March 2, 2021 at 7:54 am #73001AnonParticipant
I recently took an HSV2 screening. I had no symptoms. I was mostly curious and wanted to ensure I had not been exposed. I spoke with a Dr. about my equivocal results (1.08 ), and unfortunately, I felt that many of her answers were vague or not direct answers to my questions. I decided I would like to obtain a second opinion. She suggested I get retested in 4-6 weeks.
One of the questions I asked her was, when I get retested, how much higher or lower will the antibody count need to be for me to be determined negative or positive?
She responded that they’ll just pay attention to whether it’s higher or lower. (This alarms me considering false positivity is so high with these tests.)
I also fell barely within the equivocal range. Greater than 1.10 is considered positive but I’ve read on your forum and other places that above 3.5 is 100% positive so this is somewhat where my confusion lies. Is a 3.5 of a HSV2 positive individual typically expected after 4-6 weeks of exposure?
I also mentioned to her that my last sexual encounter was 4 weeks before getting tested and considering 4-6 weeks is the recommended time window to get tested, would that affect the 4-6 week time window she’s suggesting I get tested again in?
In other words, shouldn’t I wait 2 weeks instead of 4-6 since I had the sexual encounter 4 weeks before getting tested?
Also, wouldn’t the likely hood of me having HSV2 be lower considering my last sexual encounter was 4 weeks before getting tested?
She responded that it could take years for HSV2 antibodies to show up on test. (This was new information because much of what I read says it takes weeks to months to show up on test but could take years for symptoms to develop.)
Would you be able to help answer these questions?
I absolutely appreciate the work you do! Thank you so much for providing this platform!
March 6, 2021 at 7:38 am #73023Terri WarrenKeymaster
oh goodness, so much to correct.
First of all, an equivocal at 4 weeks out is not clear in any way, but LEANS toward a negative.
Second, not everyone greater than 3.5 is certainly positive. We are finding more and more people who have higher index values than those who are negative on the western blot, but most often, they are people who are first or second generation Americans.
Third, it doesn’t take years to show up with antibody to HSV 2. UW says for the western blot you need 12 weeks. A tiny percentage, well less than 1%, can not show antibody when infected. The IgG test, however, misses 8% of HSV 2 infections altogether
Fourth, there is not a high false positive rate on this test, it is about 3% and we can always gain clarity for those people with the western blot
If you retested at 8 weeks out, for example, and were either equivocal or negative, that would be helpful
March 7, 2021 at 3:34 pm #73046AnonParticipant
Thank you so much, Terri! This was very informative.
Just to clarify, the false positive rate is 3% for the IGG test?
March 18, 2021 at 12:29 pm #73086Terri WarrenKeymaster
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