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False Positve Result
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False Positve Result

Hi All,

So in May of 2011 I had unprotected sex with an ex-girlfriend for 6+ months, and when we broke up (she had cheated on me with multiple partners) I had gotten tested for all STD's including a type specific genital herpes test.  Everything came back negative (the window was just about 6 weeks).  I then started dating this girl (whom I've been dating for over a year), and I just wanted to get tested again just to be safe.  I tested negative for everything, and had a positive genital herpes result with my igG level at 3.3.  I have read so many forums and thought this was a false positive (but everything I read told me otherwise) - I was devastated.  4 months later (May 2012) I got type specific tested again for genital herpes and my result was "WNL" or negative.  I have never had an outbreak nor have I had any symptoms.  I am so confused and am debating on whether or not I need to take the WB test.  My current girlfriend is informed of all of this and has always tested negative.  Can I assure myself that I'm negative?
15 Comments Post a Comment
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101028_tn?1348750963
repeating your herpes testing and it came back as negative is confirmation that your initial testing was a low positive and falsely positive.

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your quick reply.  I have read that false positives are extremely rare and false negatives are more common.  When people are false negative then that usually means they did not wait until the disease had the chance to seroconvert.  Considering I have been with the same partner for almost 2 years, can I trust my last negative test to be accurate?  IgG is pretty high and my doctor told me that it is genital herpes and to get tested again if I wanted peace of mind.  Now I'm even more confused.  

Also, on a side note I know that shingles has nothing to do with type specific herpes testing, but I received a singles vaccine for my work in December of 2011 (6 weeks prior to my genital herpes "positive" result).  I also had viral meningitis when I was 13.  Is it possible this had any interaction with my test?  I later on ended up developing shingles in March and took aclyvoir for it (interesting enough), and then got re-tested in May of 2012 (last test result) which was negative.  I'm still worried...
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101028_tn?1348750963
actually false positives are unfortunately all too common. up to 50% of tests can be falsely positive in some areas depending on the tests used. It's a well known issue and is addressed in the CDC 2010 std guidelines.

I wouldn't be worried. If you really need the peace of mind, seek out a herpes WB but it's really not worth it.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Grace,

I've been doing more and more research since your last post and everything I read says that testing is absolutely conclusive after 6 months.  Considering my 3.3igG result was positive after 8 months, I'm still very worried.  I got retested about 4 months later and it came back WNL.  The 3.3 being on the high spectrum is what really has me worried.  I have a doctor's appointment Tuesday and I am going to insist on getting the WB Herpes test.  Based on everything you have read, do you think my odds are good for not having HSV-2?  
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Avatar_m_tn
When I say 4 months later, I mean 4 months after the 8 months - so about a year later
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101028_tn?1348750963
certainly get the WB for peace of mind so that you can move forward since you seem to need that.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok thank you.  So in your opinion, you believe that I am looking too much into the positive result and believe that it was a false positive?  I will update you more when I talk to my doctor.  Thanks again!
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101028_tn?1348750963
yes, since your latest testing was negative, it's not likely you really do have hsv2 but get the WB so you can move forward :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Alright I know I'm going to have to beg my doctor to get this done...but I'm going to emphasize how much stress and anxiety it has caused me.  In case you didn't notice I'm a paranoid person.  I mainly don't care if I have it - I would just feel so guilty if I have transmitted it to my partner (whom I intend to marry).  

Thanks again,  I'll let you know how my visit goes !
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Grace,

So I got back from my appointment, and my doctor looked at me like I was crazy as I was describing him my situation.  He said, "your last test was negative" and I said "yes" and he said, "and your partner tested negative" and I said, "yes" and he asked, "and you're monogamous?" again I replied, "yes."  He said I shouldn't have any tests done, but I told him that I needed one done for piece of mind.  He said the WB for HSV-2 is only when lesions are present (I told him that was incorrect), and he didn't think my insurance would cover it.  The whole time he was using apps on his phone to diagnose what test I needed, I felt like I was the doctor in the room.  That all being said, I received a blood test for HSV-1 & 2 IGG AB (not sure what the AB) is.  

So, I have a few questions - is this test accurate?  Can I trust the results?
If I test positive again, what should I do next?

Sorry for the long post.  Again, your input is much appreciated!
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101028_tn?1348750963
if this is another negative hsv2 igg for you, I'd certainly just move forward.    stop back with the results when you get them :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Grace,

So my doctor's office said that they were going to let me view my tests online, but it's been a week and I still had nothing.  I finally just called today and they said that everything came back negative (no quantitative measurements on igG levels).  I was very relieved to hear this.  I asked them to mail me a hard copy of the results so I can look at them to see what it says.  

I finally feel secure saying that I'm negative, but the one positive result is still in the back of my head (and always will be).  I have a feeling that my doctor will refuse to order the WB, considering my result history, and no h/o outbreaks.  I do not think my insurance would cover it, but I am going to ease up on all the testing.....for now at least.  

Based off of everything we have discussed, why do you think my result from Jan 2012 was a high (low) positive?  Do you think I can trust these final results?  I know I should be 100% confident, but the thought still lingers in my head (my girlfriend thinks I'm crazy - I had that one coming).  
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101028_tn?1348750963
I wouldn't bother with any more testing at all. congrats!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you.  I really appreciated all of your input throughout all of this.  I think what you do is great.  So many people are too afraid to ask the types of questions you get in a doctors office, and although this is not a perfect substitute, it is extremely beneficial.  

Thanks again, and if I have any additional questions, I hope you won't mind me bugging you again :)

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101028_tn?1348750963
I always leave a light on :)
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