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Old 10-09-2007, 11:23 PM   #1
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Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

I initially took a test by my doctor, and he said I have the antibodies of herpes and that it was a former infection; but he said that the test doesn't specify the type. That sort of left me out in the dark.

So looking through the net, I realized there's a type specific test. I consult ed with medical agencies to see the types of test and their accuracy. I was told a type 1/2 specific test is around 95% accurate 12-16 weeks out from infection. So I got another blood test done. I came up negative on both types.

So now I'm sort of confused. The person telling me I tested negative said that there are several types of herpes, and my former test (with my doctor) was just signifying I had a herpes antibody already...but not necessarily oral or genital herpes. Does that general test give positives for chickenpox, etc... (as that's a form of herpes)?

Given the above information, what would you think and do?

 
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:11 AM   #2
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

Odd. The same thing happened to me, actually, and I clearly have herpes and pretty bad outbreaks. It just goes to show how testing isn't always accurate, I suppose...even the type-specific tests.
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:25 AM   #3
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingWellAgain View Post
Odd. The same thing happened to me, actually, and I clearly have herpes and pretty bad outbreaks. It just goes to show how testing isn't always accurate, I suppose...even the type-specific tests.
So did you eventually test positive or did you just assume that's that?

My worries started from what I thought was herpes on the interior of my mouth. But it started incredibly quickly after sex...two hours. Thus the idea it wasn't something new by the doctor and the test sort of plays that out. But then again, I came out negative on both types, and I wasn't involved with anyone previous to that girl...for quite sometime. So I'm still leaning on the side that my test results are accurate on the second test (atleast for that time frame), and that the test previous...was to general to pertain to actual types. But I will talk to my doctor about this.

Hopefully I don't insult him because I went elsewhere to get answers...he said there was no accurate test to specify if I had type 2. Which according to several sources as an inaccurate statement or just a lack of information on his part. *shrug*

 
Old 10-10-2007, 05:46 AM   #4
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

Was the original test done by your doctor a blood test or a swab/culture test??

If he originally did a culture test which came up positive, and then a blood test gave you negative results, this would indicate that your herpes is a recent acquisition. It takes 3 - 4 months for your blood to build up enough antibodies to test positive. I'm thinking maybe he swabbed your mouth and you tested positive for herpes. However, like my doctor he didn't do the type specific test, and claimed it wasn't availalbe.

Don't be shy about the fact you went elsewhere to your doctor. Fact is, most of them are really undereducated about herpes, and it's your health! I went back to mine and told him exactly what kind of test I wanted and where he had to send it to get the results I wanted. He was fine with this.

If your original test was blood, there are two options here. The first is that everybody actually carries the antibodies in their blood to some degree. The antibodies need to reach a certain level in order for you to have a "positive" test. So maybe your doctor was indicating that you had these low levels of the antibody. If so, he shouldn't have bothered telling you because that just causes more stress!

The second think to remember is that false negative test results happen all the time, but rarely false positive. Which would make me think your first docotr is actually right.

If your first test was blood, If I were you I'd go back to the first doctor and clarify exactly what your test results mean - ie the level of antibodies. I would also have myself re-tested again, maybe in a few months.

If it was a swab - ditto - get retested in a few months.

When do you think your exposure may have been??

Last edited by catharine101; 10-10-2007 at 05:47 AM.

 
Old 10-10-2007, 06:29 AM   #5
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

The research I was doing said that the blood test is only 80% accurate which is not VERY as far as I'm concerned. Reason being was stated that it is very difficult to get the herpes to grow. If the test comes back positive then you can be pretty darn confident because that means the culture grew.
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:09 AM   #6
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yquestion View Post
Given the above information, what would you think and do?
I think your doctor is in the dark, and not up to speed with proper herpes testing.

Not having a type specific blood test is the first clue that you had the wrong test. What you probable had was an IgG combination HSVI/II test and/or an IgM blood test. Both are NOT recommend by the CDC, yet one of the bigger labs in the country still offer it because doctors order it. And doctors still order it cause some labs still offer it.

Usually a lab will follow up on a positive combination I/II result with a type specific test. And apparently no follow up test was done. That's the second clue that your testing wasn't done right. Your doctor's claim that it's not a recent infection usually comes from an IgM test results. However, if you search out "Herpes IgM worthless" you'll discover this test should never be taken, and to toss any IgM results. There is not reliable test to determine a recent infection which is the final clue about your doctor, and why I say he's in the dark about testing.

