January 15, 2021 at 1:06 pm #72345
I’ve been familiar with your forum since I first got a positive test in January 2020.
To put it mildly, I’ve had a whole bunch of blood test results which are all over the place and I was hoping you could play detective and help me understand what on earth is going on.
When I was initially tested, I didn’t actually ask for it; it was included in the panel during a routine checkup. All these tests are IGG with one IGM performed (I know your opinion on them).
Test 1: HSV 2, 1.6 (Jan 24, 2020) (Unsure of test brand, performed at walk-in clinic)
Test 2: HSV 1 0.10, HSV 2 0.34 (Feb 03, 2020) (Euroimmun) (IGM Neg both)
Test 3: HSV 1 <0.91, HSV 2 <0.91 (Mar 11, 2020) (LabCorp)
Test 4: HSV 1 1.25, HSV 2 3.82 (Aug 05, 2020) Unsure of test brand, same as Test 1)
Test 5: HSV 1 <0.90, HSV 2 4.99 (Aug 07, 2020) (Quest)
Test 6: HSV 1 <0.91, HSV 4.34; Supplemental Negative (Oct 30, 2020) (LabCorp)
Now, just to explain all these tests.
The first was part of the routine checkup I had. The second result came back negative, so I thought the first was false positive.
The third was a month later with LabCorp to be sure, and that also came back negative.
The fourth test was to be more sure, same place as first. This one came back positive for 1 and 2, with a much higher value for 2.
I took another test at Quest, which came back even higher.
Then I went to LabCorp, this time with a slightly lower index and a negative supplemental reflex. When LabCorp phoned me they told me it meant I was negative and that the initial test was a false positive.
My risk factors:
I asked my two recent exes for their status, and they both tested negative (2, IGG), meaning that my only partner with unknown status was a single encounter from June 2019, 7 months before the first test and 9 months before the second negative.
I’ve read virtually every thread and study about this and I know you will recommend the WB for me, but can you tell me what your thoughts are on my specific situation?
January 15, 2021 at 5:58 pm #72346
Just to expand on my risk factors:
June 2019 — One-time unprotected encounter/partner status unknown
End of October 2019 — Two protected encounters/partner tested negative Aug 2020
Xmas and New Years 2019 — Several encounters/partner tested negative Aug 2020
Jan 2020 — First positive test
Feb 2020 — Negative test
Mar 2020 — Negative test
Aug 2020 — Positive
Aug 2020 — Another positive
Oct 2020 — Positive w/ negative supplemental
I have only slept with three people since June 2019, and that is the only encounter whose status I don’t know, and it was a brief encounter at that.
I suppose I’m struggling to put the pieces together in my head. My risk factors are low-ish, plus two negative tests about 8 and 9 months after the concerning encounter. BUT since then multiple positive tests with much higher indexes, and yet my latest had a negative confirmatory test.
I truly cannot work out what is going on with these, and I’ve also never had any symptoms to swab.
I’m late twenties, male Caucasian from Europe living in Los Angeles, if that helps at all.
January 15, 2021 at 6:00 pm #72347
Oh and also thank you in advance for your reply and for your help and all you do with this forum. Since last year I’ve scoured virtually every thread looking for clues and information that might help me understand better. Only now am I posting because I simply can’t let this go and it’s causing me a tremendous amount of anxiety and depression.
January 17, 2021 at 8:51 am #72385
Gosh, I wish you could help you more, you’ve said such nice things about me but I have no clue whatsoever about what is going on here. So are you telling me that in your entire sexual life, you’ve only had two partners who test negative for HSV 2 and one whose status you don’t know? Or did you have sexual experiences prior to that?
What I do know is that I’ve seen quite inconsistent results on the IgG test from people not born in the US – in particular, we already know that the IgG test is not accurate for people born in Africa and in my experience, also not great for people born in Russia and India. But you are from Europe so none of this applies to you.
Yes, clearly you need the blot. For what you’ve likely spent on IgG testing, you could have paid for the blot by now. What is particularly interesting to me is the higher IgG accompanied by the negative confirmatory test.
May I ask why you’ve not already pursued the blot for clarification?
