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Herpes or Not?
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Herpes or Not?

Back in 08/2010 I was tested for herpes. I was told that my results were positive for a recent infection of herpes. My doctor at the time told me that I had short term antibodies (IgM) and that over time my body would build long term antibodies (IgG). My results were as follows:

Herpes Type 1 Antibody, IgG
Result - Negative
Reference Range - Negative

Herpes Type 2 Antibody, IgG
Result - Negative
Reference Range - Negative

Herpes Type 1&2 Antibody, IgM
Result - Reactive
Reference Range - Negative

Herpes Simplex Antibody IgM by IFA
Result - Positive
Reference Range - Negative

In 10/2010, they repeated the labs. I was told that these labs verified her original diagnosis. That I was in fact infected with herpes, and it was a recent infection. The results were as follows:

Herpes Type 1 Antibody, IgG
Result - 1.10
Reference Range - Equivocal (Greater than 0.90 or less than/equal to 1.10)

Herpes Type 2 Antibody, IgG
Result - 0.40
Reference Range - Negative (Less than 0.90)

Herpes Type 1&2 Antibody, IgM
Result - 2.42
Reference Range - Positive (Greater than 1.10)

In 11/2010, I still needed some more clarity and my primary repeated the blood work. My primary concluded with my gynecologist that it was a recent infection. The results were as follows:

HSV IGM I/II
Result - 1.57
Reference Range - Positive (Greater than or equal to 1.10)

HERPES SIMPLEX IGG TYPE I
Result - 1.10
Reference Range - Positive (Greater than or equal to 1.10)

This month, 04/2012, my midwife repeated the blood work. The tests that she had preformed were not quantitative. They were simply negative or positive. She told me that the IgG specific tests were both negative. That I was negative for long term antibodies. However, I was IgM positive. She told me that I was testing positive from a recent infection. I have been told that it is a recent infection since day 1. How is this possible? I have been testing IgM positive for a recent infection for two years now. I have never had an outbreak or any kind of symptoms.

Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks.
11 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello,

IgM does not indicate recent infection; that just shows that whoever is informing you of this is themselves misinformed about herpes testing. For some who are infected with HSV, the body continues to produce IgM occasionally in response to the virus.

Also, IgM is a very unreliable test. Typically you are advised to disregard it entierly and focus on the IgG results.

Google a bit more about it and put your wife's mind at ease. :)
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897535_tn?1295210035
The IgM is flawed for diagnosing herpes and should not be drawn based on the CDC 2010 Herpes testing guidelines. Tell your doctor (and your midwife) to read them!

Your IgG tests are repeatedly negative, that is assuming your testing was done 4 months post encounter. Equivocal is negative if enough time has passed to test (4 months) as well.

Do you have a regular partner? Have they been tested to know their herpes status? Unless you've had different partners, no need to continually retest.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have google'd a lot and seen that the IgM is unreliable, that's what is so concerning. Why are they still doing it? Why are they telling me over and over that I have it...

After two years, I would have developed some long term antibodies (IgG)... correct?
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Avatar_m_tn
When I confronted my midwife about the accuracy of the IgM blood test, she referred me to a specialist.

My last encounter with someone that *could* have been positive was in January of 2011. (I have since married.) Would that be long enough to know for sure that I am negative? My husband does not care either way. I, however, would like to know for my own sanity. I have never had an outbreak or any symptoms that would lead me to believe that I do have herpes. Just the blood work. I am going to request a IgG specific with lab values to see if the numbers have changed since my last draw. Until then, from what you can see, can I consider myself negative?

Yes. I am a married woman, and I only have one partner. My partner is negative for all STDs including herpes.
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Avatar_m_tn
Anyone with similar situation or advice?
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101028_tn?1348750963
you don't need any specialist dear, you just need your providers to update their herpes testing knowledge!!!

as was already correctly pointed out by 2 previous posters, you don't have herpes. you don't need more testing.  you might always test + on the igm and your providers are erring greatly in continuing to give you the information they are. you actually have a valid malpractice case against them all which is reason enough for them to update their herpes testing knowledge!!

grace
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Avatar_f_tn
I am concerned about the same situation. I tested for STDs after breaking up with my latest boyfriend. STDs came out negative. However, IgM (short-term) was "extremely light positive, almost undetectable". IgG came out negative.This test was done four months after initial intimacy.  Is that enough time to detect herpes virus? Will my body eventually make long-term antibodies, where I will test positive for IgG? Thank you for your time!
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5013524_tn?1362584676
Can you determine if a person has HSV 2 by testing them for HSV 7 Igg/ igm antibodys IFA test?

What does 1:320 mean on the hsv 7 reference range?
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Avatar_f_tn
0.76 igm test range for herpes is fine
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Avatar_f_tn
what is nagitive range for igg and igm test for hsv
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3149845_tn?1386354841
Hi Grace retired but anything below 1 is negative is tested 3months post exposure.
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