About a month after a possible first outbreak of herpes, my doctor had me do a RNA by PCR Herpes blood test. But I have read numerous places that that is meaningless now that I have no symptoms. Is what Dr. Handsfield wrote in 2007 below still the case? It seems that PCR is more widely used in 2010 than even a couple years ago, but is my doctor just misinformed?? thanks!
Back on July 21, 2007, Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield wrote the following:
by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D., Jul 21, 2007 12:00AM
Are you sure it was an HSV PCR test? PCR is designed to detect the virus itself and is used to test lesions or other suspected sites of infection. HSV does not normally circulate in the blood and I have never heard of it being used to test blood. Even if a blood PCR is negative, that certainly would not rule out HSV infection, whether acuteAcute bilateral obstructive uropathy
I truly have not heard of PCR being used to check your blood for infection. Plus Herpes to my knowledge (and I am sure it will be corrected if I am wrong) is not a blood borne virus like HIV. HSV is better detected to my knowledge for the antibodies and PCR for a culture.
You don't want a pcr blood test. the virus is not often in the blood to be detected by pcr. for herpes testing, pcr is best utilized in otherwise healthy adults for just lesion cultures.
you want to get a type specific herpes igg blood test done. I'd ask your provider to credit you the cost of the wrong blood testing that has been done on you so far. Encourage your provider to learn more about herpes blood testing so that they are doing the best they can do for their patients. I'm sure they get very few hsv+ results if they are doing pcr herpes blood tests for diagnosing herpes :(
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