Mine is a rare case of low positive being a confirmed positive.
I had no symptoms and tested basically to rule out herpes before starting new relationship. I was sure I could not have it. I had one long-term partner and we both thought we were clean.
Herpes Select came positive for both types, HSV2 1.97. As I read, not only it was low, after many years with herpes, the number should be even higher. At the same time I had what I thought could be a breakout (very mild). So I did Western Blot, and it came positive.
The nurse told me numbers do not correlate with years living with the infection. It is totally individual. I am glad I spent some money and got WB done.
im in panic mode.. my new partner rightfully requested std tests and everything was ngve except hsv 1+2. i dont have recent memory of cold sores and i definitely never had outbreaks genitally..do men experience genital outbreaks? my results were
hsv1 igg- 1.80
hsv2 igg- 1.60
can these be false positives? what should my next action be ? my world is upside down right now.. i havent had a sexual encounter for about five months. thanks for you help
I had unprotected sex 3/16/12. I had Igg June 14. results were 0.90 negative, 0.90 -1.10 Equivocal, 1.10 positive. I was told I have both 1&2. June 18 I had the Igm and it was identicle to Igg. I asked for WB and was told thst was for HIV patients. Im lost n confused. I hear cut off is 1.1 then I read 3.5. What to do? I was gonna have WB around Aug. thru a clinic. Is this a false positive?
Thank you Grace and Dr. HHH for all your information and everything you have done. I have been following the threads on Medhelp and am so grateful for all the information. Here are my results:
In late May 2012, I went in for a routine std blood test because I was thinking of dating again. I had no symptoms but I have gotten routine std tests throughout my life before starting new relationships. Here are the results:
HSV1 HerpeSelect IgG < .91
HSV2 HerpeSelect IgG HIGH 4.89
I immediately went and got retested the day of the results (3 days after the original test). I got tested at two separate locations on the same day:
HSV1 HerpeSelect IgG < .91
HSV2 HerpeSelect IgG HIGH 3.17
HSV1 HerpeSelect IgG < .91
HSV2 HerpeSelect IgG HIGH 2.14
I went two days after receiving the second set of results and got blood drawn for a Western Blot. I got the results (13 days after the blood draw) and it is negative for both HSV1 and HSV2. It has been over 16 weeks since I broke up with my last boyfriend who I dated for 1.5 years. We were monogamous. He had no symptoms and had been monogamously married for 20 years. (He has not yet gotten tested.)
Prior to dating my ex, I tested negative for everything, including HSV1 and HSV2 (< .90 on both) on a HerpeSelect IgG combo (and that test was 6 months after my boyfriend before that).
I am finding it very hard to believe (but grateful) that the Western Blot is negative. I understand from my physician, though, that it is the gold standard and I should rely on that as my not having HSV2. It would reassure me if you felt the same.
I also would be more reassured if you could help me to understand why the HerpeSelect would come back with a false positive. What is it that is in my blood that makes it false positive for HSV2? Can I confidentially disregard the HerpeSelect results?
Thank you again for you information and please add my information to the poll.
Just received the news that I was HSV2 Positive: 1.16, however I do not have symptoms that indicate that I have HSV, I have not had unprotected sex in my entire LIFE-I have however kissed (french), and perhaps I think I might have gotten it here. I spoke to the doctor openly about this, and he wants to re-do the tests in 3 weeks. I think I should try the Western Blot also, as I am really confused as to where this could have come from.
Could this be a false positive?
I don't recall off the top of my head any stats for hsv1 false positives. I know it's been buried in some of the studies I've read but it's not something I have handy to quote. I know the hsv1 false positives weren't anywhere near the false positives for hsv2. The problem with hsv1 igg testing is more false negatives than false positives.
A year ago, I tested negative for both HSV1 and 2 with Herpeselect. A few weeks ago, I tested negative for HSV1, but positive for HSV2 with a result of 1.93.
The symptom I illustrated in my post turned out to be an ingrown hair. So I'm doubtful that I've ever had an outbreak.