The correct blood test is an IgG type specific test, HerpeSelect is the most common. Yes, Chickenpox is one of the 6 or 8 herpes viruses. However, that's a separate test. The Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) refers to only types one and two in the family of herpes viruses. An IgG bloodtest is only looking for the specific antibodies to these two types of herpes viruses.

The accuracy of a herpe select blood test is about 97%. The key is waiting. The longer you wait before getting tested, the higher the accuracy of a negative result. Everyone recommends waiting at least 12-16 weeks post last possible exposure, and for most people that's fine. There are the exceptions when it takes an individual 6 months or longer to turn positive on an IgG blood test.

Another point of clarification. A culture is a direct test, looking for the actual virus. A negative culture doesn't mean you don't have the virus, only that there were no virus particles at the time of swabbing, thus the term 'false negatives'. A positive culture test is usually 100% because it means they found the actual virus. A culture should be taken within the first 48 hours of an outbreak.

A blood test is an indirect test, looking for the specific antibodies to the virus not the actual virus. The logic being; if you have specific antibodies to the virus, then you have the virus. You can take a blood test at any time, you don't need to be in the middle of an outbreak.

No blood test is 100% and no single blood test can tell if the infection is recent.

I would recommend you get copies of all your test results to determine just what test you had and their results.

Hope this helps.

O21

Last edited by over21; 10-10-2007 at 08:14 AM.

 
Old 10-10-2007, 01:08 PM   #7
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

Over21,

I couldn't have explained it better myself. Very thorough and good job. I still wonder what herpes virus the first test was testing for then if it wasn't types 1 or 2. It doesn't really answer why he came back positive for that first test. Maybe the doctor just didn't read the results (numbers) correctly. The HerpeSelect type specific is the most reliable, and always get a copy of the results for your records and clarification.

 
Old 10-10-2007, 01:36 PM   #8
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

If the first test was (IGM as expected) it shouldn't even be considered. A positive/negative result means absolutely nothing. With the IGM, it can produce a positive result because it may not have been able to cut down on the background noise (other antibodies in the system). That was a common problem with this test which is why it's deemed "useless" to the medical community. You can just imagine how many people were falsely diagnosed via this test.

A positive IGM test could literally be anything.

 
Old 10-10-2007, 03:37 PM   #9
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by catharine101 View Post
Was the original test done by your doctor a blood test or a swab/culture test??
Blood test...it was testing all STD's. Hiv, gonarea (sp?), etc...I tested negative on everything but the herpes test. I don't know if it was IGG or IGM. I don't fully understand the difference, actually. I'll ask him tommrow when I visit him.

Quote:
If he originally did a culture test which came up positive, and then a blood test gave you negative results, this would indicate that your herpes is a recent acquisition. It takes 3 - 4 months for your blood to build up enough antibodies to test positive. I'm thinking maybe he swabbed your mouth and you tested positive for herpes. However, like my doctor he didn't do the type specific test, and claimed it wasn't availalbe.
Actually, he said he saw nothing on my mouth that looked like herpes. He didn't swab my mouth. His test was only 6 days out. The test I had recently was 1 month out from possible infection. I realize 3-4 months is the accurate time for antibodies to form. But what I don't realize is why I tested positive on the first (for what he called a prior infection), but negative on type 1 and 2 on the second (which is suppose to be accurate 3-4 months out). Confusing...

I tend to think I don't have it, given what I have seems like ecezema. It's in the family.

Quote:
Don't be shy about the fact you went elsewhere to your doctor. Fact is, most of them are really undereducated about herpes, and it's your health! I went back to mine and told him exactly what kind of test I wanted and where he had to send it to get the results I wanted. He was fine with this.
I'll make sure this time. It does seem that's true....most doctors not knowing about the type specific test. I've had bad experience with former doctor...when confronting them with a loophole in what they know. I like this doctor, but it does seem like he has a gap in his knowledge..on this issue.

Quote:
If your original test was blood, there are two options here. The first is that everybody actually carries the antibodies in their blood to some degree. The antibodies need to reach a certain level in order for you to have a "positive" test. So maybe your doctor was indicating that you had these low levels of the antibody. If so, he shouldn't have bothered telling you because that just causes more stress!
Sure does cause stress.

