STDs Expert Forum
HSV 1 postive result - need help intrperting it
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HSV 1 postive result - need help intrperting it

Dear Doctor,

I gave unprotected oral sex 17 days ago to a female partner who I don't plan on seeing again.  She said she didn't have any STDs.  I decided to get a 8 panel STD test to see if I had gotten anything.  Before this encounter I've been only with one partner for the last 8 months.  

I have no symptoms, but results came back as positive for HSV 1.  Before this the last time I tested was over a year ago.  Everything came back negative.


Here are the results I got back today:

HSV 1/2 IGG HERPESELECT

HSV 1 IGG HERPESELECT AB 1.70 H 0.00-0.89 INDEX QTE
Interpretation: Positive

HSV 2 IGG HERPESELECT AB 0.12 0.00-0.89 INDEX QTE
Interpretation: Negative


What does a IGG 1.7  for HSV 1mean? Is that a low positive? Should I retest?

Could I have gotten HSV 1 from the oral sex?

Or could I have had HSV 1 from before and not known.  


Thanks
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.  Thanks for your question.

Your result means you are infected with HSV-1.  The specific numerical value doesn't mean anything.  A result of 1.7 is just as positive as it would be for, say, 2.5 or 6.0.  Anything over 1.1 is positive.  (This is a bit different than for HSV-2, where the number sometimes is important.  Not for HSV-1.)

Half of all adults in the United States have positive HSV-1 tests.  Some have histories of oral cold sores or, more rarely, genital herpes outbreaks.  However, the large majority of people with HSV-1 have no symptoms at all.  Most  likely your infection is oral and probably you were infected sometime during your childhood.  For sure you were not infected during the oral sex event 17 days before the test.  It takes several weeks, and sometimes 3 months or more, before the blood test becomes positive.

Fortunately, HSV-1 is usually not an STD.  And even if your infection is genital and was sexually acquired sometime in your past, since you're not having outbreaks, probably you'll never transmit it to a sex partner.

So for all those reasons, this isn't alarming at all.  You're just like everyone else -- half of all adult Americans -- with HSV-1.  Most likely it will never be  a problem for you.

I hope these comments are helpful.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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