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+ IGG / - IGM
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+ IGG / - IGM

Last time I had a blood test for HSV (not specific) was in 2008 which was negative.  Ive had little clusters of bumps on my lips for awhile which i assumed were fordyce granules because they look exactly like it but now i just dont know anymore what i have here is a little bit of information

2008-2010 - 1 partner (like that matters)
February 2011 - Had protected sex
April 2011 - 1 lump under the skin on my labia appeared it popped and was filled with blood and pus
went to the doctor and was told it was just an ingrown hair that maybe got infected
May 2011 - Engaged in foreplay skin to skin contact but no sex
July 2011 - 1 lump under the skin came back different area this time my mons pubis but it popped on its own again filled with pus and blood i went to the doctor she said it was just a cyst nothing worrisome well i was worried and demanded a blood test and she also swabbed my mouth

ive never had a "true" cold sore that crusts over on my mouth or down there i know it varies from person to person however the test results came back and im very depressed at this point.  she said i have been exposed to the virus in the past but there is no present infection.  well if thats the case what are those lumps ? also the testing was not specific is it hsv1 or 2 ? i also demanded they find out so now i have to wait on the results for that.  im so confused and devastated.  also just because i have the antibodies does that really mean i have the virus?
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15 Comments Post a Comment
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897535_tn?1295210035
You had a combined test which was a waste of your time and money. You need an IgG type specific blood test (NOT IgM, either).
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Avatar_m_tn
but the fact that the igg came back positive doesnt that mean i have the virus regardless of which type it is ? whether its 1 or 2
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Avatar_n_tn
You didn't have an IGG test. You said your test was "not specific". That's how she knew you had an IgM test and not an IGG test. An IGG test is type specific. An IgM test is non specific. That's why petal said you need to get an IGG test. The fact you got the IgM test is not your fault and there's no way you would have known if you weren't already aware. A lot of doctors are giving that test without knowing it's now considered faulty in regards to testing for HSV in adults.

The IgM test is not reliable and gives false readings and doesn't tell you what kind of herpes you have. Basically, you need to throw out all that testing that you had done and forget what the doctor told you about you being exposed and all that stuff because it's based on that IgM reading. Go back (maybe to another doctor if you like) and specify that you want 'only' a type specific IGG test done and that you do not want the IgM test. Get an IGG done for HSV1 specific and get an IGG for HSV2 specific.

Also, when a doctor tells you that you have been exposed to the virus but there is no present infection, what she means to say is you are infected but are not experiencing symptoms. (ie: it's inactive at the moment). But again, since the doctor is telling you this based on a faulty test, then you need to ignore it.

The doc would need to do a culture test on any lesions you have. And then also have the IGG blood test done to determine what type it is...if in fact you even have herpes.

What you've described may not even be herpes. It could be ingrown hair folicles and little cysts just as the doctor said.

Get correct testing first before you jump to definite conclusions
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101028_tn?1348750963
actually yes you did have igg testing done - just it was non-type specific which is a waste of time for adults.

did your mouth swab come back negative?

a + non-specific test doesn't mean that you have to have at least 1 type of hsv. It has a very high false positive rate  which is why we've gotten away from ordering them. they can be positive for other reasons.

your previous genital symptoms don't sound like herpes. they sound more like bacterial skin infections.

at this point, be seen every time you have symptoms for a proper work up.
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Avatar_n_tn
I stand corrected. Sorry if I added to the confusion. You had a non-type specific IGG test. And I agree, I personally can't see much point in a non-type specific test for adults. But...I guess there is some point in it. But then again, I couldn't see any point in the IgM test I got either. Especially in my case when the two different methods to measure (EIA & IFA) completely contradicted each other. Oh well, I'm still learning about these confound tests. :/
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Avatar_n_tn
Ok, I'm a little more edcated now. I wasn't aware of a non specific IGG test but it seems it's an older test. I found this statement posted to someone in regards to testing for HSV2 that someone was doing.

"It sounds like the doctor gave you the wrong test, either an IgM test, or a combination IgG test for HSV l & ll. The IgM test is a non type specific blood test and should be avoided. The result only muddy the waters and add confusion. There are older non-type specific IgG blood tests. These tests alone aren't much help since 60-80% of the population has oral herpes (HSV1), and you won't know your HSV2 status."

Interesting.
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Avatar_m_tn
my mouth swab came back negative

she didnt culture my lump down there because she said there was nothing to culture based on what it looked like,  this happened twice once with the dr, second time with the nurse practitioner

at this point they are gonna use that blood drawn for a type specific test i should be hearing back within a few days.  im so scared i dont know what to expect from the results especially since my mouth came back negative

when you guys say this test is faulty to begin with what do you mean? the combo test detected i was exposed in the past isnt that enough for me to believe i have herpes? and lets say it is false positive what other factors could make this non specific test become positive ? how common is this ?   thank you everyone for responding it means a lot
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been reading a little more trying to understand the combo test..

