This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding herpes issues such as: Herpes symptoms and treatments, causes, diagnosis, and herpes in men, tests, telling your spouse or partner.
The first test taken was a blood test it was positive and the dr said sometimes those tests say positive since in most people the herpes virus is present ((cold sores etc)) so he did a viral swab and the results were negative
if that's all the testing you've had done, you need to get a confirmatory blood test done. I encourage you to start a post of your own if you haven't already and we'll go into all of this in more details together. If you can get the results of your blood test to post there, even better!
Wow, thanks so much for posting this! I was positive HSV-1 by 5.00 and positive by HSV-2 by 3.9 I had the IGG type specific tests done! I was at quite a loss considering I hadn't had any symptoms other than orally. I sought out the Western Blot and it confirmed my HSV-1 but I was HSV-2 negative! I really suggest everyone gets the Western Blot it could make a difference how you spend the rest of your life!
Hi! My HSV-1 was 1.12........and my HSV-2 was a 5. But this is after 7 plus mos exposure. I had two prior HSV 1 & 2 IgG tests (at two months...obviously too early to detect antibodies) and then one at 5 months! At 5 mos I remained negative for both , which I found very very confusiing being I had positive genital HSV-1 swab two months post exposure (reason for blood tests to see if new old infection). I know a 5 isn't considered low on scale ...I believe they were saying less than 3.5.....but I'm really upset being I've been having sex w/ boyfriend w/ HSV-1 oral (same strain I thought I acquired) w/o condoms. He has shown no signs of infection...but we haven't redone his blood since mine turned positive. He's not super upset. But I am because now I'm panicking and constantly feeling prodromal symptoms. Should I get western blot?? Did I acquire both strains down below and did they perhaps only culture the hsv 1 lesion? I'm at a loss....I mean I know that is rare..but it can happen. And I thought a positive swab was usually 100% accurate. And is there something wrong w/ my immune system if it took 7 mos to show up.......or did valtrex, which I've been taking since culture swab obtained, somehow hide my antibodies or slow down antibody formation??
This gives me so much hope of false positive with hsv2 3.58 herepeselect igg and no noticeable symptoms and 4 plus months since possible exposure! I'm awaiting my WB kit! That poll was amazing. I'd love to be able to know the results of the balance of 28% 6ppl waiting to test more. From the pattern seems as though two thirds of them may be negative.
Grace thank you for this post and your continued help. You deliver peace of mind and that's priceless!!
Hi there I saw this and thought I would post my false positive. It has been quite a while now but my original tests where negative for HSV-1 and 1.25 for HSV-2. I was convinced by my doctors that the tests were 100% correct and they would not allow the test to be done over. After that I became very paranoid every sting pain anything going on in my body I related it to symptoms. But after a while I never saw anything downstairs. It has been a handful of years after the initial test and I started doing more research on it after having a freind's bf who had a similar experience. That is where I found this site and was amazed at how common they are below a certain level and decided to get tested again elsewhere and both IGG HSV-1 and HSV-2 where both negative. It was extremely disheartening knowing how long I lived for going through therapy for anxiety, rejection from some girls and all the other mental things that go along with it for nothing. But I was also extremely happy and beside myself at the same time
I have not checked out the site for some time, but wanted to add my experience to this thread. I tested positive by HerpeSelect at 1.5 for type 2. Negative for HSV 1. This was 6 weeks after my last exposure. I had tested negative for both during the relationship, and that test was done at my yearly checkup, which was about a month before my last exposure. I waited until the 16 week mark after last exposure and drove 4 hrs to get a Biokit test done, which was negative. I had to ask the lady twice to make sure I heard the results correctly.
I have never had a bump, sore, etc. since my last exposure, so I feel very secure that 1.5 was a false positive after waiting those weeks and getting the Biokit test. Had it not been for this site I would never have gotten the followup Biokit test. A lot of doctors roll their eyes when you mention that you have been reading info on the web, but the fact is that you have to watch your own back. I was told my 1.5 was a sure thing by two doctors.
