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Levels of antibodies in herpes test
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Levels of antibodies in herpes test

I recently was tested (blood test after 11 days of possible exposure) for herpes and was told I had been "exposed" to the virus. The levels in both the HSV1 and 2 tests were high (around 30) and supposedly a 1 tells you the virus exists. I haven't had a break out. I'm wondering if the levels show that this was a recent exposure or if the virus could have been in my system for years with no breakouts I'm recently divorced after ten years--only 2 partners since 1992--the condom failure was with a new partner who claims to have had no STDs and had no visible signs of herpes or anything else. In 1989 I did have relations with someone who more likely than not did have some form of STDs.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Those test numbers suggest you did not have the newer, accurate HSV blood tests.  The most widely used test, HerpeSelect, gives numbers between 0 and about 5.0; levels about 1.0 are positive.  The best that can be said about your results is that you have been infected (and still carry) one or both of the HSV types--but I cannot tell whether its HSV-1, -2, or both.

Recheck with your health care provider to be sure you had one of modern, truly type-specific HSV blood tests:  HerpeSelect, Biokit-HSV2 (or a third now available, whose name I forget).  If not, get retested with the right test.

But don't expect too much from the test.  No test can tell how long you have been infected.  If positive, you are never going to know when and from whom you acquired the virus.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
The second sentence of my response should say level above 1.0 (not "about" 1.0) are positive.

HHH, MD
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the information. The healthcare provider told me the levels for each HSV-1 and HSV-2 (both of which were over 20). It was a blood test that determined the presence of antibodies . In checking with other Herpes sources, they say that antibodies generally don't appear for at least 2 weeks. However, I had them after 11 days.

I've been reading that the incubation period for antibodies after an exposure to genital herpes is two to ten days. Again, I had the test done at 11 days. Therefore, is there a strong likelihod that this exposure caused anti-bodies to surface within 11 days and that this was my first exposure?
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239123_tn?1267651214
Those numbers still suggest that your provider did not order the right kind of HSV antibody test.  You probably have either HSV-1, HSV-2, or both; and whatever you have probably was acquired before the exposure you are concerned about.  No more can be said.  Tell your provider you want the lab to do the HerpeSelect test; request it by name.

HHH, MD
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Avatar_n_tn
I remembered that I had a breakout on my buttocks in June which was prior to the recent condom debacle I mentioned in my previous post. It didn't occur to me at that time that it was a herpes breakout. Eventually it went away, without treatment, but I still have a small non-raised redness in the area. Could this breakout have been the reason the anti-bodies were so high in the test that was done about 3-4 weeks after the initial breakout in June?
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Positive HSV antibodies blood test was started.
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A related discussion, Antibodies was started.
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