› Forums › Herpes Questions › HSV-2 low positive and equivocal
- This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by Terri Warren.
December 7, 2022 at 1:46 pm #79650peaceofmind444Participant
Firstly, thank you for this forum – it has helped me so much (vs. the practitioners at Planned Parenthood all telling me different things).
I dated a man with HSV-2 off and on for two years. We broke up two and a half years ago. He was on antiviral meditation and we did not sleep together when he had any outbreaks, which were only like one small bump near his anus when he did occasionally have an “outbreak.” We used condoms for the first half of our relationship. I was also tested for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 about 1yr into our relationship – at this time, I received “negative” (no IGG #s) for both strains. I was surprised because I have had two cold sores in my life – both 10 years ago when I was in college but haven’t had one since. Since reading your forum, I learned HSV-1 tests don’t pick it up 30% of the time, so maybe that was false neg.
I have had a couple incidents where paranoia got to me about potentially having an outbreak, but I went to the doctor to have it checked out every single time, except for once when I was in a foreign country. Each time the doctor has told me it is not herpes. I believe they told me folliculitis, razor burn & an ingrown hair. The one time I was in another country, it was just one bump that was kind of hard to see because of how low it was but even though small, it looked blister-y. However, eventually I was able to kind of pop it & some white came out, so I think it was likely an ingrown / pimple that I freaked myself out about.
I just had testing done for peace of mind. My first IGG result from 10/5 was 1.4 HSV-1 and 1.19 HSV-2. I retested last week and got 16.50 HSV-1 and 1.06 equivocal HSV-2. I read sometimes having HSV-1 can cause false positive for HSV-2? What is the % likelihood that HSV-2 is false positive? Is it common for HSV-1 IGG to increase that much in 2 months with only outbreaks 10 yrs ago? And will Western Blot tell me if I definitely have the shedding virus & can infect others or only if I have antibodies?
December 15, 2022 at 3:02 pm #79718Terri WarrenKeymaster
Were both tests done at the same lab? That is a huge difference – could you recently have become infected with HSV 1?
I think it is very likely that your HSV 2 is a false positive. But then the test for HSV 1 is so poor, I’m not completely surprised.
The western will tell you if you are infected with HSV 1, HSV 2, neither or both, correct. If you have antibody to these viruses by western blot, then you are infected and potentially infectious to others, correct.
December 20, 2022 at 1:04 am #79765peaceofmind444Participant
Thank you, Terri.
I believe it was the same lab, yes. It was the same Planned Parenthood clinic and they use Quest. I felt that difference was wild also! Technically I did kiss someone (with tongue… for several minutes) a few months ago at a bar so I COULD have gotten HSV-1 from that kiss? But the only other person I was intimate with in the past several months (which was only one night) has consistently tested negative for HSV-1 (both a while before and a month after we slept together). I did have two cold sores 10 years ago though so doesn’t that mean I definitely have it? Or can cold sores be mistaken sometimes? I’m confused by the rapid increase, too! Can stress just increase the antibodies like that? I’ve definitely been stressed haha.
So you think it is possible the HSV-1 could be false positive too, even though the second test was so high? I assumed I was definitely positive on that front considering it was so high the second time around, just felt confused as to the timing of things with the big change in IGG… Now I’m feeling concerned that the entire second test could’ve been inaccurate.. and maybe that’s why the HSV-2 was equivocal, too? What do you think the likelihood of the whole second round of tests (both HSV-1 AND HSV-2) being messed up by the lab is?
Is it true that positive HSV-1 can sometimes cause a false negative for HSV-2?
Also, I believe I read elsewhere on your forum that having two equivocal IGG results a certain amount of time apart from each other (was it 2 months apart? 3 months?) is considered negative by the CDC? Could you please explain / clarify this? I am experiencing a serious financial hardship right now so I may go that route and re-test in a few months.
Is there an approximate percentage likelihood, based on the info you have, that my HSV-2 is negative?
And so that I am aware for the future, when I do get the funds to do a Western Blot, can I access this in Massachusetts?
Thank you so much again!
December 26, 2022 at 7:45 am #79814Terri WarrenKeymaster
I seriously doubt that you acquired HSV 1 from a kiss. Since you’ve reported cold sores in the past, I think the first test simply missed the HSV 1 or reported it at a far lower level than was actually correct.
The University of Washington recommends that if you have two indeterminate western blots, at least 3 months apart, that you stop testing and consider this a very likely negative. There is no CDC guidance on this.
We can arrange blood draws in Mass.
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