Avatar universal

How do I have herpes type 2 ?

Hello on January 1 2018 I had unprotected sex with my ex boyfriend I am a 27 year old female, after that encounter I tested for hiv and hsv type 2 up until May 2018 which hiv came back negative but my hsv 2 came back at a value of 0.91. They stated that my hsv 2 was negative at the time. I no longer seen my ex or had unprotected sex with anyone, I did have another bf which we always used condoms never did we have oral. About 7 weeks ago I had sex with a different person we used a condom, but when he pulled out some of the sperm from the condom touched my vagina lips. I went to get tested for std 5 weeks after that encounter, they just recently informed me that I have hsv 2, that my number was 1.09, how is this possible ? Was the virus in me asleep ? Or did the drops of sperm that touched my vaginal lips transfer that to me ? How long does is take for herpes 2 to show ? Do condoms protect you for hsv 2 at all ? Is the test accurate, could it have been a false positive ? How could I know with certainty I have that ?  I’m so scared, I thought I had been so carefull and am unsure how I got it
1 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
207091 tn?1337709493
A couple of things -

What test did you have? Was it an IgM or an IgG?

If it was an IgM, ignore it totally. It's unreliable, and shouldn't have been done on you (it should only be done on newborns).

If it was an IgG, it's actually still considered indeterminate or equivocal, because the official positive range is 1.10. Most experts feel that anything below a 3.5 needs to be confirmed as anything under that could be a false positive.

You said you tested for hsv2 - do you already have hsv1? The IgM can sometimes have a hard time distinguishing between hsv1 and 2.

Also, make sure your test is type specific. It should say something like, "hsv2 IgG 1.09 and hsv1 IgG 8.2" (your numbers for hsv1 may be different if you had that test run).

If it says, "HSV1/2 IgG 1.09", that's not type specific, and is only telling you a result for hsv1 OR hsv2, OR both.

Herpes doesn't "sleep" and the tests look for antibodies to the virus, not the actual virus. Herpes isn't spread by semen - it's spread by direct skin to skin contact, either mouth to genital, genital to genital or genital to anal.

Because condoms don't cover all the skin, you can still get herpes (and HPV and syphilis) while using condoms, but condoms greatly reduce the risk. Has your partner been tested? You had a negative test before - if your current partner is negative, you can't have it.

You can read more about herpes testing in the Herpes Handbook at https://westoverheights.com/herpes/the-updated-herpes-handbook/ It's free, and written by one of the world's leading herpes experts. Let us know if you have any more questions.

I know it's scary, but we'll figure it out. :)
Helpful - 0
Thankyou so much for your feedback, I’m not sure what type of test was done on me, I went to a family planning clinic and they offered to test me for hsv 1 and hsv 2. They drew blood, and today they called me stating I was negative for hsv 1 but was positive for hsv 2. Could it be possible that I might have acquired it even if we were wearing a condom accurately.  Could hsv2 be acquired through male scrotum touching your skin?  I’m just so shocked the last time I had unprotected sex was in Jan 1 2018 and since then I got so scared and tested up until June 2018( 6 months)and tested negative for everything including hsv 1 and 2, they did lab and culture swabs and everything was negative back then.  I had sex with my last partner about 6 weeks ago could that be early enough to detect it if it was from him? I no longer talk to him so I’m not sure if he is negative. Should I retest somewhere else just to make sure ? Should I ask for a specific test? I don’t have any bumps  or anything on my vagina. Could me giving unprotected oral cause hsv 2 ?  Thankyou so much for your response
I was able to get the exam result it is HSV 2 IGG TYPE SPECIFIC AB 1.09, if it’s equivocal ? Why did they tell me it’s positive ? Could this be a recent infection and am barely developing antibodies ? Do I need another type of test or do I need to retest in a couple of weeks ?
They told you it's positive because not everyone knows how to interpret test results, and fewer still know that even the CDC says that anything under a 3.5 needs to be confirmed.

You are conclusively negative from your Jan 2018 encounter - your tests 6 months after would have shown that.

It's possible that you are newly infected and you'll need to retest. You have some options.

You can wait a few weeks or a month or so and test again with an IgG. If you are truly newly infected, the test should indicate a rise in the number and show you as positive.

You could get another similar number, and then you'll end up where you are now. There is a confirmatory test called the Western Blot that is great to use in situations like this to determine your actual status.

You could also wait and test with a Western Blot and skip another IgG. Getting a WB isn't that easy, though. Your doctor can order it, but a lot of docs don't understand why you need to confirm it, so you may have to be prepared to go in armed with info, which I can give you. You can also go through Westover Heights, and Terri Warren will order it for you, but you have to self-pay, and it's expensive.

