Herpes Expert Forum
Herpes Blood Tests Accuracy
About This Forum:

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.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Herpes Blood Tests Accuracy

How accurate are blood tests for herpes? I have taken two blood tests four months apart, and they both came back negative. What are the chances of that happening and still having herpes?
I will explain. In September I began dating a girl and we had unprotected sex. Shortly afterward, I came down with a fever, aches, swollen lymph nodes, and my penis swelled up. But I had no visible lesions, rashes or marks. My doctor initially thought it was a herpes outbreak. We did a blood test about 10 days after the exposure and it came back negative. We then repeated the blood test four months later and it came back negative again.
I have been in a monogamous relationship with the same girl since September. She has also tested negative and has no symptoms.
In the last few weeks I have broken out with 4 or 5 lesions  at the base of my penis. They are not painful, but they are red with white in the middle and scab over. I went to see a dermatologist who took swabs and now I have to wait 3 weeks for the results.
What are the chances that my two blood tests taken 4 months apart didn't catch the herpes? Is this common?
Related Discussions
55646_tn?1263664409
If a dermatologist said he thought it was herpes, that's a bit concerning.  However, research says that 1 out of every 5 times a clinician looks at something and calls it herpes by exam only, they are wrong.  That's why we have lab tests.  
I would await the swab test results.  I can't believe it would take three weeks, that makes me think they are doing culture and not the much better PCR test.  Might check on that.  And if it is positive, be certain that they request typing of the virus.  how soon after the symptoms came up did you go in for swab testing?
Unless the swab test is positive, I would go with the antibody results.

Terri
4 Comments
Blank
55646_tn?1263664409
I think the chances are high that you are truly negative.  When you say they are red with white, have you looked at any pictures of molluscum contagiosum?  Check that out online, and see if it might look similar.  The other issue here is that the antibody test for HSV 1 picks up 9 out of 10 cases (HSV 2 much higher), so its possible for the test to miss the infection if it is HSV 1.  If you ever get another lesion, it is best to have that swab tested immediately for the most accurate answer.

Terri
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your response. I'm trying to garner as many opinions as possible. Judging by the pics of molluscum contagiosum, it's difficult for me to tell -- but I would say that my lesions are larger and not so raised.
I'm very stressed and frustrated. Since my initial post, I've seen a urologist and a dermatologist. The urologist thinks I do not have herpes (based on my consistent negative IGG tests) but the dermatologist thinks I definitely do have herpes (based on his inspection of my lesions). From someone with your expertise, how rare is it for someone to have consistent negative IGG tests and yet still have HSV?

I have been tested three times in the past 12 months. In the past 6 months I have been in a monogamous relationship with a woman who has no symptoms and negative IGG tests. Here are my results:

Jan. 2011:

HSV 1 IGG Herpeselect AB       0.08        0.00 -- 0.89
HSV 2 IGG Herpeselect AB       0.10        0.00 -- 0.89

Sept. 2010: 

HSV 1 IGG Herpeselect AB      0.21          0.00 -- 0.89
HSV 2 IGG Herpeselect AB      0.27          0.00 -- 0.89  

April 2010:

HSV 1 IGG Herpeselect AB     0.27           0.00 -- 0.89
HSV 2 IGG Herpeselect AB     0.10           0.00 -- 0.89

  




Thanks for your response. I'm trying to garner as many opinions as possible. Judging by the pics of molluscum contagiosum, it's difficult for me to tell -- but I would say that my lesions are larger and not so raised.
I'm very stressed and frustrated. Since my initial post, I've seen a urologist and a dermatologist. The urologist thinks I do not have herpes (based on my consistent negative IGG tests) but the dermatologist thinks I definitely do have herpes (based on his inspection of my lesions). From someone with your expertise, how rare is it for someone to have consistent negative IGG tests and yet still have HSV?

I have been tested three times in the past 12 months. In the past 6 months I have been in a monogamous relationship with a woman who has no symptoms and negative IGG tests. Here are my results:

Jan. 2011:

HSV 1 IGG Herpeselect AB       0.08        0.00 -- 0.89
HSV 2 IGG Herpeselect AB       0.10        0.00 -- 0.89

Sept. 2010: 

HSV 1 IGG Herpeselect AB      0.21          0.00 -- 0.89
HSV 2 IGG Herpeselect AB      0.27          0.00 -- 0.89  

April 2010:

HSV 1 IGG Herpeselect AB     0.27           0.00 -- 0.89
HSV 2 IGG Herpeselect AB     0.10           0.00 -- 0.89

  







 


 
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I think they are doing a culture actually. Why is this less accurate? I went to get the swab about a week after the symptoms occured. I just couldn't get an appointment sooner.
But I'm just so frustrated and confused when I have all these persistent negative IGG tests, yet have physical symptoms of herpes. Is this common?
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
55646_tn?1263664409
Terri Warren, RN, Adult Nurse Pr...Blank
Westover Heights Clinic
Portland, OR
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank