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Herpes: IgM blood test for new infection
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Herpes: IgM blood test for new infection

Hi Terri,

I could not find this forum earlier, so I posted the below on free advice site (sorry):

My daughter developed HSV1 a year and a half ago.  She got a second occurrence (a year and a half later) about a month ago.  Her doctor gave her IGG test last month and it was positive for HSV1 and negative for HSV2.  Dr. Handsfield, Dr. Hook and you have been very helpful the last ob.

My daughter has ALOT of anxiety during an occurence - she said that she had another outbreak last Friday.  Her doctor was not available so she went to another doctor.  She told the doctor that she has HSV1 and alot of anxiety over it.

The doctor said that she thought it was a yeast infection so she cultured the yeast infection and yeast infection came back positive. The doctor took a IgM blood test for herpes2.  The doctor called me today and said the IgM test showed a possible new infection and "that she bettter get a therapist".  She also said she was going to see if the lab could take out the HSV1 part (?)

How accurate is the IgM blood test to discover "new infection of HSV2" if the person already has HSV1?  I think I should go to another doctor and get a IGG test, would an emergency room do the IGG blood test for her?

I know my daughter's anxiety of this is "over the top" but she has seen therapists but it has not worked yet. Thanks
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She should not be concerned about HSV 2 infection unless she has had a new recent partner from whom the HSV 2 could have come.  Anxiety is normal, I can tell she is struggling with this.  She could certainly make a phone appointment with me to talk about this or any therapist who knows a lot about herpes

Terri
5 Comments
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55646_tn?1263664409
The IgM blood test is extremely poor at sorting out if a patient has a new or recurrent infection.  It also has many false positives.  It should never be done to try to diagnose genital herpes because there are so many problems with it.  

So does she have it genitally?  Orally?  What is your daughter anxious about specifically?  

In terms of what is going on right now, she could be confusing a yeast infection with a herpes outbreak.  What should be done is a swab test for herpes to sort out if this is a herpes outbreak or not.  Yeast and herpes can exist together, most certainly.  

If she has had HSV 1 swabbed from a lesion, why does she want a blood antibody test?  I'm confused.

Terri
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My daughter has genital HSV1. She had her first outbreak March 2011 and then her second outbreak September 2012, one year and half later.

She thought she had an outbreak last week, the doctor took at culture but ONLY for yeast, because she said it not look like herpes, it looked like yeast.  The culture came back positive for yeast. I wish she had cultured it for herpes too. Everything is gone now so there is nothing to swab.

I spoke to the doctor yesterday, and I was wrong, the doctor did three tests: IGG, yeast culture and IGM.  The IGG came back positive for HSV1 and negative for HSV2 - the same numbers as a couple of months ago.  The yeast came back positive, and the IGM came back inclusive about new infection.

My daughter has come to terms with HSV1 but she always has anxiety about getting HSV2 - so anytime she has a pimple so freaks out.  

I guess my question is:  considering the tests that they took, should she be concerned?  I am also wondering if this type of "anxiety" is normal, where can she get help for this also.

Thanks

Thanks



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Avatar_n_tn
Terri,

I will tell her. My daughter says her anxiety comes from getting HSV1 genital:  She said she did not have oral sex, the sex was not unprotected and she had cold sores on her mouth before - the doctor told her she was one in a million getting HSV1 genital - so she always worries now that she could get something else.  Is it true she is "one in a million"?
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55646_tn?1263664409
She is one in a million if she truly did have cold sores before (not canker sores) and just recently got HSV 1 genitally.  However, her first presentation of symptoms may not have been her true first infection.  There is a lot we can't determine for sure from this online conversation.  If she tests negative for HSV 2 antibody and has not had any new contacts, I would believe the testing if I were her.

Terri
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Terri Warren, RN, Adult Nurse Pr...Blank
Westover Heights Clinic
Portland, OR
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