Herpes Expert Forum
Possible HSV 2
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Possible HSV 2

In 2008 I had blood work done for HSV 2. I had become paranoid because I got three UTI’s in one year. I looked online and found that UTI’s are a symptom of HSV 2 and panicked. Against my doctor’s advice (she said herpes in the urethra is rare) I got blood work done and the result was 1.11 for HSV 2 and negative for HSV 1. The doctor said that I was just barely positive, the cut off is 1.10 but she could not tell me the name of the test I got, it was through labcorp though. She told me that I should retest to confirm. I decided to retest with a biokit a year later for confirmation. It was negative. Every since I got the initial false positive result for HSV 2 I haven’t been able to get HSV out of my mind. I restlessly would check myself and I began to scratch my vagina, not because I itched but because I was obsessing. I would scratch until it would sting and then I would find in a mirror a small cut. Again, researching online, small “paper cuts” means herpes so the fear continued to grow and more scratching would happen and a cut would always come in the area that I was scratching, which is in different areas just wherever I decided to scratch. This behavior has been on going for years. Now, I am pregnant with my first child and more afraid and paranoid. Last month I found a small paper cut on the perineum area not caused by me scratching. I should also mention that these cuts heal overnight if I put cortisone 10 on them. I also often get anal fissures that bleed. This month the cut came again in the same perineum area. Should I continue testing for HSV 2? I read that cultures are often false negatives so it probably wouldn’t put my mind to rest. Please advise on what you think my next step should be. Also, do Biokits produce false negatives often? Also how do they work exactly? Does one dot appear to show that the test has been administered properly and another appears if you are positive?
55646_tn?1263664409
Sorry I took a little longer to answer this, somehow this question didn't pop up on my new posts.

Your initial score was indeed very low.  At that level, there is about an 80% chance that this would not confirm with another test, like western blot.  The Biokit is not perfect either but it picks up more than 90% of people who are infected with HSV 2.

Now it is very important that you get the correct answer to whether or not you are infected with HSV 2.  You could get another ELISA and if it is lower, I would not worry about it any more.  However, if it stays a low positive, I would recommend the western blot for confirmation.  

Hard to know exactly what to make of the cuts.  However, if they were really herpes, they wouldn't go away in one day, and cortisone would make them worse, not better.

Hope this is helpful, and again, my apologies for not getting back to you sooner.

Terri
9 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
well... 1 in 4 people has herpes. It's not uncommon at all. It's just sores. Everyone's vajay gets a little itchy sometimes, just like your leg or arm will get itchy. If there are no sores, chances are you're fine. or you totally might have it. most people who have herpes don't even know that they have it because it's not like the std slides you saw in high school. before the pharmaceutical companies stigmatized the disease to sell medication (that didn't even work) they were just sores. Like pimples. or obviously like cold sores. unpleasant, but hey, that's life. the thing to remember is that your life is not over, even if you did have hsv. which, i don't think you even do. keep in mind, those antibodies are EVERYWHERE. everyone has them. you're wasting so much of your life in fear of this virus that is really, seriously, nothing. your vagina should be a place of happiness, not of fear. your baby will be fine. you will be fine.if it makes you feel better, try the biokit. but i don't think it will make you feel better. this is not a yes or no kind of thing. because maybe you do have a little bit. but that's okay, because so does everyone else!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hoping to get advice from Terri as well, also hope I posted in the correct section. Thanks littlelexi for taking the time to respond though! I appreciate it.
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Could I please have this question moved into the STD experts forum?
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Avatar_f_tn
No problem, thanks for answering! My doctor said the same about the cuts which is a tad reassuring. My doctor also didn't recommend additional blood test after the negative biokit because of the low probability that I actually have HSV 2, so I am just wondering if you feel it is necessary to keep testing because the biokit was possibly a false negative? Also do you recommend that I don't have the cuts swabbed if it happens again, and just stick with more blood tests? I've also read that if you have a low positive on the ELISA that you are likely to have it again so that's the reason why I retested with the Biokit instead, is this true? I know you suggested it, but I'm afraid I can't mentally take another low positive result. Thanks again for your response.
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polite BUMP just in case my new question didn't pop into new post again.  
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55646_tn?1263664409
Yes, it is likely that if you have a false positive on the ELISA that you will have it again.  Whatever is tripping the test the first time will keep tripping it.  

If you get the cuts again, it would be a good idea to have them swab tested, yes, and a clinical evaluation as well.  And if you do have them swab tested, you want a PCR if possible, not a culture.  The PCR is 3-4 times more sensitive than the culture.  

When my patients have low positive ELISA scores, we always confirm with a second test, preferrably the western blot.  The Biokit is helpful, but not as good as the western blot for sure.  This has to be your call, unfortunately.  Just depends on how much you can rely on the 80% false positive rate, I think.

Terri
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Terri,

Thanks for getting back to me again. I took your advise and got another HSV 2 test done the very next day. The test was through labcorp, and I believe it was the same IGG test as the last one I took with this lab that resulted in a 1.11 result. This time the test was negative. I should mention that when I received the 1.11 result back in 2008, I had been in a faithful relationship for four years with a HSV 2 negative partner so I don't think I could have been in the process of seroconverting around 5 years after my previous partner. I'm still in that faithful relationship today and have not had any new partners. So with two negative tests, first the biokit and now this new test result, can I finally not worry about herpes anymore as you initially suggested? And if I do get another cut, is a PCR still necessary? Also, what is the likelihood that a person would test negative on blood tests and receive a positive result on a PCR if it is known for a fact that this is not a new infection? Sorry for the additional questions!
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55646_tn?1263664409
Yes, you can put this behind you.  I would forget doing the PCR given your situation.

Terri
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