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15 weeks and my test results are...


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Tested 3 weeks after exposure 10/1/10:

IgM: .91

IgG: Negative

DR told me I have a 50/50 chance of having Herpes at this time.

Tested this week 15 weeks after exposure 12/27/10:

IgM: 1.11

IgG: Negative

DR told me it was more than likely I was exposed within the last 3 months.

I am confused. I thought after this long I should show something on my IgG.

Does the elevated IgM test mean my body is building more antibodies and will eventually seroconvert?

Help me, I am just done with this. I want an answer so I can just decide to live or die.

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hi greenwood

Sorry I can't help you with the test results..............but seriously whether it's positive or negative, having herpes or not, shouldn't be a deciding factor in whether you choose to live or die??? It really is NOT the end of the world even if that's how you may be feeling right now.



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I am just so depressed. Other website forums have told me that it is unlikely I have it, but my signs and symptoms somewhat match herpes. I dont know what to do. I really need advice with my test results. Two DR's have just played this off like an annoyance and not a life shattering event.

My GF has never had a cold sore (that I can remember). Could she still have given me this without knowing? What if she tests positive for H1, but never showed a mouth sore. Can she viral shed it to me?

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Yes I understand the whole depression thing............not knowing for sure doesn't make life any easier.

RG is the one best able to decipher your blood test results..............RG hello!!

Anyone with herpes whether it's HSV1 or HSV2 can viral shed and without symptoms and never knowing that they have it. It's probably a good idea she has a blood test too. That way she will have a baseline blood test result too.

I find the way blood tests seem to be performed in the US completely confusing to me I'm from Australia. I just had 2 blood tests performed, and they just came back, negative 1st [newly exposed] and positive for the 2nd. I didn't have to decipher any IgM or IgG results & neither did my doctor?? All seems rather complicated to me??

You've posted enough to go enter chat now too, in case you're interested....

take care


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Hi greenwood, d00m kitty!

I'm not really an expert on interpreting test results, but I've done a lot of research and have learned some things.

First, a question. Were there any numerical values associated with your IgG results?

One thing I can tell you is that IgM results by themselves are considered unreliable. The test that detects IgM antibodies can get a cross-reaction from antibodies to other viruses, such as Varicella Zoster Virus, the one that causes chickenpox and shingles, as well as to HSV1 (mistaking it for HSV2).

Have you ever had chickenpox?

Have you ever had an oral cold sore?

What symptoms are you having?

Also, the difference between .91 and 1.11 on your IgM results is not necessarily indicative of an "elevated" value. You could take another test and it might show .51 now. The numbers are relative to a built-in reference in each test kit.

But back to my last question, which has to do with why you have been tested. You mention that you were tested 3 weeks and 15 weeks "after exposure." So did you have intimate contact with someone you believe (or know) has herpes? And what are the symptoms you have had?

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I am not sure if there were any numerical values associated with my IgG test result. I will call them today and let you know.

My parents told me that I never had chickenpox. They tried on several occasions to expose me to them, but I never got it. I dont remember ever getting a cold sore, but that might be wrong. At least not recently.

Here are my symptoms and time lines:

September 11: Received oral sex from a female.

September 28: I call her because I was experiencing the something strange. I told her the following:

-Three red bumps. Very small in size. All three on the shaft. Two close together, one near the head of my penis.

-The two close together itched very badly before they broke out, and a short time after.

-The one isolated one (near the head) had no symptoms.

-No pain. No blistering.

-Slightly red skin around the two bumps, but not the isolated one.

October 1st: Made an appointment for the DR.

October 5th: Went to the DR and he did a visual examination with the following results.

-All three were almost gone. No swap to be performed.

-They looked crusty, but not scabby.

-DR gave me a blood test for Herpes.

October 11: Nurse called me with the results.

-IgM: .91

-IgG: Negative

-She told me I had a 50/50 chance I could have herpes. Told me to come back in 1 month.

I did not go back tot he DR unit December 27th. This time someone different. I specifically asked for another blood test using IgG. My results returned on Dec 30 and she stated the following

IgM: 1.11

IgG: Negative

The Dr told me I was recently exposed to the Herpes virus in the last three months because my first test was .91.

Since the first signs and symptoms. I have had one other issue: In the beginning of December one of the bumps came back near the spot where the two formed before. I have had significant tingling my penis (all over) for 2 months straight. The red bump went away in 2 weeks, but has left the area dry and peeling.

I think my testicles hurt also, but I might be losing my mind over this.

I have never had a blister, nothing popped, and no discharge. The DR's are not helping and just pass me off like its my problem now.

The girl who gave me oral denies ever having a cold sore in her life.

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Greenwood -- if the girl who gave you oral has not had an accurate blood test for herpes which came back negative, there is a good chance she has asymptomatic oral herpes. As I'm sure you know by now, about 80% of the North American adult population has oral herpes, but about 70% of them don't know it because they don't get recognizable symptoms.

There should be numerical values with the IgG part of the testing. See if you can also find out which test kit (what brand name and type) was used.

For what it's worth, chickenpox is not the only virus that can cross-react with the IgM test process. And even you might have asymptomatic oral herpes which could be causing that IgM result.

You might consider getting a Western Blot test in a month or two as confirmation that you don't (or do, but I doubt it) have herpes.