I've seen two doctors, both of whom indicated that their offices do not do either WB or Biokit. I am getting very frustrated because neither of these doctors believe that false positive results are likely. They discourage me from getting a WB or Biokit because they are highly confident that the results are accurate. I showed both of them the results of the Berkeley study, which they disregarded.
I could use advice on how to find a doctor who offers these tests. I've called several doctors whose offices indicate that I need to schedule an appointment before they tell me if they can do the tests.
I would be grateful for any advice and what your sense is of my situation. Should I be hopeful of this being a false positive or should I trust my doctors (particularly because I am HSV1 negative, reducing the likelihood of a false positive)? This roller-coaster of emotions and mixed opinions has been quite tough.
April 17th: Received 8 panel STD test results…only positive result was HSV2 iGg @ 1.50.
April 24th: Became a phone patient of Mrs. Terri Warren and scheduled a HSV Western Blot to establish a secure baseline/status prior to April 17th testing
April 27th: 1st Western Blot, which returned negative results for HSV1 AND HSV2. I had to get this first Western Blot as it was brought to my attention my doctor had admittedly forgotten to test me for HSV at my last STD test request (STD testing which took place prior to the April 13th 8 panel STD test).
July 27th: Confirmation Western Blot, 16 weeks and 1 day post exposure.
August 20th: Confirmation Western Blot results=Negative for BOTH HSV1 AND HSV2
Its true…you can be HSV1 NEGATIVE and HSV2 (low) positive with a Herpeselect igg, but in actuality, HSV 1 & 2 NEGATIVE with a Western Blot.
The only physical symptoms I experienced were the ones in my head from paranoia! Since Mrs. Warren called with the results yesterday, everything I thought I had been feeling for the last 4 months has vanished.
Thank you Grace again for your help. Back in 12/11 I went for a routine gyono appointment and decided to test for all STD's. My blood test came back positive with HSV-2 2.52 I believe. After speaking with Grace she suggested I retest given my circumstances and situation. Again in 5/12 I had the same IgG test redone and came back positive 1.1. Grace advised that I was still testing too early and to wait a little longer and retest the IgG or go for a WB. I went for the WB and after some headache of educating my doctor on the test I was finally able to get the WB. Today I got the test results back negative! Obviously I was thrilled. I am glad to say I am a good example of why you should definitely retest with the WB if you have low positive results or if you tested positive without symptoms or whatever your reason. The test is a little expensive and you might need to be patient with the doctor as it seems most are not familiar with the test but it is worth it. Below is a link of my original conservation with Grace for more accurate dates and details.
I was just tested positive with a 1.79 for HSV2 two weeks ago. I tested with STDtestexpress and I don't know how accurate their tests are, they claim to be 98% accurate. I don't know if I had any symptoms, it's hard to tell. Doctors have examined me and said that they don't think I've had a breakout and some even doubt that I have it yet but I've been freaking out thinking every bump and red spot is herpes related. I had a really horrible case of tonsillitis a few months ago, not sure if that is related to the herpes because my tonsils never went down. I believe I'm at a high risk of having it, but I'm praying I don't. My boyfriend was tested negative so that is a good sign. I plan on getting tested with the western blot.
I am in a similar situation as many people in this forum. I was tested in January 2011 along with my annual since I was sexually active. I found out I got HSV 1, but negative HSV 2.
HSV 1 >5.00
HSV 2 .46
Again in September
HSV 2 .3
Again last week using the HSV Type 1/2AB and got
HSV 2 1.34
My question: is there is a difference between the HSV Type 1/2 AB test and the HSV Type 2 Glycoprotein G-Specific Antibody, IGG by ELISA? Will the second test give you more specific results than the other one? My first doctor said that it can be a cross-reactivity and the second one said if I've never had a lesion or breakout, I shouldn't worry too much and be re-tested (which I did.)
I had my bloodwork re-done again using the ELISA test and also asked my doctor to give me the WB test.... not sure if he'll have problems mailing it out or LabQuest can do that.
I've never had any lesions, but I'm scaring myself thinking that maybe those 'ingrown hairs' were maybe lesions? Is it possible to mistake the two? I've been with the same boyfriend for 9 months and he also got tested, but his results haven't come back. If he's negative, should I be relieved that I'm a false positive?
