November 4, 2014 at 2:26 am #1655
I’m a single man, age 47. I had a brief relationship with a woman that ended this past April, and I have not had any other partners since. In September, the woman contacted me and told me she had tested positive for genital herpes and suggested I get tested too.
Even though I had not had any symptoms, I asked my doctor to give me tests for both types of herpes. The kind of test I got is called an IgM test. The result was NEGATIVE for both tests. I received no specific test score, I was just told that I was negative.
A friend advised me that IgM is not a very accurate test and suggested I get an IgG test instead. So, about a month later, I contacted a company called StdCheck and ordered an IgG test. The test came back POSITIVE for both HSV 1 and HSV 2. This time I also received numerical scores. The score for HSV 1 was given as 50.30, where anything over 1.09 is considered positive. The HSV 2 score was 1.93, with anything over 1.09 again said to be positive.
So, I am confused by the discrepancy between the two tests and unsure what I should do next. I’ve heard that the Western Blot test is the most accurate, but I don’t know how to go about getting it done, or even whether I should bother getting another test at all. What do you advise?
November 4, 2014 at 4:23 pm #1660
The IgM and IgG are looking for completely different things. Your friend is correct – the IgM is very unreliable and should be ignored as an indicator of HSV infection
Your HSV 1 IgG is very high and your HSV 2 is a very low positive. Sometimes we see something known as cross reactivity between the HSV 1 and HSV 2 tests. It is possible of course that it is a true positive but you need to know for certain so you can make appropriate adjustments if you are truly positive. The only test that I consider reliable at this point is the herpes western blot. In the US, it is done only at the University of Washington. There are two ways currently to obtain the test. You can google herpes western blot UW and get the number and order a test kit to be sent to you and you can ask your health care provider to draw your blood spin it down and have the serum sent back to UW. Also, you can become a phone patients of our clinic and we will order the test to be drawn at a lab near where you live and sent back to the UW and will be give you the results. You DEFINITELY need a confirmatory test.
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