November 14, 2014 at 3:29 pm #1847
Hello, I had unprotected sex with a sex worker about six weeks ago.
I went to a clinic 9 days after for slight urethral irritation but they said it was bacterial in nature and inspected for herpes but did not believe I had herpes. They gave me antibiotics and it started to clear up but came back after 7 days. I went back in and they said it was still bacterial, they gave me meds for Trich and it cleared up after a few days. They inspected again for herpes and said it was most likely not herpes.
At four weeks post encounter I had a complete STD screen done and I was negative for HSV 1 but positive for HSV 2 1.27.
I tried to start accepting my diagnosis but on some other forums I have been told about false positives and said not to be to concerned about having herpes. Also I went to a doctor who seems to believe I am not infected or that it at least is not a new infection. The doctor ordered a Western Blot test and did a PCR blood test.
In your opinion what is the likely hood that this could be a false positive as opposed to just a recent infection? This came from infidelity and I believe my wife is holding on to some of these comments from the online forum and my doctor.
November 14, 2014 at 8:37 pm #1848
Also from a doctor visit last week I got results back today negative for both HSV1 and HSV2 on Herpes Type specific Immunoblot taken roughly five weeks after sexual contact, and a negative for both PCR blood test.
November 14, 2014 at 10:19 pm #1849
You know, there is an 85% chance that the 1.27 value is a false positive. However, it could also be new infection since your sexual encounter was so recent. Either is possible, it is too early to tell for sure – you need to let more time go by for an accurate positive or negative. Are you positive or negative for HSV 1? I’m not as sold on the immunoblot because it is difficult to read with any clarity. We used to do that test at the clinic, but it is based on a color change, not an index value (a number) and so false positives are much more difficult to sort out. I doubt that your doctor will be able to obtain a herpes western blot. There is another confirmatory test available through Quest that I am not fond of called an inhibition assay. It is based on the same ELISA test that has false positives so it has little credence with me. If that’s what he gets back instead of a herpes western blot, I think you still need the western blot. I have seen many positives of ELISA’s followed by positives on the inhibition assay that are negative by western blot which is considered the gold standard in herpes testing.
I know it is difficult to wait for these results to come back but the University of Washington recommends waiting 16 weeks from possible exposure to a final test.
You can get a western blot by contacting UW directly for a test kit to be sent to your doctor or our clinic can order the test for you. Maybe your doctor has another way of ordering it, if yes, let me know.
A PCR from blood is completely not the thing to do. A PCR should be taken from a lesion, not blood. People almost never have herpes in their blood streams. That was an error
You’ve got two questions left to ask, please feel free to ask more if needed.
November 14, 2014 at 11:16 pm #1850
Thank you for your response. How do you land on 85% chance of a false positive in my situation? I have heard these tests are very accurate and 50% below 3.3, is your number based on my situational factors?
November 14, 2014 at 11:33 pm #1852
IF this is a false positive, I land on 85% because only 85% of people who test with index values of 1.1 to 1.5 confirm with western blot when four months have passed since a concerning encounter, such as yours. The percentage that does not confirm with western blot increases as the index value get closer to 3.5. In total, 50% of people who test between 1.1 and 3.5 do not confirm with western blot.
November 15, 2014 at 12:00 am #1854
Thank you for your explanation. Does it make it more likely that it is an early exposure since I did have a recent unprotected encounter with someone who’s status is unknown?
I feel like I keep getting responses from people saying that I should not be to concerned about it, but it makes it to move forward in any direction.
November 15, 2014 at 12:38 am #1856
I can’t honestly tell if it is new or a false positive or even an old infection and you just have a low positive value. Are you at all able to contact this person and ask her to get tested and pay for it? If she is negative, that would take new infection off the table.
I’m by no means telling you not to be concerned about it. It is definitely something to be concerned about. What are you other “people” that are giving you that advice? Are they knowledgable herpes experts? If they are not, then I would suggest that you be skeptical.
Frankly, you just have a couple of options here. The first is to get a herpes western blot now. If it is positive, there is no need to wait for anything – it’s a done deal. The second, of course, is to wait 16 weeks and then either get another ELISA and if it is above 3.5 you were likely experiencing a new infection. If it is negative, it was likely a false positive. If you wait 16 weeks and get a herpes western blot, that will give you hopefully a clearer answer.
This was your final question/post in this subscription. If you have more questions/posts, please feel free to renew your subscription for two or three more questions.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Terri Warren.
November 16, 2014 at 3:23 am #1862
Thank you so much for all of your input on this. I tried to purchase more questions but my account says it is active, so I am not sure if I am doing it incorrectly. I believe you asked before if I was HSV1 positive and I was not, sorry I forgot to answer.
I had to find a doctor because I am in a new area and he has seemed to be pretty certain this isn’t herpes. I appreciate his confidence but from reading your handbook, and reading around on the internet I am trying to keep a more pessimistic perspective until I can sort this out.
After I wrote my last questions I started to feel some discomfort in my genitals, mostly scrotum, and some inner thigh> It kind of comes and goes (goes away in the cold) but feels cold or like icy hot. Also it seems moist down there and I noticed some fluid on my scrotum coming from the skin. This is similar to how I felt when I went in to the clinic originally with a slight burn in my urethra, and it is now about 30 days since then. Does this sound like herpes symptoms. I can’t really see any lesions can I still have the doctor swab the skin?
Also I wanted to ask about any risks of transmission of HSV2 to my two year old or one year old, from changing their diapers or playing with them.
November 16, 2014 at 11:42 pm #1867
You just need to go back to the page where you initially signed up and select purchase two additional questions or three additional questions and it will send me an email that you have done that.
November 17, 2014 at 2:10 am #1869
Ok I think I figured it out, thank you.
November 17, 2014 at 6:25 am #1873
There is absolutely no risk to your child from changing diapers or interacting in any way. I assume that you are normally washing your hands after using the bathroom and that’s all you need to do.
Whether the moisture that you are feeling has anything to do with herpes I cannot say but that’s usually not a complaint that I hear from people who have herpes.
Unfortunately for you, the only way you are going to know is this value is a true or false positive is to wait and have a western blot done or another ELISA that is much higher than the one you already have. How long has it been now since the contact in question?
November 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm #1874
It has been 43 days since the contact in question.
November 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm #1875
If you did testing now, there would be a 70% chance that the test values would remain the same at 4 months post exposure.
November 19, 2014 at 11:21 pm #1944
I did a retest and got the results back today. This time I took the Herpeselect type specific and it came back negative for HSV1 and HSV2. So this is the testing history to date:
four weeks post possible exposure:
Captia type specific HSV1 negative HSV2 1.27
Five weeks post possible exposure:
Immunoblot type specific HSV1 negative HSV2 negative
Sixe weeks post possible exposure:
Herpeselect type specific HSV1 negative HSV2 negative
Should I wait until 16 weeks and take the Western Blot for confirmation or should I repeat the Herpeselect again at 16 weeks for confirmatory results?
November 20, 2014 at 12:04 am #1945
Stop doing the herpeselect and do the western blot at 16 weeks, that is what is best.
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