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Unusually high IgG levels in HSV-1 testing results
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Unusually high IgG levels in HSV-1 testing results

Recently i did my herpes type-specific blood tests, results came a couple of days ago and HSV-1 was positive but HSV-2 was negative. What concerned me was the IgG level reported in the result for HSV-1:

The report says HSV1 IgG level was around 70.2 or so (note that >1.1 is positive), this looks REALLY high, higher than any number I could ever found on Internet forums. Some websites say high antibody level typically means recent infection, is that right?

I'd love to hear expert's opinion here, I'm worried that my recent urethritis (1 week ago) might be corrleated to this, but i don't have any obvious lesions, sores, or any other herpes symptoms on my genital.
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101028_tn?1348750963
odds are your hsv1 infection isn't newly acquired. being a clear + a week into things means it's more likely a previous hsv1 infection than a recently acquired one.  even if you can't recall ever having had a cold sore in your life, most folks who have hsv1 orally, don't get obvious cold sores to know it.

have you had any new partners lately? if you have a regular partner have they been tested for herpes to know their own status?

grace
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1174003_tn?1308164419
I can't interpret your results best left to someone with training and Grace is just your person.  

That is not true though on the numbers showing recent infection.  

More then half the adult us population has HSV-1 orally (we get it at childhood) even outside of remembering cold sores.  

If you had an encounter that was a week ago and tested a week after it chances are this isn't a recent infection.  Most tests take at least 2 weeks to be positive and up to 12-16 weeks for an accurate negative test.  


Are you sure this as a Herpes IgG test and not a Herpes IgM?  
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Avatar_m_tn
the encounter (of unprotected oral sex) was about 5-6 weeks ago before the test. and yes I'm sure it's type-specific Herpes IgG test.

thanks for the reply, hope Grace can help shed some light here...

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101028_tn?1348750963
actually I think this was clerical error and it was supposed to be entered as 7.02  up to you if you want to repeat the test since it really doesn't matter either way - it's a + regardless.  

only way to confirm hsv1 genitally is through a lesion culture of active symptoms genitally.

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
Grace, I've been reading lots of your posts these days, it's really amazing to see how much help you've offered to people who are desperately in need of good advice. Thank you so much!!!

I will ask for a re-test next week... yes, i understand it's a + anyway but it's always good to know the real numbers :-)

if I don't have any (obvious) lesion, at least externally, is there any other way I can know if my HSV1 infection is on genital? My urethritis symptoms also disappeared 2-3 days ago, and i was tested negative for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, there was no discharge from the penis either. the only obvious connection seems to be the hsv1 infection, but still not so sure how to make this....
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101028_tn?1348750963
odds are your hsv1 infection isn't newly acquired. being a clear + a week into things means it's more likely a previous hsv1 infection than a recently acquired one.  even if you can't recall ever having had a cold sore in your life, most folks who have hsv1 orally, don't get obvious cold sores to know it.

have you had any new partners lately? if you have a regular partner have they been tested for herpes to know their own status?

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Grace, thanks again for your answer! Yes the test was done just a week into symptom onset, but the encounter of unprotected oral sex happened about 5-6 weeks ago. So it appears possible to me that those 5-6 week period might be enough for my body to build up a strong immu response hence a clear + on the HSV-1 antibody count...

Regarding other partners, no I don't have any other partner since the last encounter.

Is there any test or anything I can do to determine if the HSV-1 virus is infecting me genitally or orally? (assuming there is no obvious lesion to collect sample from). I know... this could be very hard.


Thanks again for answering all my questions.
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1174003_tn?1308164419
There isn't any testing yet that will tell you where the HSV infection is without obvious symptoms.  

I think that was the unclear part is the encounter.  Unprotected oral is a low risk and a one time oral encounter is still low risk.  Have you ever tested for HSV in the past using an IgG test?
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Avatar_m_tn
the encounter was unprotected oral for less than 2 minutes followed by protected intercourse. No i have never been tested for HSV.

thanks for all the help!
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101028_tn?1348750963
usually if you contract hsv1 genitally, it presents within a week or two and has pretty obvious and "classic" herpes symptoms since it almost always is only transmitted when someone is hsv1 negative prior to the oral sex. symptoms starting 5 or 6 weeks later probably are not herpes related. If you get them again, be seen promptly for a proper evaluation and if they feel they look like herpes, a lesion culture and typing should be done on them.

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
I just took the HSV-1 IgG test again, and the result is the same, antibody count is at 70.0, a very high number.

There are two schools of thoughts with regard to this high number:

1. The high number of anitbody level indicates a recent infection. I had unprotected oral sex on 7/2 so the test done on 8/9 showing high antibody count would be a good indication of recent infection of HSV-1 by that encounter on 7/2.

2. The high number of antibody level indicates an earlier infection. It takes multiple weeks, some times up to 12 weeks, for antibody to build up and be detectable by the tests. Sometimes even at the time of the first outbreak, people still can be tested negative for HSV. If encounter was on 7/2 and test was on 8/9, and the antibody  number is already very high, then it's most likely not caused by the 7/2 encounter but something else in the past.

Which one is more plausible? Would love to hear opinions of this community!

One thing I want to mention is that: I had urethratitis symptoms around 8/9, and I uncovered one or two tiny lumps on tips of penis (< 2mm) that is painless and did NOT itch. The lumps were uncovered on 7/28, they were skin-colored, were not fluid-filled, did not ooze, and did not break-out throughout the whole process. They are mostly gone now.
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Avatar_m_tn
I guess one more question I have is:

Does the level of antibodies to HSV-1 virus drop as the time goes by? Or does it stay pretty much the same?

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101028_tn?1348750963
I encourage you to pay to post to Terri Warren our herpes expert here on medhelp about this at this point.

grace
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello i just found out my doctor told me about my herpes level is high and it kinded of worries me about this but i dont have no symptoms no discharge no outbreak no blister or sores or itchy do i really have herpes ..Can i have sex with my husbands he the only man i had sleep with in eight years please tell me more about this..
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Avatar_m_tn
Tamlea, I think we can help you a lot. Can you post in a new thread including exactly how you have been diagnosed with herpes along with any test results.
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