Herpes Expert Forum
Do I have Herpes? Please help clarify.
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Welcome to the Herpes forum. This forum is for questions and support pertaining to herpes simplex virus infections (HSV-1 and 2) and herpes zoster (shingles) and the virus that causes it, varicella zoster virus. Questions about genital herpes are welcome both here and on the STD Forum.

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Do I have Herpes? Please help clarify.

Hello Teri,

Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my question.
I have been confused for some time about whether or not I have Herpes I and II. I have never had a cold sore and never had any "classic" genital herpes symptoms. However, I had a blood test done about 6 months ago that was allegedly "type-specific".. IGG I think and I came back positive for both. I don't know the exact numbers and when I asked my doctor, he said they didn't matter. I got a lot of conflicting advice about the test (could be false positive) and that I don't have "asymptomatic shedding" because I never have had an outbreak (that I am aware of). I was not diagnosed with genital herpes given the results of my bloodwork. I asked if there was further testing and my doctor thought it wasn't necessary.
Many years ago, I did develop sores on my tongue after making out with my boyfriend at the time and giving him oral sex.. was that Herpes? There were about 4 of them and they lasted a couple of weeks. From what I remember they looked different from canker sores, but I'm not sure if they were Herpes sores. I know that is very rare (especially to get HSV 2 that way), but I never got it checked because I was stressed at the time and had a cold (thought they were from my cold or something). I didn't think anything of it. I have never seen sores on this man(we have been on and off for some time), but he is not the most honest about these kinds of things. There definitely weren't any present when I gave him oral sex a while back.
Basically, my GYN told me to forget it, the tests are not always accurate, and just come in ASAP if I ever have any symptoms. I am just worried about potentially spreading something to partners. I already have HPV (both genital warts and hx of cervical dysplasia requiring a LEEP procedure) and I am afraid of getting more STD's (especially HIV). I have only been with 5 men. I know there is a link between HSV 2 antibodies and risk of getting HIV.

55646_tn?1263664409
It is absolutely essential that you get a physical copy of your HSV test results.  The numbers DO matter, definitely.  There are some false positives in the low positive range (1.1 to 3.5).  In fact, half the people who test positive in that range are false positives.  

You need a very clear picture of where you stand with this situation, and frankly, I don't think you are getting good medical advice on this particular topic.  If you would get a copy of your test results and post them exactly as you see them I will help you interpret them and determine if you need a confirmatory test.  

If you are accurately positive for HSV 2, then you can shed virus (and do) when you do and don't have symptoms.  

I hope you will quickly take charge of this situation and proactively work to sort this out.  I will help you.

Terri
6 Comments
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I ran out of space..

I appreciate any advice or guidance you could offer. Thank you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your reply.

I just got off the phone with my doctor and she said that there were no number ranges. She said I had an IGG test and it says positive next to both HSV1 and HSV2. I did not have an IGM test because I was not having any symptoms/outbreak at the time.

She faxed over a copy if my results and all it says is HSV1 POS, HSV2 POS.

What do you think?
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55646_tn?1263664409
What lab did it? specifically

Terri
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Terri,

I don't know.. my doctor started to get very frustrated with me when I asked questions, particularly about the numerical values (she said there were NO numerical values at all!) I remember her asking for a "type specific" IGG Herpes blood test, but that's it. I am going to see my PCP next week-can you tell me what test I could ask her to do for me so I can get to the bottom of this? Between this confusion and a potential exposure I have been worried about re: HIV, I have been a mess the last few weeks.
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55646_tn?1263664409
Just ask for a physical copy of the test results.
What you want, or what I think you should ask for, is the herpeselect test from Quest or the Captia test from LabCorp.  These will give you numeric values.  You want type specific IgG antibody testing.

Does that help?

Terri
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55646_tn?1263664409
Terri Warren, RN, Adult Nurse Pr...Blank
Westover Heights Clinic
Portland, OR
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