› Forums › Herpes Questions › Testing and Risk Assesment
- This topic has 6 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 8 years, 1 month ago by Terri Warren.
January 27, 2015 at 9:44 pm #3317
1st off: Thank you Terri and your partners for what you’re doing. There is such an abundance of misinformation out there, and to see a group of people actually helping others in a thoughtful manner is refreshing.
Recently I went to have bloodwork done, and thought to get an STD screening as well. I asked for HSV-1 and 2 testing. I had done this almost three years prior as well. Before I had my test, the doctor was looking over my results from the previous test, and noted that I previously tested positive for HSV-1. She had never told me this, so it came as a bit of a shock. I had even called for the test results in question at the time. I don’t know if I was mad or releived that I didn’t know. I do know that many of my courses of actions would have been different with that knowledge. It was dissaponting to say the least, and her thoughts and general indifference about it were as well. She recommended no disclosure was neccessary; I have mixed feelings right now.
Anyhow, so I went ahead with this round of testing. I have not found out the numerical values from my test a few years ago, but the current numbers are HSV-1 6.27 and HSV-2 .12 I had hopes that my first round was a false-positive, but this did not seem to indicate that. I’ve never had any symptoms that I can remember or that my mother can. However, she does get cold sores. From what I can gather from the lab that did the test that this was as Immunoassay. After searching their websites CPT codes, I’ve determined that this was most likely a Herpeselect Test.
The reason I came in for bloodwork in the first place was because I noticed the swelling of lymph nodes in the groin area (I’m slim). My doctor described these as pea-sized and said they were most likely normal. Non STD bloodwork did not indicate anything other than good health. Onto my questions:
1) One week prior to this I had a sexual encounter that involved protected vaginal sex as well as unprotected oral. My partner in question verbalized no knowledge of any hsv or other STI’s. I didn’t originally equate the lymph nodes to this occurence, but since my diagnosis of HSV-1 and general anxiety about my mystery hsv-1, I am now. A few days after my doctors visit (visit was only 11 days post-exposure) I developed a cold…mostly post-nasal with a slight fever. I was out in the cold the night before too. This lasted about a week. No symptoms genitally or otherwise.
My only other sexual encounter outside of the LTR I got out of a few months before happened with a partner in which we did not have sex. However I did penetrate her with my fingers and touch my penis, as well as rub my penis agains her vagina once. She had stated that a recent partner of hers had tested positive for HSV-2, she had no symptoms, but was awaiting her test results. This occurence was 4.5 weeks prior to my negative hsv-2 test.
I have a dr’s appointment this week where I planned on getting tested again, just because I’d like a different lab to confirm my previous HSV-1 results, even though I know that a chance for error is relatively slim. My last test was on 12/10, and the most recent possible exposure was 9.5 weeks ago. I understad that 12 weeks is the ideal time to test, but my question is: Should I really be worried about these two possible exposures, and if I do go ahead with further testing this week; will I be able to derive anything from an HSV-2 igg index value that would indicate seroconversion(assuming and hoping it’s negative)? I think I just have hsv anxiety and am now considering worst-case scenarios. I’m not sure how I can handle both strains of this virus. Maybe I should leave well-enough alone? Your thoughts and advice are valued.
January 28, 2015 at 4:52 pm #3325
Well, you’ve already tested once with nice low score and the experiences that you describe do not sound risky to me. If you were my patient I would say that you don’t need testing again unless you can’t stop worrying about it in which case it might be helpful.
as for the HSV 1. we don’t know if your infected is oral or genital. Have you received oral sex from many partner in your lifetime? And it is usually unprotected? How old are you?
Remember that 56% of the US population between 14-49 have HSV 1 infection. The majority do not have symptoms of herpes that they can recall, either orally or genitally. Without an outbreak, we can’t know exactly where your infection is.
Please let me know if you have other questions.
January 28, 2015 at 8:02 pm #3334
That input is appreciated. It is true though, that I cannot stop thinking about it; I have terrible anxiety thinking about how I might handle the news. Of course it would make me feel better to know I was still negative, but the news if I were positive might be too much. I’m not sure how to proceed, but I might just go ahead with the test.
In your experience, have you seen people develop flu-like symptoms, but no other symptoms? I know this would be hard to tell unless, like me they equated their flu to their sexual encounter. Also, a negative test 10 days after this particular encounter wouldn’t really mean anything would it? Would the igg levels even be affected?
I’ve received oral sex countless times without protection. I’m 32. I can’t recall any sort of breakout though. One time about 8 years ago a doctor diagnosed me with Molluscum when I had small white bumps around the shaft of my penis. I can’t remember what swabbing or testing was done though. It looked like Molluscum to me. A few years ago I started getting dermatitis like bumps around my nose, but it almost always shows up on both sides when it comes back now.
I just don’t know what to do with the test, and I realize you can’t offer me a definitive answer. Is it better not to know? I guess that’s the question with these tests. This is causing me a lot of anxiety that I don’t know how to deal with. I guess I have to just get tested, but even the agony of waiting for the results is going to be bad. Ugh. Thanks for your help though.
January 30, 2015 at 1:48 am #3344
Molluscum and herpes do not look alike so I don’t think that was a confusion going on there.
I personally think it would be better to know so you know how to live your life in the future, but if you think the results would just be too devastating, then don’t do it. You know yourself the best, right?
I recall only one case of a patient having a severe headache and sensitivity to light and low grade temp but no lesions. but they were having sex with someone with known HSV 2 and I was very suspicious so i ordered a spinal tap and sure enough she had HSV 2 in her cerebral spinal fluid. That’s the only case that I recall of sort of flu symptoms with no lesions.
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January 30, 2015 at 4:17 pm #3357
Alright, well i still don’t know what to do…
If I were your patient, you would not reccomend testing, but your personal opinion is that I should…
I’m going to ask my doctor what they think, and proceed from there I guess.
I had post nasal drip before any other symptoms started, so I guess that probably wouldn’t signify any sort of genital infection. My glands in the groin that I though were swollen were not tender at all, and were not any larger than they are right now. I think I may just be working myself up for nothing. I’d hate to go through the testing, get a low HSV-2 positive, and then deal with the trauma of verifying those resluts. If I do decide to test, should I wait anyhow, as it’s only been 9.5 weeks, and I am already HSV-1+? I know having a positive igg of 6.2 is pretty definitive, but is it possible that the lab I went to might be incompitent, and has screwed something up? I guess the real questin is, can a lab mishandle things poorly enough to produce a false-positve that high?
- This reply was modified 8 years, 1 month ago by memphis.
January 30, 2015 at 4:36 pm #3359
Oh, also; I haven’t seen this addressed anywhere, but: I take high doses of vitamin C 1000mg and other supplements (B-complex,etc.) daily. Do any vitamin supplements have an impact on igg indexes?
January 31, 2015 at 4:59 pm #3371
I would not recommend testing as MEDICAL suggestion but as an EMOTIONAL suggestion, I might. There are many reasons why people might want a confirmatory test and all are valid. Do I think your test results will change? No. Do I think you might feel better knowing a confirmatory test has the same results? Yes.
In our hands, 5.5% of all herpes antibody tests fall into the low positive range, that is, 1.1 to 3.5. That means about 95% of the time, the answer is a clear positive or negative. So it is a possibility that you would get a low positive that needs confirmation but not a big one.
I think the HSV 1 value is quite firm; I don’t consider this in need of confirmation and I doubt that another test would reveal a different results. the vitamins wouldn’t impact your test.
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