› Forums › Herpes Questions › Conflicting WB results
- This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 7 years, 6 months ago by Terri Warren.
September 14, 2015 at 5:12 pm #9394mranonymousParticipant
I will try to make this as brief and to the point as possible. Following an encounter with a girl that involved protected intercourse, and unprotected oral sex, I developed some issues in my genital area, that was of concern, and after 4 months, I took 3 separate rounds of STD testing, all with negative results. I thought herpes, and after 9 months I was able to get a WB, which was positive for HSV1. This was July 2013. Case closed.
Then after an encounter with another girl in April 2014, exact same scenario, I started getting the same weird rash, with tiny, painless blister like lesions, not painful, not really in clusters. Suspected HSV2 this time, more tests, nada. In November of 2014, got another WB, again, this time showing just t HSV1. Sighs of relive, symptoms largely went away, but never entirely.
So, February this year, same situation, with yet another girl, protected intercourse, unprotected oral. A few days later, more of the same symptoms. Much more persistent this time, and they got pretty bad in July. A doctor at a prompt care clinic thought they might be essentially adult diaper rash (I work outdoors in the heat), and gave me antibiotics and some antifungals, but they were mostly clearing up by then, so I am not sure what impact that had. It’s come and gone a bit since then. So…got a third WB, sent in on 8/30. Got the results back today, and it says negative for both HSV1 and HSV2. I am very confused as to how this can be. I am generally pretty healthy, have no autoimmune disease or dysfunction, and I have been tested for HIV twice in the last 9 months, and negative each time.
I guess, my question is, what would you recommend someone in my situation do? The University of Washington lab person I spoke with said that they could run a comparison between the last two tests to get a better idea of changes in immune response, but that would be $285, and I’m not sure what good that would do me. What do you think? I would like to add that I have never shown up positive on any IGG testing for either type of HSV; and I think that I have had around 8 or so in the last 3 years. I was beginning to really lose my wits until the first WB gave me some peace of mind. Also, I am rarely sick, and when I do, I get over things fast, so unless I am one of those rare people that don’t make much antibody to this virus, I don’t know what the issue could be. The lab rep stated that since the tests are more sensitive to HSV2 than one, I most certainly don’t have type 2, but given the decrease in detectable antibody to type 1, do you agree that this is a safe bet?
September 15, 2015 at 4:48 pm #9410Terri WarrenKeymaster
The western blot does not measure detectable antibody really in the way in which I think you are thinking about it.
Are you saying you are losing your wits because your western blot was positive for HSV 1? Do you know that in people between the ages of 14-49, at least 56% of people have HSV 1 infection? It is extraordinarily common and if you do have HSV 1, you can safely have sex with others who have HSV 1. Maybe you aren’t saying you are losing your wits over that – I may be reading that incorrectly. You know that you don’t have HSV 2 which is the one most people are most concerned about . The western blot is not that simple to read and is not automated.
We have also seen cases where the UW calls the test one thing one time and something else a bit later. Some of that is seroconversion but some I think is just difficult to call. You are not a person who is going from negative to positive, indicating seroconversion. Your test is going the other way and I would say that if you want more clarification, you could call the lab and ask them to review all three blots next to each other. Do point out that you had two positives are now being told you are negative, rather than the other way around. And yes, you may need to pay for side by side running of the test if you want the most accurate answer. The western blot is our gold standard but even with that, there is not 100% wonderfulness every single time. The lab is fabulous and is staffed by the most amazing amazing people and they will do their best for you each and every time, I promise you that.
September 16, 2015 at 3:06 am #9435mranonymousParticipant
Okay. I think that you are getting hung up on my pointing out my frustrations; I probably should leave my venting out of these kinds of forums. Let me just simply ask it like this:
Which is more likely: That I am undergoing a rare retro-conversion/physical change that is causing just the HSV1 that I do have to not be detected by the test, in which case I can go ahead and rule out HSV2?
Or: That the test was somehow botched, and that since it did’t register the HSV1 that I do carry, I can’t rule out HSV2 as well? If the two are evaluated separately, and just reported at the same time, then maybe I can believe the test. I mean, in your experience, how often does something like this happen? I’m guessing not often, but I would like to know what typically happens in this kind of situation.
I am trying to decide if it is worth my while to pay for a side by side comparison, I’m not sure what exactly that will tell me, or to wait a while, and retest again. It is extremely difficult for me to get away from work long enough to have these lesions/blisters looked at and possibly swabbed, so that I why I have been pursuing blood testing.
September 17, 2015 at 4:08 pm #9448Terri WarrenKeymaster
The HSV 1 is rather a separate situation with the western blot than HSV 2. I think the HSV 2 is a more clear result than the HSV 1, perhaps. If you are asking me how often we see one test result and then a later one that is contrary to the first one, I would say it is rare and that because you WERE called positive and are now called NEGATIVE, this deserves a re-evaluation of the western blots that have already been done. They are on paper and the blots can be examined side by side. I think if you had HSV 2, they would see that more clearly. Something has gone on here with the reading of the last test. I would strongly suggest that you contact the UW lab, tell them exactly what you have told me, give them the dates of the tests and say that you are confused about why you were told you were positive and then told you were negative for HSV 1. Antibody doesn’t go away – it has to do with the reading of the blot.
Also, you could ask your health care provider for swabs to take home and gather a PCR swab at home when you get a lesions. Or our clinic can send you swabs as well to gather with an outbreak.
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