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HSV Blood test results
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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 Blood test results

I'm not able to interpret these results and really would like some help.  

I had "something" going on down there one day back in 2004 (a red spot, not a lesion) and my doctor recommended having a blood test since previous cultures had come back negative.  I had the Herpes Simplex AB Type 1 & 2 IgG IgM Antibodies tests done.  

Here are the results:

HSV 1 & 2 IgG Type Specific Antibodies
HSV 1 Type Specific AB     0.24
HSV 2 Type Specific AB     0.13

Herpes Simplex Virus IgM Antibody Screen:
HSV IgM Ab Screen        Detected Index: Reference Range: Not Detected

Herpes Simplex Virus IgM Antibody Titer:
HSV IgM Ab Titer             40 H  Titer

I read that the titer is only tested if antibodies are found.  I only want to know if I have the virus or not.  I have not had any "symptoms" since this test and do not know how much information I should give potential sexual partners about my having herpes.  I was told at the time that "I was at the end of a herpes outbreak" but I do not know what the difference is between IgM and IgG and which one tells me what??? This has caused 3 years of emotional turmoil and I am still so confused.  

Please help.  I'm having a lot of trouble getting clear answers on this.

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Your test results are completely negative.  As long as your last possible exposure to HSV-1 or HSV-2 was 3 months or more before the test was done, you have never been infected with either HSV-1 or HSV-2.

Search the forum for innumerable discussions about IgM versus IgG herpes antibody; use search term IgM for the most pertinent information.  The bottom line is that only IgG testing is useful.  IgM often gives false positive results, but that's not an issue in your case since your result is negative.

So there is no reason for "emotional turmoil".  Whatever you had "down there" in 2004, it wasn't herpes.  There is nothing to tell your current or future sex partners.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Based on the above information and test results, would you recommend I re-test IgG levels?  I know the IgM is not a reliable measure... but I guess I want to be 150% sure after 3 years of thinking I had it.

The test was done at least 6 months after possible exposure to the virus.

Thank you!!
There is no point in further testing.  You can already be 150% sure you don't have HSV.  Now you need to address why your mind is so laser-beam focused on this issue despite all rational evidence.  If you cannot avoid thoughts that you might nevertheless be infected, you might need counseling.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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