Has any major news source--tv or magazine--ever done a story on this? People need to be educated on the need for retesting in case it is another of these false positive results some of us share. Surely some health magazine has run a story at some point???
As many of you are probably aware (the very active participants of this forum, anyways) I had a low positive of 1.72 for HSV-2 in May of this year. I had confirmatory testing done in September, and the test came back negative.
So far I have had to call the facilities responsible for ordering the tests and the facility that did the testing themselves, as they assured me my tests were accurate and I had HSV-2. I alerted them that I had notified partners and they probably came to their facility as well for the same testing, and their results could have been false positives as well, and they could have lived under a false assumption for nearly 4 months like myself. A lady I spoke to at Intermountain Healthcare says there is a possibility that they will be training their employees about the accuracy of these "screening" tests to better alert the people they care for which test it suitable and which is not.
The test the facility ordered was the one test that I heard was supposed to be resubmitted to the FDA with a higher optical density index, but this wasn't done because the company who made the test didn't want to spend anymore money on it.
I personally don't recommend these herpes blood tests unless they are Immunoblot or Western Blot tests, or unless you are actually having herpes blisters, especially if you live in a rural area with under-educated doctors with limited medical expertise. I don't have an infectious disease specialist within 50 miles of me. The health in general in where I live is not really a typically ideal one.
the immunoblot has the exact same issues as the other herpeselect tests do. it's not any better as far as the false positive issues.
there is currently a study going on with the herpeselect ( again ) to see if it's worthwhile raising the cut off rates or not. they already tweaked it once a few years ago which helped a lot with the false positive issues but looks like they are looking to tweak again. gotta give them credit that they are more open about the issues than the other herpes tests are that have recently gotten fda approval!
also please keep in mind that folks who have no reason to doubt their test results, do not come to the boards for help. we see an unbalanced representation of false positive issues here so it does make it seem like the tests aren't very good when indeed they are.
I tested positive 3 times with HerpesSelect for HSV2, was negative for HSV1 on all 3 tests and had never gotten an outbreak. I was freaking out and thought every little tingle and twitch on my body was Herpes related -i had even accepted that I had HSV2 (my Doctor played part in that).
My results were the following in that order:
Thanks to Grace and people in this board, I was advised to get a Western Blot test, and yes it is expensive but totally worth it because I am in fact NEGATIVE for both HSV2 and HSV1.
HerpesSelect should really do something about their positive scale - it really seems as I will probably keep testing in the low positive range with this test.
GOOD LUCK TO YALL- THERE IS HOPE - GET THE WESTERN BLOT
Shorter Version of my experience ( click link below for the longer version)
Febraury - igg 3.78 hsv1 and neg for hsv2
September: Igg 3.5 for hsv1 and 1.73 for hsv2.
Biokit test : faint pink dot which the nurse didn't know if this was a positive or negative.
December: exactly 14 weeks after my September test and Months after sexual intercourse my IGG results were 3.7hsv1 and 1.2 hsv2. The infectious and disease specialist then ran a Western Blot and it came back NEGATIVE.
The only reason I tested for this was because since I was a teenager I assumed you test every six months for HIV and STDS. I always use condoms and new I never had any sores or lesions ( which made me wonder were my IGG results accurate) . I suggest anyone that feels deep down inside there test may be a false positive ,take a WB.
I want to thank grace, the forum and everyone again for the support and also pushing me to not accept my Igg and get a WB
Was tested on 1/27/11 had herpselect was hsv 1 neg and hsv 2 pos with a reading of 1.14. Never had any symptoms and my Dr told me I was def positive. Today I found out I was negative for hsv 1 and 2. Huge thank you to Grace for all her help. Thank God for this forum because my ob/ gyn and one of her colleagues told me I was def positive and was ready to start me on meds. Thank you Grace soooo much for all you do.
