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Confusing Igg Test Results

Hi Doc,

I have a question, I received my Herpeselect Lab Test Results and here it follows....HSV-1 Igg: 5.0 and HSV-2 Igg: 1.7. My Doc said that I was "exposed" to the virus, but I don't have a active infection, I don't know what that means. I'm pretty sure that I do have HSV-1 but I'm not so sure that I have HSV-2 since I've never had symptoms of any kind. To be honest, I really don't believe that I have HSV-2. My question is should I retest in a few months, even though my doc said that it would be pointless because it would probably stay the same or not? Also, does this mean that I have HSV-2 truly? I'm really concerned and I could use your expert advice so I can put this to rest. What is the point of taking these test if they are not clear with the results.
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239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to the forum.  I agree there is a good chance you don't have HSV-2, despite the apparently positive test result.  The identical quesiton has been addressed several times on this forum.  For example, please see http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/593272.

First, terminology:  There is no such thing as a test showing someone is "exposed" but not infected.  A positive blood test means someone is infected with HSV-2, not just exposed.  Even if such persons have no symptoms, they can get future outbreaks and can transmit HSV-2 to their sex partners.

Since the type-specific HSV IgG tests came into general use, research has shown that results above 1.1 (the official cut-off value for a positive result) are not reliably positive unless 3.5 or higher.  At values like your result of 1.7, only around 30-40% actually have HSV-2.  As you will see in the other thread, the fact that your HSV-1 result is positive is in your favor:  it might increase the chance that your HSV-2 result is falsely positive.

The other thread also describes how you can sort this out by additional testing, either with the BiokitUSA test (which your doctor can do in the office in 20 minutes, while you wait) or by the Western blot test.

Don't blame your doctor (too much) for not being aware of proper interpretation of the HSV blood tests.  It's complex, and it's certainly confusing -- for reasons explained in the other thread.  You might print out both this reply and the other thread and discuss them with your doctor.

Bottom line:  It is possible you have HSV-2, but probably you don't.  Most likely repeat testing will sort it out.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Helpful - 4
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
To say again what has been repeated innumerable times on this forum:  There is no such thing as a blood test that shows exposure without infection.  James555's doctors are simply wrong.  They unintentionally mislead patients with such statements.  As the comments above make clear, there can be uncertainty as to whether a particular positive blood test is true or false.  But if truly positive for HSV-2, the person is infected with the virus and has the potential both to have symptomatic herpes outbreaks and to transmit the virus by sexual contact, with or without symptoms.  This is not a matter of scientific debate, only an issue of some doctors' understanding of the science.

HHH, MD
Helpful - 2
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
This makes it slightly less likely you have HSV-2.  The EIA ratio can be low-positive in an early HSV-2 infection, becoming more strongly positive later.  That you didn't have sex for several months before the test shows that this isn't a possibility in your case and therefore more likely that your HSV-2 result is false positive.  However, you cannot rely on this.  The only way to know whether or not you have HSV-2 is to undergo the additional testing I suggested in my original reply.  Feel free to return to the forum to tell us the result when you are retested.
Helpful - 0
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
The link in my reply above doesn't work unless you copy it into your browswer without the period at the end.  The MedHelp IT folks said they had fixed this glitch, but apparently not.  They'll be working on it.  Sorry for the inconvenience.
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Avatar universal
Does it matter that I haven't had sex in 8 months and I took this test about two weeks aggo?
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Avatar universal
I'm in a similar situation.  My Labcorp HSV I/II IgG combined was 21.8 and HSV2 IgG taken later was 2.89.  The doctor said "suggests genital herpes exposure" "exposure to HSV-2 without contracting the disease."  I've never had symptoms.  From what I'm reading here I can assume I have HSV-2.  Not sure if there is a point to retesting.
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Avatar universal
Doc

I just wanted to give you a update. I had the biokit test done yesterday. The results was negative!!!!!!! Thank you sooooo much. Now I can put this nightmare behind me. I have learned a valuable lesson about sexually responsibility.
Helpful - 0
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
That's nice to hear.  Congratulations!  Take care.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
A related discussion, HSV I false positive (IGG)????????????? was started.
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Avatar universal
FWW
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