Seems that if you got the non specific IGG combo test done then the results are one combined number for both HSV 1 & 2. And depending on the results, you may need to do a follow up. (Which just causes you to have to spend more money). So, if you get a negative result on the non specific IGG combo, then there's nothing to be concerned about from that point, but, if you get a positive on the non specific IGG combo then you have no way of knowing how to break that number down to which type is which. Therefore, you'd need to get a followup test done with a type specific IGG test to determine what you have, and see if any part of that prievious total number is positive for HSV2 or not.

The issue I'm getting from it, is that 60% of the population already have HSV1 anyway. (many from early childhood) But many don't show symptoms and may never, so getting that combo test done, is not going to tell you if you already fall into that majority or not, and or whether you've acquired something like HSV2 through sexual transmission. Hence the need for the type specific test. Which if you'd ordered that to begin with, you would have saved money. Ordering the type specific IGG tests will give you separate numbers for each type.

You're asking, well if the combined test shows positive, regardless of how it breaks down, it' still means I am positive for 'some' type of HSV, right. So what's the difference if I get type specific done or not? I've still got herpes.

Well, I'm not fully clear on this myself but I've seen some of the posts here regarding some people's 'type specific' numbers that were posted, and there seems to be some wiggle room for interpretations on certain "borderline" ranges. For example, numbers in the "low positive" range, (being that if they are below a certain level but still detected as"positive"), apparently doesn't really mean much by some people's interpretation and could still be considered a negative if it's 'borderline positive. Also, I saw someone posted "intermediate" readings which I gathered to really be only as good as a negative interpretation. Seems you really have to be a good ways out of the reference range to be definite. Also, I read that there's no such thing as a 'zero' reading which is why there is a range to measure to to decide if you are infected or not. There's always going to be a number.

So, I guess this is part of the reason Grace and others like to see the actual numbers from type-specific tests posted to make a better interpretation of it for you. The non type specific test with it's combined number doesn't allow you to make any distinctions at all that way.

This is just what I'm concluding as I'm reading & looking at all the info on the tests out there to try and make sense of a bunch of it for my own understanding, geesh! But I could be totally off base,...again. :P I guess we'll find out.
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101028_tn?1348750963
many things can cause the non-type specific tests to be + , including prior viral infections. it really just isn't worthwhile to use.

odds are this isn't herpes going on. every time you have symptoms orally or genitally, be seen within 48 hours of their appearance for an exam and testing to try to figure out just what is going on. Many things can cause symptoms orally and genitally and sometimes it takes awhile to figure out the cause.
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Avatar_m_tn
isnt true though that many people are asymptomatic ? if this is true how common is this ? i find it hard to believe to live your life with herpes and not have any sores.   also can my sores be just a very mild case of herpes ? im so mad at the doctor and staff why didnt they just culture it.  the nurse gave me more bad news she said there are no numbers to give out the test just checks for antibodies and the new test will check which one it is . im going to another doctor on saturday what can i specifically tell him ? im so frustrated and anxious this clinic seems very incompetent to me :(
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1705114_tn?1314222104
Around 90% of people with herpes have no idea they are infected until testing.  It is extremely more common than thought.  Is it possible you that the sores are herpes related? possibly...but as Grace stated odds are this isn't the case.  No more what ifs! We see too many people freak themselves out over herpes when it shouldn't even be considered.  Follow Grace's advice. She's the best :)
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101028_tn?1348750963
about 20% of folks who have hsv2 genitally are truly asymptomatic, the rest are all having symptoms but just don't recognize them as such. Who would think twice about having soreness and redness after a "good" weekend of sex?  If you've never had anal sex, why think some itching/pain there is possibly herpes?  who doesn't get itchy and red down yonder here and there? unfortunately most folks aren't getting tested to know their status to think twice about symptoms like these so they have sex when they have symptoms, thinking it's just irritation or something and expose their partners to active virus.

I can help you with your new test results when you get them too.

hang in there, it might not be quick but you will have better answers soon! continue to be seen every time you have new symptoms.
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Avatar_m_tn
here are my results from quest diagnostics
HSV 1 IGG TYPE SPECIFIC > 5.00
HSV 2 IGG TYPE SPECIFIC < 0.90

So i tested positive for HSV 1  ... i dont know how to take this news where to go from here I am so scared and ignorant the more i google the more i freak myself out ... i have found peace of mind through this forum ... im just scared that i have exposed my loved ones to this virus my bf recently had the flu i hope it wasnt because of me  ... if i have children I can possibly give them herpes ... so much is going through my mind I dont know what to make with this information :(
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Avatar_m_tn
Ive heard IGM testing is pretty bad but how accurate is an IGG type specific test? i mean i have NEVER had a cold sore in my life could this test still be faulty even though 5.0 is pretty high up there or am i just in denial ? the nurse practitioner said its because my body is healthy and thats why i havent gotten a cold sore yet
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101028_tn?1348750963
most of us will test + for hsv1. Most of us don't get obvious cold sores to know that we have the virus orally. Your genital symptoms didn't sound like herpes from your description of them so I'd assume at this point that your hsv1 is oral, not genital. http://www.ashastd.org/herpes/herpes_learn_oralherpes.cfm  has terrific info on oral herpes for more reading.

You can thank your mom and dad for the gene's that keep you from having obvious cold sores, it's not because of your immune system :)

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