I wanted to contribute my story as well to the poll:
I decided to test for STDs because I had just started a new relationship. I had had two prior partners, both of whom were long term and had never shown any symptoms during our time together (though I will admit to not consistently using condoms). When I tested positive for HSV 2 I contacted both of my former partners and both tested negative for the virus. My partner at the time had also tested negative and had not had symptoms. I had also never had symptoms of genital herpes before or after my positive test results.
My test results were as follows:
Mid Jan - HSV 1 igg - negative / HSV 2 igg - equivalent
Late March - HSV 1 igg - negative / HSV 2 igg - positive
(after doing some research about low false positives I called my doctor to try to get the actual numerical values of my test, only to find out that the lab did not report them. To try to find out if my result was low or high positive I had a third test from a different lab)
I had a Western Blot test performed a week after the third test came back negative. The WB was also negative.
I was told by my doctor that the test was conclusive and there was not a chance of it being wrong. I also felt as though I was given the positive result without any information and left to figure everything out on my own... which lead me to some incredibly stupid conclusions.
When I feel that I lack control of a situation I do as much research as I can, which is how I found this information, but not everyone reacts the same way. It just so happened that I also learned about the low false positive possibility through a friend of a friend after I had already stumbled across the information on this forum by accident. Had I not stumbled upon the information by chance, I would have looked for it specifically after being told about the possibility of having a false positive. I've told my friends about my experience on the off chance that someone THEY know might have a similar issue that they can help with, and save someone else a whole lot of heartache.
This forum was an amazing resource and Grace was incredibly helpful and deserving of all the thanks that I am not capable of adequately conveying.
...It seems like everyone who has tested positive then re-tested and was negative never showed signs of herpes... im working on getting my insurance set up so i can get tested at a private facility and im reading other stories to find similarities i have very weird symptoms. anyways my question is did any show symptoms before they got tested the first time? if so did anyone have cuts? not sores.
Mine is a rare case of low positive being a confirmed positive.
I had no symptoms and tested basically to rule out herpes before starting new relationship. I was sure I could not have it. I had one long-term partner and we both thought we were clean.
Herpes Select came positive for both types, HSV2 1.97. As I read, not only it was low, after many years with herpes, the number should be even higher. At the same time I had what I thought could be a breakout (very mild). So I did Western Blot, and it came positive.
The nurse told me numbers do not correlate with years living with the infection. It is totally individual. I am glad I spent some money and got WB done.
im in panic mode.. my new partner rightfully requested std tests and everything was ngve except hsv 1+2. i dont have recent memory of cold sores and i definitely never had outbreaks genitally..do men experience genital outbreaks? my results were
hsv1 igg- 1.80
hsv2 igg- 1.60
can these be false positives? what should my next action be ? my world is upside down right now.. i havent had a sexual encounter for about five months. thanks for you help
I had unprotected sex 3/16/12. I had Igg June 14. results were 0.90 negative, 0.90 -1.10 Equivocal, 1.10 positive. I was told I have both 1&2. June 18 I had the Igm and it was identicle to Igg. I asked for WB and was told thst was for HIV patients. Im lost n confused. I hear cut off is 1.1 then I read 3.5. What to do? I was gonna have WB around Aug. thru a clinic. Is this a false positive?
Thank you Grace and Dr. HHH for all your information and everything you have done. I have been following the threads on Medhelp and am so grateful for all the information. Here are my results:
In late May 2012, I went in for a routine std blood test because I was thinking of dating again. I had no symptoms but I have gotten routine std tests throughout my life before starting new relationships. Here are the results:
HSV1 HerpeSelect IgG < .91
HSV2 HerpeSelect IgG HIGH 4.89
I immediately went and got retested the day of the results (3 days after the original test). I got tested at two separate locations on the same day:
HSV1 HerpeSelect IgG < .91
HSV2 HerpeSelect IgG HIGH 3.17
HSV1 HerpeSelect IgG < .91
HSV2 HerpeSelect IgG HIGH 2.14
I went two days after receiving the second set of results and got blood drawn for a Western Blot. I got the results (13 days after the blood draw) and it is negative for both HSV1 and HSV2. It has been over 16 weeks since I broke up with my last boyfriend who I dated for 1.5 years. We were monogamous. He had no symptoms and had been monogamously married for 20 years. (He has not yet gotten tested.)