Quote:
The second think to remember is that false negative test results happen all the time, but rarely false positive. Which would make me think your first docotr is actually right.

If your first test was blood, If I were you I'd go back to the first doctor and clarify exactly what your test results mean - ie the level of antibodies. I would also have myself re-tested again, maybe in a few months.

If it was a swab - ditto - get retested in a few months.

When do you think your exposure may have been??
Early september. What made me suspicious was the inflamation on my mouth, hours after the incident...although I'm told it can't happen that quickly. Then I got a rash on my back, neck, eyebrow, hands and groin. Some more than others. I was driving near death valley, so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it.

I have no clusters of anything. I have something on my upper thigh that looks like a zit. It's been there for a three weeks, and just recently it's getting red. Doesn't hurt unless I touch it, but it doesn't look like the picture I've seen of herpes.,...looks more like a boil...which I get at times on my chest. Although it does seem like everytime I wash my groin, my skin gets especially dry...but I think that's something I've always had.

 
Old 10-10-2007, 03:50 PM   #10
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by over21 View Post
Hope this helps.

O21

Sure does...I think I'll print this out, and ask him durning the visit.

 
Old 10-10-2007, 06:00 PM   #11
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

Lots to consider here. Personally, I think you've been cursed by death valley, but in case you want to take the technical route and not consider the Halloween option...

When you see your doctor, definitely ask for your results. Sounds to me though that you might have to wait a couple months and then have your blood re-tested.

It kind of sounds like you've been led to believe that HSV1 is oral herpes, and HSV2 is genital herpes. You're aware that either strain can occur in either location, right?? Another thing doctors often don't explain...

If you have any active sores, have the doctor swab them, so you can get a diagnoses now.

I'm surprised that your doctor even included a herpes test with an STD panel - most don't!!

The rash in various places could be anything. I did find that my psoraisis (related to eczema) broke out horribly when I was diagnosed with herpes. But I think that had more to do with the stress as opposed to the actual infection. Anyway, have your doctor swab it just to make sure.

Good luck, keep us "posted"!!

BTW - O21, you are AMAZING at explaining stuff!

Last edited by catharine101; 10-10-2007 at 06:00 PM.

 
Old 10-10-2007, 06:54 PM   #12
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

YQestion;
I think you'll be better prepared when talking with your Doctor.

When looking at your Herpes test results you should see results for each type, something like:

IgG AB HSV1 = 0.17
IgG AB HSV2 = 0.57

The key to those two lines are "IgG" the the two types, HSV1 and HSV2.

If you see:
IgM AB HSVI/II = 5.34
Just look you doctor straight in the eye and ask him/her why they ordered a herpes test that the CDC doesn't recommend, and that Terri Warren who has her own Herpes Clinic in Portland, OR, doesn't recommend. Tell him/her to search out the Herpes Handbook for more update information.

If you see something like:
IgG AB HSVI/II = .43
This is a combination test, which also isn't recommended. While a negative result is reliable, a positive result isn't much help because it doesn't tell you what type.

When looking at the numbers for a HerpeSelect blood test, don't freak out if the values are not zero. Values below .90 are considered negative, and should never be zero. If you're truly negative and tested 3 different times, you'd have 3 different values in the negative range. You can not be less negative or more negative. You're just negative if the value is less than .90.

While a blood test can tell you what type of HSV virus you have, HSV1 or HSV2, it can not reveal the location. The norm is oral HSV1 (also known as cold sores or fever blisters), and genital HSV2. You can have either type in either and/or both locations. Oral HSV2 is very rare; Genital HSV1 is growing in numbers because oral sex is so popular, and people don't realize coldsores are the herpes virus.

Hope this helps
O21

 
Old 10-11-2007, 06:01 PM   #13
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by over21 View Post
...
Now I'm sort of confused. I have my doctors results, but I don't have the second test result papers. I took a blood test from the same location two different times...one from my doctor and one from a direct lab service.

On the first.

HSV I/II IgG Combination= 1.7h index.....according to the doctor I have herpes antibodies, but he can't tell me which one...given the nature of this test.

Then he also included this in the same blood test.

HSV IgM I/II combination=<0.91...this he said was to check for recent infections...6 days out. It's a negative.

Then of coarse I took an alternative test (unbeknownst to him), which I don't have the physical results in front of me (they're mailing it to me). I was given the results over the phone and should be getting the paper results as well.

