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What does HSV IGG mean?

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Old 08-30-2003, 01:06 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2003
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smartithought HB User
Post What does HSV IGG mean?

I have had no symptoms of herpes or prodomes. On Septemeber 1 I had unprotected sex with a female friend of mine. One month later she tells me that she had a lesion and was just diagnosed with herpes. I got a HSV2 IGG blood test and the antibody result was a positive 1.86. What does this mean? The text says it is presumptive from one test to assume I am positive for herpes. It says it means I have had "previous immunio(something) exposure". Still I've had no symptoms, but every slight itch, my mind goes crazy. I presume that I'm probably asymptomatic and gave it to her. She had no symptoms at all until after two weeks of sleeping with me.

Before this encounter, I had been in an unprotected sexual relationship with someone overseas for the past two years. Neither of us have ever had symptoms. I want to know (1) if I have it, (2) who I got it from, (3) if I gave it to anyone.

Any response would be great. Thank you.

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Old 08-30-2003, 01:54 PM   #2
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Location: Seattle, Washington, US
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nebulonic HB User

Hi smartithought,

First, I'll give the broken record response: you need to discuss the specifics with your doctor -- he or she should provide interpretive results of any tests that you have.

However, I can tell you a bit about the test:

the gG in "HSV GG" stands for "glycoprotein", which you can think of as the virus's "fingerprint" -- Glycoprotein chains are unique viral markers.

The issue with your test may be that HSV-1 and HSV-2 are similar over much of the length of their individual chains -- HSV-1 has a shorter chain length than HSV-2 but otherwise is very similar compositionally, so it can cause the HSV GG test to throw false-positives when testing for HSV-2. Most people have been exposed to HSV-1 at some point, so that's why you're gG may not indicate with certainty if you have genital herpes -- in the absence of an active lesion that can be swabbed and tested it can be tricky to diagnose which strain you have and where the primary infection site is located. Although it's possible to have an active HSV-1 genital expression it's not the common site for that strain... most HSV-1 infections will be inactive or oral (cold sores).

There are a number of gG test types available to detect HSV, some are more specific than others. You should talk with your doctor about the practicality of having one of the more specific HSV-2 gG tests done.

Good luck, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that you're negative for HSV-2.

Old 08-30-2003, 02:27 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3
smartithought HB User

Thank you for your prompt reply. My doctor was very brief, and gave my results over the phone at work. I asked over the phone if there was a chance of a false positive, and she was quite certain the test was positive for HSV-2. The test is called "HSV 2 IGG TYPE SPECIFIC AB". She asked if I have had any outbreaks, which I haven't, and then asked me to come by her office to pick up the test results and a perscription for Valtrex. I've had no further consultation, and I'm just waiting throught sleepless nights for my genitals to errupt into some festering wound. Thank you for your help.

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