Prior to dating my ex, I tested negative for everything, including HSV1 and HSV2 (< .90 on both) on a HerpeSelect IgG combo (and that test was 6 months after my boyfriend before that).
I am finding it very hard to believe (but grateful) that the Western Blot is negative. I understand from my physician, though, that it is the gold standard and I should rely on that as my not having HSV2. It would reassure me if you felt the same.
I also would be more reassured if you could help me to understand why the HerpeSelect would come back with a false positive. What is it that is in my blood that makes it false positive for HSV2? Can I confidentially disregard the HerpeSelect results?
Thank you again for you information and please add my information to the poll.
Just received the news that I was HSV2 Positive: 1.16, however I do not have symptoms that indicate that I have HSV, I have not had unprotected sex in my entire LIFE-I have however kissed (french), and perhaps I think I might have gotten it here. I spoke to the doctor openly about this, and he wants to re-do the tests in 3 weeks. I think I should try the Western Blot also, as I am really confused as to where this could have come from.
Could this be a false positive?
I don't recall off the top of my head any stats for hsv1 false positives. I know it's been buried in some of the studies I've read but it's not something I have handy to quote. I know the hsv1 false positives weren't anywhere near the false positives for hsv2. The problem with hsv1 igg testing is more false negatives than false positives.
A year ago, I tested negative for both HSV1 and 2 with Herpeselect. A few weeks ago, I tested negative for HSV1, but positive for HSV2 with a result of 1.93.
The symptom I illustrated in my post turned out to be an ingrown hair. So I'm doubtful that I've ever had an outbreak.
I've seen two doctors, both of whom indicated that their offices do not do either WB or Biokit. I am getting very frustrated because neither of these doctors believe that false positive results are likely. They discourage me from getting a WB or Biokit because they are highly confident that the results are accurate. I showed both of them the results of the Berkeley study, which they disregarded.
I could use advice on how to find a doctor who offers these tests. I've called several doctors whose offices indicate that I need to schedule an appointment before they tell me if they can do the tests.
I would be grateful for any advice and what your sense is of my situation. Should I be hopeful of this being a false positive or should I trust my doctors (particularly because I am HSV1 negative, reducing the likelihood of a false positive)? This roller-coaster of emotions and mixed opinions has been quite tough.
April 17th: Received 8 panel STD test results…only positive result was HSV2 iGg @ 1.50.
April 24th: Became a phone patient of Mrs. Terri Warren and scheduled a HSV Western Blot to establish a secure baseline/status prior to April 17th testing
April 27th: 1st Western Blot, which returned negative results for HSV1 AND HSV2. I had to get this first Western Blot as it was brought to my attention my doctor had admittedly forgotten to test me for HSV at my last STD test request (STD testing which took place prior to the April 13th 8 panel STD test).
July 27th: Confirmation Western Blot, 16 weeks and 1 day post exposure.
August 20th: Confirmation Western Blot results=Negative for BOTH HSV1 AND HSV2
Its true…you can be HSV1 NEGATIVE and HSV2 (low) positive with a Herpeselect igg, but in actuality, HSV 1 & 2 NEGATIVE with a Western Blot.
The only physical symptoms I experienced were the ones in my head from paranoia! Since Mrs. Warren called with the results yesterday, everything I thought I had been feeling for the last 4 months has vanished.
Thank you Grace again for your help. Back in 12/11 I went for a routine gyono appointment and decided to test for all STD's. My blood test came back positive with HSV-2 2.52 I believe. After speaking with Grace she suggested I retest given my circumstances and situation. Again in 5/12 I had the same IgG test redone and came back positive 1.1. Grace advised that I was still testing too early and to wait a little longer and retest the IgG or go for a WB. I went for the WB and after some headache of educating my doctor on the test I was finally able to get the WB. Today I got the test results back negative! Obviously I was thrilled. I am glad to say I am a good example of why you should definitely retest with the WB if you have low positive results or if you tested positive without symptoms or whatever your reason. The test is a little expensive and you might need to be patient with the doctor as it seems most are not familiar with the test but it is worth it. Below is a link of my original conservation with Grace for more accurate dates and details.