I really learned a lot of from forum and if anyone can answer my questions, I would greatly appreciate it.
Firstly, I can't say THANK YOU enough to people like Grace. Thank you, Grace. :) All your worked to educate others (along with others) is definitely making a major difference in people's lives. Bravo.
Here's my story...
About 1.5 years ago, my life was turned upside when I went to get a full STD panel test. I got regularly tested (usually every year or so) so it wasn't anything I hadn't done many times before.
But I'll never forget the lady on the phone telling me I had tested positive for HSV-2. (Negative on everything else.) Like many others, I was completely devasted. I had never had any symptoms (that I knew of) and so being told I tested positive was a shock.
I spent about a week feeling completely depressed. I thought maybe it was possible no one would ever love me again and I would end up alone. I had all sorts of those thoughts like many others do.
After that first week or so, I felt like I needed to become educated about my situation. So I went online and did all the research I could about HSV-2. I learned that millions of others live with the virus and it really isn't the end of the world. More than anything, the social phobia of it is was overblown.
But one thing I discovered during my research was this forum, along with many posts by Grace, Dr. HHH, and many other thoughtful people. I would also soon discover this 'thing' known as false positive ELISA HerpesSelect results, and low positive values between 1.1 and 3.5.
I didn't even have the nerve to call back the clinic to ask what test was used (I was afraid of what they'd say) and what my IGG value was. So one of my friend's called next to me and I told him what to ask. Sure, enough it was the HerpesSelect test and IGG value 2.6 for HSV-2. Right in the middle of that low positive range. * Important note, I was NOT positive for HSV-1 like many others that get false positives. Only positive for HSV-2.
So after reading all the great info from Grace and others here, I learned that I really need to go and take a confirmation test. So I called the company that makes the BioKit test, found the closest clinic that used it (2 hours away by train) and off I went to take that test at a Planned Parenthood. The nurse that drew my blood was really nice to me (I had told her my story and the research I did) and she actually let me stay in the room as she performed the BioKit test... NEGATIVE.
I couldn't believe it. How could this other clinic tell me that my blood without a doubt indicated that I had HSV-2, yet my research led me to believe this might not be the case - and the BioKit confirmed that I was indeed negative. I was outraged.
More to the story...
For the past 1.5 years since that all happened, I'll be honest, I still had my lingering doubts whether I was infected in somehow or not. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that a test DID say I was positive. What caused that 2.6 value? What was going on with my blood that gave that reading? There was still a small part of me that believed I was possibly infected. Most of the days I would put it out of my mind, but there were a few sleepless nights when my obsessive mind would latch onto it and get my really down.
To add to that... I could no longer enjoy the part of town where that original clinic was. Every time I'd pass by it would bring back the strong emotions and make me doubt what my actual health status was.
That brings me to today. For whatever reason I felt compelled to just go back to the original clinic (only one in NYC that gives same day test results) and get a full STD panel done. I was just curious what would happen.
Everything came back negative. My HSV-2 IGG value... 0.110.
I had a long talk with the doctor and the nurses there and was adamant about raising awareness of false positives. They said they had heard about a few of them happening but they were completely unaware of the studies done that show as many as 50-70% of those low positives can be false. I told them about this site and told them they need to do more research and educate their patients that receive low positive results.
Anyway thanks for listening to me ramble through all of that. Thanks again to Grace and everyone else doing their best to educate people. I can only imagine how many people are walking around right now thinking they are infected when they are not. It's infuriating.
To everyone reading this and going through something similar or having confirmed negative results, know that there are tons of people that care about you and this virus doesn't define you.
