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Herpes Simplex Virus - Test Question
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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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Herpes Simplex Virus - Test Question

Hello Doctor's

I recently took a standard STD (Oct12) test and everything proved good except for Herpes results: I'm confused by the results and wanted to ask your advise:

Here is how it is displayed:

Herpes Simplex IgG; Serum Test
Method- EIA
Result - Positive
Comment - OD 1.521 / CF 0.355
Reference Range - Negative

I have no symptoms current or post based upon the well documented effects of Herpes, the test doesn't really indicate if it was for Type1 or Type2 and I'm a little confused because it says I'm positive yet in the reference range it says negative.

Could any of you shed some light on this?

I'm of generally good health and very rarely become sick.

Thank You
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Welcome to our Forum. I'll be pleased to comment.  I too am a bit confused by your results.  There are several different kinds of herpes blood tests but not all of them give useful information.   The best tests are referred to as "Type specific IgG tests" and these tests test for either HSV-1 or HSV-2.  One of the most widely used such tests is the HerpeSelect.  Even these tests however are not perfect and they sometimes yield positive results in people who do not have herpes- these are called "false positive" tests.  

Thus for the results you have, I cannot be helpful at this time.  You need to know:
1.  Was the test an IgG type specific test?
2.  Were you tested for HSV- and HSV-2 (the bests tests test for both).

If there is more information, I'll be pleased to help with interpretation of your results.

Finally, one question I can answer is the meaning of the statement "Reference Range - Negative" - this means that the desired or "normal" result is the results were negative.  Your results were not negative, we just don't know what they mean.  If you can get more information I’ll be happy to comment further.

I hope these comments help.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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