what do the lab results really mean???
by distraughtinfl, Nov 03, 2011
Recently dx with hsv via blood tests. I was told by doc that it was not a recent exposure, that I had had a past exposure at some point. I've only been with 2 men in the last 10yrs & I'd like to try & narrow down the source if at all possible. Can someone please breakdown my lab results into useable information. This is all very confusing to me. If my results are a firm positive, what type of hsv do i have? Is there any way to determine about how long ago I was exposed, even a ballpark est would help tremendously. And could I possibly have infected my face? I've noticed an area just beneath one nostril that seems to stay raw,  sore & periodically a small bump appears, has all the characteristics of pimple, I am prone to acne breakouts. I'm orried if I could have passed the virus to my face bc I heard somewhere that towels can transfer the virus to other areas of the body. So heres the 411 on my labs...HSV AB IGM W/REFLEX TO TITER: DETECTED with HIGH IGM titer value of   >=1:160;  HSV 1 IGG value of 0.09;  HSV 2 IGG value of  >5.00;  HSV vaginal culture with typing: NONE ISOLATED;  RPR (DX) w/refl titer & confirmatory testing : NON-REACTIVE. Please, if anyone can shed some light on what all of this means I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance for your time!
Related Discussions
Member Comments (8)
by Genesisi, Nov 03, 2011
Good afternoon,

Sorry to hear about your troubles with locating the source, I'm sure it must be causing you some distress.  My first peice of advice to you would be for you to contact those two people if possible and advice them to get tested and make sure they come back to you.  It may be that they have already tested +, but you are just one of many people he/she has been with unfortunately.

With regards to your lab results, they are designed to be read by Microbiologists and other people in that line of work.  All it is telling you is the type of methods thats were used to detect it.

Personally, I would visit your doctor and as him to speak to a microbiologist at the local hospital or sexual health centre to explain the test in leymans terms to you.  They always use a lot of mumbo jumbo technical jargon so to speak, but this is because it is not designed to be interpreted by you, this is for the doctor.  I'm sure your doctor can help you, but I am with you on the frustration of interpreting test results.  It can be annoying.

I hope this helps,

by gracefromHHP, Nov 04, 2011
your igm test results are meaningless. the igm herpes test is a flawed test and shouldn't have been drawn on you.

your hsv1 igg is negative.

your hsv2 igg is positive. It's above the typical false positive cut off range so odds are it's not a false positive either.

Your herpes vaginal culture was negative.

your syphilis testing ( rpr ) was negative also.

do you have a regular partner? if so, have they been tested for herpes yet?

could the sore under your nose be herpes? it could be but if it is, odds are it's hsv1, not hsv2. even the best blood tests we have still miss 1 out of every 10 hsv1 infections so the best thing to do is the next time this shows up, be seen promptly for exam and testing if they suspect oral herpes as the cause.

keep asking questions as you have them :)

by distraughtinfl, Nov 04, 2011
Thanks so much for all of the feedback so far. It really is comforting to know this community exists! I have only been with 2 men in the last 10yrs, both of them being long term relationships, but one of them (the most recent) had been unfaithful numerous times over the coarse of our 3 yrs together. Unfortunately, he did not fess up until I ended the relationship. His confession was more a dig to hurt me than an admission of guilt. My boyfriend before him I was with for 4 yrs, its been over 4 yrs since we were last intimate. I just assumed the hsv came from the most recent bf, the cheater. But if I've had hsv longer than 3 yrs, it wasnt from him.

Do the numerical lab values hold any significance on determining how long someone has had the virus? Did i get this within the last year, the last 5 yrs or is it possible i've had it longer than 10yrs?

I'm not seeing anyone currently, but i have been reconnecting with a long distance ex. I really care very deeply about him & I would love to take our friendship to the next level, but  I'm terrified to tell him about my hsv status, seriously considering sabotaging things with him to avoid having to tell him. I know he cares alot about me, but I'm not so sure that he'll still feel the same once he knows I have an incurable STD that I could potentially pass to him. Any advice on how to deliver this news so
that its not all doom & gloom? Not dishonestly just in a more positive light vs negative.
by gracefromHHP, Nov 04, 2011
no way to know how long you've been infected from the igg results. You could've had this for 15 years , 15 months or 15 weeks  - no way to know.  herpes is not a part of routine std testing at most clinics so most folks never get tested to know their status.  Multiple studies have shown that over 90% of folks who have hsv2, have no idea they are infected until tested. it's far more common of a situation than anyone ever suspects.

don't purposefully sabotage a relationship just to avoid dealing with talking about your herpes!!   You can get the risk of transmission to a male partner down to 1%/year - far less than the risk of pregnancy while using the birth control pill even.  It's being sexually responsible to talk about all std's and testing. also don't forget to throw in talking about birth control and condom use too.

Terri Warren, our herpes expert here on medhelp, wrote a terrific book you can find for under $20 on amazon - the good news about the bad news. I highly recommend picking up a copy of it :)

keep asking questions!
by distraughtinfl, Nov 10, 2011
Thanks again Grace. All of the info & advice you've shared has been extremely helpful. I'm going to pick up a copy of Terri's book & read it before making any hasty decisions on potential relationships.

One thing that has really thrown me is what you said about most clinics/doctors excluding hsv testing from standard std panels. If hsv has become such a common disease with a 1:5
ratio in women, why would the medical community continue to exclude hsv testing when checking for stds? It makes no sense.

I've learned alot about the risks with intercourse, but what about oral sex? What ar
e the risks for my partner?  Can hsv2 be passed to the face/mouth?
by gracefromHHP, Nov 11, 2011
well preaching to the choir here about why isn't it a part of routine std testing.  between the cost of testing, the false positive issues that require additional testing and providers just not wanting to deal with telling someone that they have herpes, it's still not a recommended part of routine std testing.

you can transmit hsv2 to the oral area but the risk of such is very low. daily suppressive therapy would help reduce the already low risk even more.
by zarzamora, Nov 12, 2011
I'm also extremely surprised to learn that the HSV test would not be part of routine STD testing.  After all, providers have to tell people about other STD's (even worse ones than HSV).  Makes no sense.  I'm a 65 year old female and contracted HSV2 in my early twenties.  Recently, I've been getting outbreaks every couple of months.  I'm also in a sexual relationship with somebody.  Could it be that my immune system has weakened with age and therefore I'm now getting more outbreaks?  I asked my partner if he has it and he said no.  I don't know whether to believe him, s I know he's been with many women.  But I DO know for sure when I contracted it!  BTW, can one be RE-infected with HSV2 if one already has a primary infection?  A different strain perhaps?

As for HSV1, I've had that since early childhood.  I remember my mother would get sores under her nose, so I might have gotten HSV1 from contact with her.  Not sure.

I recently got a full STD panel done via Kaiser Permanente (HMO and it DID include the HSV 1 & 2 tests.  I was clean except for HSV 1 & 2.  Well, as lest Kaiser included the test in the panel.  Docs ave to inform patients about cancer and other life threatening diseases, so why not Herpes?  So many have it, or have it without knowing it, it seems ridiculous not to include it.  Do women tend to have worse symptoms than men?

Thanks for reading and/or suggestions.
by gracefromHHP, Nov 13, 2011
we'll gladly help you with your questions if you start your own post. thanks!