Mike that is very true. I just got tested for the for STD at my routine exam and about 2 weeks later the nurse called and said that all my other test results were fine and the only abnormal one was I tested positive(exposed to the virus?????) for HSV-1 and HSV-2. She then told me I had to schedule an appointment to speak with the doctor about my results so I did and that was a week ago today. When I went in we went over test results and I told him I had never had any symptoms of either and demanded a retest and he stated that it would probably come back the same. And I just got my retest results and it still states I have been exposed to the virus 1&2. Now I am going to call to see what kind of test was taken and what the readings were. I pray that the result are a false positive. I do believe that there are errors in medicine and that God has total control over my body!!!! Please pray for me b/c I just have sooo much going thru my mind and I haven't even told anyone about the result( I plan to tell my previous partner) but this devestating news to hear when you feel,look and everything else seem fine.
Hey, everyone, just wanted to share my story of being HSV2 NEGATIVE after falsely testing positive twice.
10/30/12 - Unprotected sexual encounter with someone I had just met
12/9/12 - HSV1 negative, HSV2 positive at 3.96 (Igg type specific testing)
12/20/12 - HSV1 negative, HSV2 positive at 1.75 (Igg type specific testing)
4/12/13 - HSV1 negative, HSV2 negative by WB!
Although I had come to terms with having HSV2, I am extremely happy to find out I don't have it. My doctor was extremely surprised (pleasantly, of course), and said he will never forget this experience. I provided him all the necessary information to recommend the WB as confirmation for his future patients, and I also directed him to this forum.
Although I really had come to terms with having HSV2, it is truly a relief that I don't have it. As I've become extremely well educated about HSV2, I realize just how ridiculous the stigma is that comes along with it. However, dating is stressful enough in general, and I'm very happy to have one less thing to worry about in that regard. It's certainly changed the way I will approach sexual relationships in the future.
I experienced the same thing when requesting a Western Blot from Quest (through my dermatologist). Someone in the dermatologists office said that you have to add "x" to the end of the test number, i.e. #34534x -- once this was relayed to the Quest person on the phone, they said "Oh, here it is...." By the way, Quest sends your blood to the University of Washington. I called the University of Washington lab and they were very friendly -- they told me that they received my blood on Saturday (my blood was drawn on the Thursday of that week). I am patiently waiting for my results...fingers crossed!
Thank you, Dr. Handsfield, and other members for their contributions to this site. It has been a great help to me over the past few weeks.
I am a female who gets tested on a regular basis, especially between partners and has open conversations with potential partners about STDs, testing and safety. In December I had a panel of tests taken through STDExpress and came out positive for HSV 1 igg 5.67 (not surprising, had a few cold sores as a kid) and positive for HSV 2 igg 1.61. This was a surprise because I had experienced no symptoms, had tested negative prior to my last partner who also was regularly tested and with whom I used condoms. Of course, I know HSV can still be transmitted, despite tests and taking precautions so figured maybe I was one of those people who fell into that category.
The company stood by their results that I was positive, and I started the process of coming to terms with that "fact".
I did quite a bit of research to find positive friendly resources so that I could move on and grow from the experience - my hope being that regardless of my status I would be a stronger person as a result. However, the fact that I was still low positive for HSV 2 had me doing some research on the chances of false positives which led me to the MedHelp Herpes forum. This site has been instrumental in not only giving me information and resources to ensure that I get confirmatory testing, but also in giving me the tools to lead a full and happy life even if positive.
My OBGYN set me up with another round of blood tests (HSV 2 igg) approximately 2 weeks after my initial test. My results came in today and I was negative at 0.13 (normal at that lab being 0.89). My doctor has a lot of faith in the work and reliability of the lab he uses. He stands by these results as being negative, and does not see any need in doing a different test (such as Western Blot or BioKit), but of course says that if I have any lingering doubts about my status we could always get these done.
I did contact STDExpress to give some feedback and share some concerns I had regarding the fact that they so strongly stand by the reliability of their results even if there is a low positive, without encouraging clients to get confirmatory testing. Not sure if that will have any impact, but I do hope that if more people do the same it will push the industry to take a closer look at their practices on how they frame test results to their consumers.
Needless to say it has been a whirlwind of emotions these past few weeks, but this site has been a bit of calm in the storm.
I would also like to respond to the poll, if that is still possible (but couldn't figure out how to do so...).
Does anyone knows hsv1 and hsv2 igg elisa tests other than herpeselect biokit kalon?
