October 3, 2020 at 9:55 am #71369UndermyumbrellaParticipant
Here’s my history:
I have gotten recurring cold sores on my lips since early high school, so I know I am positive for HSV-1.
11/2018 first sexual partner – I got tested 05/2019, and HSV-2 IgG came back negative.
08/2019 second sexual partner – we used protection, I did not get tested after this (naively) and there is no way of contacting this person as it was a one time encounter.
06/2020 third sexual partner – we did not use protection and this was this person’s choice. I went and got tested 06/2020 while meeting my provider to get birth control. My provider sat on the results for a month (!) and informed me basically a month later that my HSV-2 IgG values came back as positive at 1.33. This partner went and got tested 07/18/20 (a little over a month since we had started sexual relations), their results for HSV-2 IgM and IgG came back negative.
I have never had any symptoms and as you can imagine, this has thrown me into quite the frustrating loop these past few months.
Through my provider, I went and did all the things for a Western blot – 09/11/20, and received the results about three weeks later: indeterminate.
The U of Washington staff told my provider only that it was indeterminate, that I should get retested in 12 weeks time.
1) Would you recommend a second Western Blot? It is quite expensive and given I do not have any symptoms, I am unsure.
2) I do not feel comfortable taking daily suppressive therapy as it is not a sure diagnosis. Not saying I will, but how would I proceed telling potential partners about this current status?
October 12, 2020 at 10:57 am #71403Terri WarrenKeymaster
Since it has been a year since you’ve had sex with anyone whose herpes status you don’t know, and the one person with whom you are having sex now is negative, I think you can pretty safely skip the other western blot. I personally have yet to see a western blot go from indeterminate to positive IF the peson testing waited 12 weeks from any concerning encounter AND has not taken extended Valtrex. I cannot tell you with 100% certainty that you don’t have HSV 2 but given your history, I think the western blot changing from indeterminate to positive is extremely unlikely.
October 12, 2020 at 9:38 pm #71443UndermyumbrellaParticipant
Just follow ups:
1) What would lead to an indeterminate if I am in the process of seroconversion (more than 3 months out from possible infection encounter)? Could my HSV-1 confirmed diagnosis have an effect on the IgG readings and Western blot for HSV-2?
October 17, 2020 at 10:39 am #71471Terri WarrenKeymaster
We don’t know the exact cause of indeterminates, but the likely reason is that you have a protein in your blood that looks like one of the herpes antibody proteins but isn’t really one. It can trip the IgG test as a low positive and look indeterminate on the blot. Your HSV 1 positive result is unlikely to play a role here on the blot results, though a high HSV 1 index value can influence, in a few cases, a false-positive result on the IgG.
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