The test was a Herpes type I and II select test IgG. HerpesSelect. It's said to be accurate 12-16 weeks out (97%). I took this because I felt my doctors test didn't signify what type I had or have. The doctor looked a bit suprised when I told him my results were negative for both types in this test and that such a test existed. He told me he'd like to see those results when I get them.

So I have combination I/II IgG telling me I'm have antibodies detected for type I and/or type II, and I have a herpesSelect IgG type specific,...which tells me I'm negative in both types. I realize I have to wait another 2 months to see if I have any new infections (from my sexual activity),...but the results I have now...are sort of in conflict with each other. One says I have type I and/or type II, and the others says I have neither. Kind-of hard to figure out which one is right.

What should I take from my results?

FYI, I took the first blood test 6 days out, and the second test a month out. But as you see, the results vary.

 
Old 10-11-2007, 08:08 PM   #14
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

YQuestion;
Your posted results are not confusing at all.

Your IgG combination HSVI/II is a low positive, and means you could have either HSV1 or HSV2 or both. This combo test is a worthless test because it doesn't tell you what you actually have. And I would never trust a low positive of 1.7.

Your IgM test results are meaningless and should be tossed, but let me explain. In laymen terms the IgM antibody is a general purpose antibody and will show up for many infection, including herpes. A positive IgM test doesn't mean you do have the virus and a negative result doesn't mean you don't. During your entire life span a person will test both neg and pos for this antibody, whether they actually have the herpes virus or not. Remember, this is a general purpose antibody showing up for things other that herpes. This antibody will dissipate to undetectable levels when it not being needed.

The IgG antibody is always there once it's develop because the herpes virus doesn't go away, it's with you for life. the IgG antibody is specific to herpes, the IgM is not.

So having a positive IgG test and a negative IgM test is very normal. But like I said, toss the IgM results.

Wait for you second set of tests, from what you have described that was the correct test.

O21

 
Old 10-14-2007, 02:53 PM   #15
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Re: Test positive for herpes and then negative for type 1 and 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by over21 View Post
Wait for you second set of tests, from what you have described that was the correct test.
O21
I was told over the phone they were both negative (on my type specific test), which is why I feel a conflict with the previous information I received from my doctor. Although I haven't got the papers yet...they're to be mailed to me.

I've had a variety of symptoms..not necessarily related. But I had a stye, and a minor eye infection...nothing like ocular herpes, thank god. I also had seborrheic dermatitis on my eyebrows and my shoulder blades (this all verified by a doctor).

The day of sex, the girl had just taken a shower. Immediately after sex... right above my above my penis it was warm...later I would have two rashes on the side of my penis...very mild and scaley like. Then my left leg was a bit numb...not pain, just numb for about 4 days...specifically when I laid down. The doctor looked at the one suspect area on my upper thigh and told me it was folliculitis. Along with this my penis shaft has been incredible dry (the last two weeks). Although I remember various times where my penis had been dry (before), and my face would do the say thing....pretty-much anytime I throughly wash those areas it gets really dry.

My doctor gave me hydrocortisone for the dermatitis and reccomended that I get a dandroft shampoo and sensitive soap bar...to avoid the dryiness and dermatitis (both on my face and penis).

The two suspect areas on my mouth were the interior cheek....very much like a canker sore...I still actually have what seems to be a canker sore there even now...although my lip did swell up a bit and I did have what seemed to be a papercut on my lip. Not sure if it was a cold sore or if my constant stretching of my mouth that was doing that. No clusters. A week later I got another what seems to be canker sore in my mouth...if you pull your lower lip down...it would be an inch in the mouth. I immediately put canker plus on it, and while it turned into what looked like a zit...it did appear to have bumps around it. Although I'm not sure herpes can be in that part of the mouth. You tell me...? The moment it popped, it almost immediately disappeared.

Some of what happens sounds like a staph infection and others sound like herpes or canker sores...I'm not sure what happened to me in those two weeks. I wore a condom and after reading the internet I find myself vaguely paranoid of sex...could it be it? Maybe...could it not? Part of me thinks the 90 degree weather to cold weater, change in diet, and 'moist' sex gave me something less cumbersome...and the other part of me says wait and see. I don't think I had anything that screams out herpes, but not all people have defining symptoms.

Hopefully it's all nothing, but you never know. If you have an insight on my pleathora of symptoms, put in your two cents.

 
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