Since you used a condom, the chances of you getting herpes are much lower. At this point, it's hard to say if you have it or not. I know it sucks, but try to hang in there. Read the herpes handbook I linked above - that explains all the testing.
Thankyou so much for your response. Let’s say I go again and test at 8 weeks post exposure and the number rises from 1.09 to 1.32 does that mean I do have herpes 2? Or would it have to be beyond 3.5 for me to be certain that I have that ? Is there a possibility at all that the number could drop ? I want to get the western test but am unsure if they offer it at my family planning clinic how do I go by getting tested through Westover heights . Also now that I remember on my last encounter my partner was  to big for me so his skin never really touched me, his penis head barely entered into me, so I don’t recall any of his skin touching me, we really struggled and the condom never ripped, he checked it after; what did happen was that the condom was left inside but the opening was towards the outside and the sperm did spill and touched the outside of my vagina (sorry for the details) would this be considered a risk for herpes? Also is feeling joint pain in hands and fatigue 6 weeks after the encounter a sign of herpes seroconverting ? In the last 2 weeks I been feeling muscle fatigue and joint pain I do work out a lot so am unsure if it’s because of that .  Thankyou so much for all your information and your time I did read the link you sent me, and read about my test I do plan on retesting.
If you jump to 1.32, it COULD mean you have it, but I'd sure want to get that confirmed, if it were me.

Your family planning clinic can order the test, but it has to go through the Univ of Washington Virology Lab. http://depts.washington.edu/herpes/pages/frequently_asked_questions#faqCat-4

You can also get it done by Terri Warren at Westover Heights - https://westoverheights.com/herpes/getting-a-western-blot/

We know that 50% of those who get under a 3.5 don't have it, so it may get time consuming, frustrating and maybe expensive, but confirming would be worth it.

If his skin didn't touch you, he couldn't have transmitted it, but all of this will be speculation. I know it's so hard to not go back and analyze it all, but while you're doing that, remember that you have at least a 50/50 chance of not having it, statistically.

Herpes doesn't really give symptoms when seroconverting like HIV or other illnesses would. When you get things like muscle aches and fatigue, it's because you have an outbreak, and your body is fighting that, not seroconverting.

Take some time this weekend to get off the computer, and do something fun. I don't know where you are (and don't need to) but get outside if you can, or watch a funny movie. Do whatever it is that you find fun. :)
Thankyou for your feedback, I’m going to wait 2 weeks and retest with IGG again and depending on my number I will go from there if it’s still below 3.5 I will ask for a wb even though my provider will probably be looking at me like I need to get over it and accept it. I been feeling muscle pain , joint pain, fatigue these past 2 weeks which is 7 weeks post exposure does that mean this is my first outbreak ? I’m not seeing any bumps or sores, am I probably  just asymthomatic ? This is very frustating because I feel so lonely, and I feel like I won’t be able to date any more, or have a normal life.  I still cnt believe that regardless of protecting myself Im here being diagnosed with this. But then again I’m barely learning this lesson here that regardless your not really protected against this with condoms. All I can do is hope it’s a false positive but if in the past I had been tested n I was negative the probabibility if it being false is not much . The 1.09 means they found some antibodies, I’m just so shocked and depressed.
No, if you haven't had any blisters or sores, it's not an outbreak.

Your body could be fighting the flu, a cold, be sore from working out too much, stress, etc., etc. - the list is long and varied.

You don't know yet if you have herpes. You haven't actually been diagnosed, no matter what the family planning clinic said. No one ever gets a zero on these tests - there's some background noise to it, so to speak. I have hsv2. I could test today, and get a 8.72. Tomorrow, I could get a 9.9. The following day could be 7.6. It doesn't mean that one day I have more antibodies, or worse herpes, or anything like that. It simply means I'm positive.

You are somewhat protected against herpes with condoms. I mean, it's worth using them, for sure. It's just that herpes (and HPV and syphilis) are spread by direct skin to skin contact) and the condom doesn't cover all the skin.

So breathe. I know it's VERY frustrating. I have herpes, but my diagnosis was so clear - I had big, bad blisters that I was able to get cultured, and a very clearly positive blood hsv2 test at 3 weeks. (The only confusion I had was the IgM test, which shouldn't have been done on me, but it wasn't really that confusing since I knew what I had already.) No one wants herpes, but I wish the diagnosis process were this easy for everyone - either you have it, or you don't. Unfortunately, a lot more are like you.

Let's say for a minute that you do have it. Your life is not over. You will date again, you can have kids if that's a desire, you can have sex. There are MILLIONS of people living with hsv2, and we are not all dateless, celibate, kidless, loveless. We are living our lives as we did before herpes, with just a couple of minor adjustments. It's really just a blip in my life now. If you have herpes - and it's still a big IF - it will be the same for you.

I think testing again in a couple of weeks is a good idea. If your clinic needs some reading material for this:



If they are testing and treating for STDs, they should be following these guidelines. It's the standard of care in the US. I'd print it out and have it ready to give to them. :) The thing about herpes is that you're about to become more knowledgeable than your doctor, unfortunately.

Go have a good weekend, and try not to worry about this.  
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Herpes Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.
Millions of people are diagnosed with STDs in the U.S. each year.
STDs can't be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging or touching.
Syphilis is an STD that is transmitted by oral, genital and anal sex.