January 17, 2021 at 11:02 am #72396
Thanks for your response, Terri.
So I’ve been with four people in my life. One was way back in 2016, then I was in a relationship with someone from 2016 until 2019, and since then I’ve slept with two other people.
Because the first was so long ago, I didn’t think it was relevant to my tests.
For the other three, two tested negative in Aug 2020 and there’s one whose status I don’t know, which is the encounter I’m most concerned about.
This encounter was in June 2019, a full eight and nine months before the second and third negative tests.
I haven’t slept with anyone since those tests, barring one encounter with one of the people who tested negative, so you can see why I’m finding it hard to accept that these more recent results are true.
I suppose what confuses me is why the index value would have increased between March 2020 and Aug 2020 when I’ve not been with anyone whose status I didn’t know since June 2019.
Additionally, if I am positive, why would my recent LabCorp come back with a negative supplemental.
I kind of wish confirmation testing had been performed for the other high IGG tests, as if they’d come back negative too I might be more confident.
The reason for me not taking the WB is that after my third test I thought I was in the clear. Then I took the fourth which took me by surprise; I got the fifth immediately after that out of disbelief and then the sixth I sought out purposefully because it had the supplemental test.
When I write down that I’ve had six IGG tests, it seems excessive, but for each one I suppose I had a reason to get it at the point in time.
I know you’ve said before that the negative supplemental has more agreement with the blot, but I’m a little unsure what that means. Do you have confidence that if someone has a negative on the confirmation that they’ll get a negative WB too? Have their been instances where people who have tested negative on the supplemental ended up with a positive WB (assuming seroconverted)?
January 17, 2021 at 11:04 am #72397
*by “assuming seroconverted” I mean assuming the patient has allowed enough time for seroconversion
January 26, 2021 at 3:17 pm #72466
I don’t know for sure if I’ve had people who had a negative supplemental and a positive western blot. I’ve had way more people who get positive supplemental tests that don’t confirm by blot than I do people who have had negative supplemental tests, because those people aren’t requesting blots often.
I don’t have an answer for you other than suggesting the blot. We’ve talked this through the best I can. Sorry, I can’t give you a clearer answer.
June 6, 2021 at 5:45 pm #73828
Hi again, Terri kindly let me update this thread so that other people can see my WB results.
Mine came back NEGATIVE for HSV2 and INDETERMINATE for HSV1. Given I hadn’t slept with anyone for eight months before the test, Terri believes it’s unlikely that the indeterminate for HSV1 is positive and I’m treating it as a negative.
I would like to point out that I received another test (before the WB) after all the ones listed here which came back 5.9 for the HSV2 IGG (LabCorp).
If you have had a positive test (no matter how high) and have never had symptoms or the timeline doesn’t add up, PLEASE do the Western Blot to find out for sure.
I’ve had several doctors diagnose me with something that I never had and I was torn up over just like you are. Don’t take the test’s word for it, and especially if you’ve had a reflex (supplemental) come back negative, pursue the WB to be absolutely sure, you won’t regret.
I’m thankful for Terri and the folks at University of Washington for allowing us to take this gold standard herpes test when commercial ones fail us — it’s distressing and unfair to be told you have something when you don’t, and even worse that the medical community is so far behind on this that they don’t tell you to get the WB as standard, but that’s the way it is.
I’m glad to have this finally figured out, but if you’re reading this, please know that you’re not alone, you’re not the first, and you won’t be the last. I was in exactly your position and struggled for six months before plucking up the courage to do the WB.
So there you go! I’m living proof that even a 5.9 HSV2 IGG can be flat-out wrong. Don’t trust those tests as far you can throw them if you’ve no reason to suspect infection and fight for yourself when it comes to being certain, don’t just take an ill-informed PCP’s opinion as I did for a long time.
Thank you once again Terri and good wishes and good luck to anyone else who finds themselves in a similarly unfortunate position as I was.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by INLA1993.
June 7, 2021 at 7:40 am #73842
Thank you SO MUCH for posting this result along with your index values. Though positives in this range aren’t too often false positives, I am seeing it more and more and more. No idea why and it’s really annoying.
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