I was just tested positive with a 1.79 for HSV2 two weeks ago. I tested with STDtestexpress and I don't know how accurate their tests are, they claim to be 98% accurate. I don't know if I had any symptoms, it's hard to tell. Doctors have examined me and said that they don't think I've had a breakout and some even doubt that I have it yet but I've been freaking out thinking every bump and red spot is herpes related. I had a really horrible case of tonsillitis a few months ago, not sure if that is related to the herpes because my tonsils never went down. I believe I'm at a high risk of having it, but I'm praying I don't. My boyfriend was tested negative so that is a good sign. I plan on getting tested with the western blot.
I am in a similar situation as many people in this forum. I was tested in January 2011 along with my annual since I was sexually active. I found out I got HSV 1, but negative HSV 2.
HSV 1 >5.00
HSV 2 .46
Again in September
HSV 2 .3
Again last week using the HSV Type 1/2AB and got
HSV 2 1.34
My question: is there is a difference between the HSV Type 1/2 AB test and the HSV Type 2 Glycoprotein G-Specific Antibody, IGG by ELISA? Will the second test give you more specific results than the other one? My first doctor said that it can be a cross-reactivity and the second one said if I've never had a lesion or breakout, I shouldn't worry too much and be re-tested (which I did.)
I had my bloodwork re-done again using the ELISA test and also asked my doctor to give me the WB test.... not sure if he'll have problems mailing it out or LabQuest can do that.
I've never had any lesions, but I'm scaring myself thinking that maybe those 'ingrown hairs' were maybe lesions? Is it possible to mistake the two? I've been with the same boyfriend for 9 months and he also got tested, but his results haven't come back. If he's negative, should I be relieved that I'm a false positive?
I really learned a lot of from forum and if anyone can answer my questions, I would greatly appreciate it.
Firstly, I can't say THANK YOU enough to people like Grace. Thank you, Grace. :) All your worked to educate others (along with others) is definitely making a major difference in people's lives. Bravo.
Here's my story...
About 1.5 years ago, my life was turned upside when I went to get a full STD panel test. I got regularly tested (usually every year or so) so it wasn't anything I hadn't done many times before.
But I'll never forget the lady on the phone telling me I had tested positive for HSV-2. (Negative on everything else.) Like many others, I was completely devasted. I had never had any symptoms (that I knew of) and so being told I tested positive was a shock.
I spent about a week feeling completely depressed. I thought maybe it was possible no one would ever love me again and I would end up alone. I had all sorts of those thoughts like many others do.
After that first week or so, I felt like I needed to become educated about my situation. So I went online and did all the research I could about HSV-2. I learned that millions of others live with the virus and it really isn't the end of the world. More than anything, the social phobia of it is was overblown.
But one thing I discovered during my research was this forum, along with many posts by Grace, Dr. HHH, and many other thoughtful people. I would also soon discover this 'thing' known as false positive ELISA HerpesSelect results, and low positive values between 1.1 and 3.5.
I didn't even have the nerve to call back the clinic to ask what test was used (I was afraid of what they'd say) and what my IGG value was. So one of my friend's called next to me and I told him what to ask. Sure, enough it was the HerpesSelect test and IGG value 2.6 for HSV-2. Right in the middle of that low positive range. * Important note, I was NOT positive for HSV-1 like many others that get false positives. Only positive for HSV-2.
So after reading all the great info from Grace and others here, I learned that I really need to go and take a confirmation test. So I called the company that makes the BioKit test, found the closest clinic that used it (2 hours away by train) and off I went to take that test at a Planned Parenthood. The nurse that drew my blood was really nice to me (I had told her my story and the research I did) and she actually let me stay in the room as she performed the BioKit test... NEGATIVE.
