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Avatar universal

Varying HSV-1 and HSV-2 Results


First, I would like to say that if this question has already been asked, I apologize in advance.

After recently getting into a new relationship, I thought it would be a good idea to get tested for all STDs (as I do at the beginning of all my relationships). As a note, we have been having protected sex over the past two-three months. My first set of results is as follows:

HSV-1 (IgG): 0.46
HSV-2 (IgG): 1.28

HSV-2 (IgM): 0.38

After receiving (borderline) positive results for HSV-2, I decided to get tested a week later (using the same type of tests - Herpeselect) at a different clinic (I have read many times about the possibilities of false positives). My second set of results isiu as follows:

HSV-1 (IgG): 0.11
HSV-2 (IgG): 0.17

HSV-1 (IgM): 1.58

I am a little confused as to how my HSV-2 IgG scores have decreased dramatically all within a week. I have seen posts here where people's scores jump around quite a bit but never to this extent. Any ideas? Normal fluctuations in antibodies? Lab error? Clerical error? Just to be sure, I will wait about a month and get IgG results only.

Lastly, I know I have read repeatedly here that IgM scores are rubbish so I take the results with a grain of salt. However, do you have any ideas as to why (once again, within a week) my HSV-1 score went from negative (I did not ask for my HSV-1 IgM score the first time - but know it was negative) to a 1.58?

I know that most of my questions can be answered with a third and final test (hopefully) but since I have to wait a month, I was hoping you might be able to shed some light on these results. Thanks so much for your time and look forward to your response.
5 Responses
101028 tn?1419603004
your + hsv2 igg was most likely a false positive. totally up to you if you want to retest at a later date or not.  

the differences in the test results varies and we don't take the igm into account at all in adults. the low positive issues are well known at this point which is why we recommend follow up confirmatory testing.

if your partner has been tested and is negative then you know you don't haev a newly acquired infection.

Avatar universal
Thank you for the quick reply Grace. I will wait another couple of weeks and get retested. The girlfriend gets tested this week so I should have a pretty good idea then.

If the IgM is unreliable, they really should just stop using it!  Furthermore, I'm really shocked these docs at the clinics aren't a little more up-to-date with their test info. It's a shame really - would prevent a lot of worrying/anxiety.

Anyways, thanks again.
101028 tn?1419603004
the current cdc std guidelines specifically say not to get the herpes igm. they also mention the low positive issues with the herpes testing. these were just released yesterday so hopefully word gets out faster to providers who weren't aware of these issues previously.

Avatar universal
Hi Grace:

Just another quick question. Girlfriend's tests came back today at 1.2+ for HSV-2 (IgG) (pretty much the same results as I had) and negative for everything else. She immediately got another test and we are waiting for these results.

How likely/unlikely is it she has a false positive as well? Can I put too much faith in my tests (listed above) now? In other words, a possible false negative...?

I guess the answer is to get tested one more time each and hopefully, we will have a more definitive answer. If not, and the results stay the same or increase, I'm going to put an end to this testing. Thanks in advance again!
101028 tn?1419603004
hers is most likely a false positive too but confirming that is the best course of action.
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