How long does it take for a Herpeselect test to be accurate? Could a test like this indicate a new infection (13-14 days ago), or would a positive result indicate an infection that had been present for much longer?
An antibody test could be positive as soon as 13-14 days after infection, yes. Did you get a value with the antibody test (a numeric value?) That might help to sort this out. Can you tell me a little more about your situation so I can give you the best advice possible?
I recieved oral protected sex from a stripper on the 11th of August. There was some brief unproteced contact of the base of the penis and scrotum with her saliva. I was totally freaked out and Dr. Hook told me on the STD forum that there was no reason to get tested except to put my mind at ease. I was tested exactly 14 days afterward and the results came back negative for HSV-2 (<0.90) and positive for HSV-1 (1.42 H). I have had no visible outbreaks (sores, cracks, lesions, etc..) and I am wondering if this is just a result of antibodies built up from a childhood infection (I don't ever remember having cold sores, but I realize you don't ever have to have them to be infected), or if it is a result of a recent infection.
If you've had no symptoms at all during this time, I would suspect that the 1.42 value is either a false positive, a long standing old infection, or the very remote possibility of a new infection, but extremely remote. My recommendation, if you are going to worry much about this in the future, is to postpone any more antibody testing at all, and, in 4 months from the time of contact, get a herpes western blot test done. That is more definitive for people with low positive values. Or you could just not do that if you only concern is this contact as it is very low risk, but if you are going to worry, and not be able to put this out of your head, get a western blot, either directly through UWashington or through Quest labs, test code 34534. I totally agree with Dr. Hook that this is a very low risk situation indeed.
OK after reading the post no one answered the question. Saying a positive result can occur within 13 days doesn't say much. It means that any negative results within this time is worthless.
So from a 'nonexpert' it seems that any negative test between 2 weeks - 3 months is better than 50% because 50% of people with HSV2 test positive within the first 2 weeks and the rest test positive within 3 weeks - 3 months. HSV testing and medication is too profitable to ever find a permanent cure or give conclusive results.
A person can become positive for HSV 2 as early as 2 weeks and as late as 4 months. Your skepticism about testing and treatment is certainly up to you. I don't share your thoughts, rather, I recognize the limitations of testing, respect appropriate timing for testing, and am grateful for the effective treatments we have, but remain hopeful for something more long lasting.
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