The lab ( outside usa ) says they are type specific but i dont know much about them
One uses index neg 11
Another lab neg 30
They say they are igg and type specific but i wanted to know if any one had ever met these refrence values?
Possible exposure feb 2012
4weeks Herpeselect igg hsv2 1.7
One more week later herpeselect immunoblot negative
1.5 years later the previous test ls mentioned above outside usa both neg
I don't know how to take the actual poll above (probably because I'm not a member), but I just had a WB done for HSV2 after a low positive blood test result at Planned Parenthood and it came back Negative!! I had found this page and was hoping for a false positive result, but had pretty much resigned myself to having it. Cannot imagine if I had not done the confirmatory testing.
Thank you so much for posting this! It is so important.
This is my story, a repost from a thread I started yesterday...
(Late 20's male, uncircumcised, negative for both HSV1/2 3/2012).
My girlfriend (until yesterday) and I enjoyed a very active sex life, vaginally and orally. About two months ago she complained of some burning and itching in her vagina. She went to the gyro and all parties thought it was just a yeast infection, no testing. Shortly thereafter I developed some itching and small red spots, thought it was just a yeast infection and from what I read it sounded like it would just go away. Last week I developed some pain during ejaculation which morphed into pain during urination. I went to urgent care and the doctor said it presented like herpes and took a swab, blood and urine to run tests. Last Friday the swab came back positive for HSV1 and the IgM came back negative for both HSV1/2. After doing some research I called back and asked them about the IgG results and they told me that the lab had not resulted the IgG for some reason. I asked them why they didn't and they had no explanation. I asked them to have the lab (LabCorp) develop them and I received the results today and it was IgG negative for HSV1 (<.91) and 2.23 for HSV2.. I have never had any symptoms prior to last week. These results have me rather distressed and I am curious what the various scenarios that could come of these results?
Has anyone ever had a similar issue with a positive culture being incorrect?
Or with there being a discrepancy between the culture and the IgG?
I am 29 years old male in asia, i never had sex with other girl beside my partner. Unfortunately 8 weeks ago I received oil hand job from massage parlour without condom. 2 days after exposure i experienced itchy on groin and scrotum. 3 days I used detergent based soap to wash it and became reddish.
I went to doctor and the doctor gave me hydrocortisone. It healed my reddish within 2 days. And the doctor said it is irritation not herpes.
However there is a big worry on me then i took hsv igg test 7.5 weeks after exposure. The result :
Hsv 1 igg 0.7 (negative)
Hsv 2 igg 1.14 (> 1.1 reference said positive)
All igm negative
The doctor said it could be false positive since still in borderline for hsv 2.
The question is :
1. Am i positive or negative ?
2. Am i safe to have sex with my partner ? We plan to have a child
3. Do i need to re-test ?
I really appreciate your response since i can't get enough sleep worrying this confusion.
Hi, first of all you cant contract herpes from a oil handjob. So no testing was needed. So the test you took would be for detecting hsv2 from past experience and since you had none outside your partner, it would be a false positive.
The only other option is that your partner has hsv2 and you just contracted it and tested to early.
I posted my own thread but I'm still unsettled and am wondering if I should go for WB or being asymptomatic this long after exposure, I should just not seek testing. Here's the story.
This year, I had protected sex with three strippers in three separate occasions from about Feb. to March. I used condoms. The encounters were brief and vaginal.
The last encounter was early April. It was unprotected oral which I received. Late April I decided to get tested. Everything came back clean except HSV 2. That came back equivocal. The test was ordered through STD Express. I tested again May 11. The IGG result was 2.05. I read STD Express has a 98% sensitivity.
Two weeks ago, I went to my doctor and told him that I haven't had any lesions and I wanted the WB test. He sent me to Quest. Quest ran my blood work and called the doctor's office to tell him that they didn't do WB. Instead they ran my blood work again for HSV. This time it came back at about IGG 1.69. So to recap.
Since April, I've gone from equivocal, to 2.05 to 1.69 IGG. HSV 1 Negative. What should I do. Thanks
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