. My tests were so definitively positive from the start, and I think that really helped in accepting it. I can't imagine waiting months to find out for sure.

Kay - I'm very happy for you, and wish you everything wonderful. We're always here if you need us. :)
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