I couldn't believe it. How could this other clinic tell me that my blood without a doubt indicated that I had HSV-2, yet my research led me to believe this might not be the case - and the BioKit confirmed that I was indeed negative. I was outraged.
More to the story...
For the past 1.5 years since that all happened, I'll be honest, I still had my lingering doubts whether I was infected in somehow or not. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that a test DID say I was positive. What caused that 2.6 value? What was going on with my blood that gave that reading? There was still a small part of me that believed I was possibly infected. Most of the days I would put it out of my mind, but there were a few sleepless nights when my obsessive mind would latch onto it and get my really down.
To add to that... I could no longer enjoy the part of town where that original clinic was. Every time I'd pass by it would bring back the strong emotions and make me doubt what my actual health status was.
That brings me to today. For whatever reason I felt compelled to just go back to the original clinic (only one in NYC that gives same day test results) and get a full STD panel done. I was just curious what would happen.
Everything came back negative. My HSV-2 IGG value... 0.110.
I had a long talk with the doctor and the nurses there and was adamant about raising awareness of false positives. They said they had heard about a few of them happening but they were completely unaware of the studies done that show as many as 50-70% of those low positives can be false. I told them about this site and told them they need to do more research and educate their patients that receive low positive results.
Anyway thanks for listening to me ramble through all of that. Thanks again to Grace and everyone else doing their best to educate people. I can only imagine how many people are walking around right now thinking they are infected when they are not. It's infuriating.
To everyone reading this and going through something similar or having confirmed negative results, know that there are tons of people that care about you and this virus doesn't define you.
Mike that is very true. I just got tested for the for STD at my routine exam and about 2 weeks later the nurse called and said that all my other test results were fine and the only abnormal one was I tested positive(exposed to the virus?????) for HSV-1 and HSV-2. She then told me I had to schedule an appointment to speak with the doctor about my results so I did and that was a week ago today. When I went in we went over test results and I told him I had never had any symptoms of either and demanded a retest and he stated that it would probably come back the same. And I just got my retest results and it still states I have been exposed to the virus 1&2. Now I am going to call to see what kind of test was taken and what the readings were. I pray that the result are a false positive. I do believe that there are errors in medicine and that God has total control over my body!!!! Please pray for me b/c I just have sooo much going thru my mind and I haven't even told anyone about the result( I plan to tell my previous partner) but this devestating news to hear when you feel,look and everything else seem fine.
Hey, everyone, just wanted to share my story of being HSV2 NEGATIVE after falsely testing positive twice.
10/30/12 - Unprotected sexual encounter with someone I had just met
12/9/12 - HSV1 negative, HSV2 positive at 3.96 (Igg type specific testing)
12/20/12 - HSV1 negative, HSV2 positive at 1.75 (Igg type specific testing)
4/12/13 - HSV1 negative, HSV2 negative by WB!
Although I had come to terms with having HSV2, I am extremely happy to find out I don't have it. My doctor was extremely surprised (pleasantly, of course), and said he will never forget this experience. I provided him all the necessary information to recommend the WB as confirmation for his future patients, and I also directed him to this forum.
Although I really had come to terms with having HSV2, it is truly a relief that I don't have it. As I've become extremely well educated about HSV2, I realize just how ridiculous the stigma is that comes along with it. However, dating is stressful enough in general, and I'm very happy to have one less thing to worry about in that regard. It's certainly changed the way I will approach sexual relationships in the future.
I experienced the same thing when requesting a Western Blot from Quest (through my dermatologist). Someone in the dermatologists office said that you have to add "x" to the end of the test number, i.e. #34534x -- once this was relayed to the Quest person on the phone, they said "Oh, here it is...." By the way, Quest sends your blood to the University of Washington. I called the University of Washington lab and they were very friendly -- they told me that they received my blood on Saturday (my blood was drawn on the Thursday of that week). I am patiently waiting for my results...fingers crossed!
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