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Negative for HSV 1 and HSV 2, Positive for IGM

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Hello everyone,

I had a blood test that tested negative for HSV 1 and HSV 2 and I tested positive for IGM. My doctor told me that I must have been exposed within the last 4-12 weeks. He also said that the IGM indicates that I would definitely eventually within a few months have HSV 1 or HSV 2. This didn't really sound right because I read somewhere that 9/10 people have the antibodies in them so can someone clarify this? Could it have been before 4-12 weeks, could IGM evolve into HSV 1 or HSV 2? Please someone help I am really worried. Thank You.


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The IGM test is allegedly meaningless:


"False positive results are extremely common--probably not due to cross reaction with some other infection, just related to the biology and chemistry of the IgM molecule."

My biology isn't too hot, but as I understand it, if you have contracted HSV it will show up in an IGG test within a few months, and that would be your definitive indicator. I believe the IGM could indicate a recent infection, but since the IGM is apparently unreliable...

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Get a new Doctor, and have your current Doctor pay for the worthless IgM test.

IgM antibodies do not 'evolve' into IgG, they are two different classes of antibodies. Think of IgM as a general purpose antibody which will show up for several different virues. The IgG antibody will only show up for the Herpes virus.

A positive IgM test result could indicate a recent infection, however, studies have shown that IgM antibodies also show up in about 34% of recurring outbreaks. And, it's very possible to be IgM positive and be negative for Herpes. Bottom line; an IgM test result is unreliable for the diagnosis of Herpes.


Mr Smith

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You should ask for an HSV Type Specific test IGG NOT IGM. I do know that a lot of the anonymous online labs (they send you to a lab to get tested) explain which test they offer.

Having an IGG test is useless!!

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Mr Smith,

I think you are wrong (although I could be the one mistaken and if so, I apologize).

It is my understanding the IGM tests will show a positive sooner than the old IGG tests. It takes awhile for you to develop the IGG antibodies, whereas the IGM ones show up in a matter of a days or a couple of weeks.

So Bronkus,

You most probably have a herpes infection (as shown by the IGM result). It could be type 1 or type 2. You won't be able to tell for awhile. Have the IGG tests for 1 & 2 done again in 3 months from your last exposure date.

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