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I got my results today for my IGG

I dont know the test kit but these are the test results:

IGM 1.1

IGG No values (Negative)

I am 4 about 4 months out from possible infection (September 11th).

What do you think after looking at my previous posts and the time frames I gave?

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I got my results today for my IGG

I dont know the test kit but these are the test results:

IGM 1.1

IGG No values (Negative)

I am 4 about 4 months out from possible infection (September 11th).

What do you think after looking at my previous posts and the time frames I gave?

I think you probably don't have herpes. But what I think really doesn't matter. It is you who needs to be satisfied with that information.

Have you considered getting a more definitive test with clearer results, such as Herpeselect or Western Blot?

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The DR told me they generally do not do Western Blots. He said I will have to wait to see if the symptoms come back and they will attempt to get a swab.

First, I cant just wait. This might never happen again, and I will go out of my mind. Second, this DR really believes in the IGM test and basically told me to prepare for the worst. He would not place me on any meds. Although he did say, I really cant tell you that you have it, but you had a recent infection. He stated the IGG and IGM were Herpes Specific Testing.

What should I do? I cant do this anymore.....

I dont understand........How long should I wait on this.....

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Here's what I would do...

First, I'm not sure what you mean when you say "I can't just wait. This might never happen again, and I will go out of my mind."

What might never happen again???

Second, I can only tell you what I would do. I can't tell you what you should do. But if it were me, I would realize that the doctor who "believes" in the IgM test is way behind the times and is WRONG. All you have to do is look at the available information from authorities on the subject to see that he is mistaken in his faith in that test.

I am my own patient advocate. I recognize that doctors do not know everything. I take it upon myself to research, especially in areas where my doctor might not specialize, to be sure I make the best decisions regarding my health.

Here's a page you might wish to explore:

How Can You Get An Accurate Blood Test

You might also consider this information from the American Social Health Association:

Introduction to blood tests

"Blood tests can be used when a person has no visible symptoms but has concerns about having herpes. Blood tests do not actually detect the virus; instead, they look for antibodies (the body's immune response) in the blood."

IgM vs. IgG

"There are many older blood tests commercially available, but most are not accurate because they cannot accurately distinguish between antibodies for type-1 and type-2 herpes. This makes it possible to get a false positive result, especially for HSV-2.

When an individual contracts herpes, the immune system responds by developing antibodies to fight the virus: IgG and IgM. Blood tests can look for and detect these antibodies, as the virus itself is not in blood. IgG appears soon after infection and stays in the blood for life. IgM is actually the first antibody that appears after infection, but it may disappear thereafter."

IgM tests are not recommended because of three serious problems:

1. Many assume that if a test discovers IgM, they have recently acquired herpes. However, research shows that IgM can reappear in blood tests in up to a third of people during recurrences, while it will be negative in up to half of persons who recently acquired herpes but have culture-document first episodes. Therefore, IgM tests can lead to deceptive test results, as well as false assumptions about how and when a person actually acquired HSV. For this reason, we do not recommend using blood tests as a way to determine how long a person has had herpes. Unfortunately, most people who are diagnosed will not be able to determine how long they have had the infection (see reference 1).

2. In addition, IgM tests cannot accurately distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies, and thus very easily provide a false positive result for HSV-2. This is important in that most of the adult population in the U.S. already has antibodies to HSV-1, the primary cause of oral herpes. A person who only has HSV-1 may receive a false positive for HSV-2.

3. IgM tests sometimes cross-react with other viruses in the same family, such as varicella zoster virus (VZV) which causes chickenpox or cytomegalovirus (CMV) which causes mono, meaning that positive results may be misleading.

The accurate herpes blood tests detect IgG antibodies. Unlike IgM, IgG antibodies can be accurately broken down to either HSV-1 or HSV-2. A recent study corroborates this finding: labs that used non-gG-based tests for herpes had high false-positive rates for HSV-2 antibodies (14-88% saying the blood sample was positive for HSV-2) in samples that were actually only positive for HSV-1 antibodies. But 100% of the labs using gG-based tests accurately reported that the blood sample was negative for HSV-2 (see reference 2).

The challenge here is that the time it takes for IgG antibodies to reach detectable levels can vary from person to person. For one person, it could take just a few weeks, while it could ta ke a few months for another. So even with the accurate tests, a person could receive a false negative if the test is taken too soon after contracting the virus. For the most accurate test result, it is recommended to wait 12 - 16 weeks from the last possible date of exposure before getting an accurate, type-specific blood test in order to allow enough time for antibodies to reach detectable levels."

Further, you might read this Q and A on the medhelp forum, on the question of IgG versus IgM tests, which was answered by Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield (acknowledged authority in the field of STIs). Please click on the link and read the whole thing for yourself, but here is part of what was said: "testing for HSV IgM antibody is not useful; IgM antibody often is detectable in recurrent as well as initial herpes. The truly accurate HSV antibody tests (e.g., HerpeSelect) don't test for IgM, only IgG. (Corollary: If someone gets a herpes test that gives an IgM result, it means s/he had an older test that in fact is not reliable in distinguishing HSV-1 from HSV-2 infection.)"

So anyway, if it were me, I would find a different doctor. I would find a different doctor or clinic and I would go in and specifically tell them what test or tests you want done, by name. If they do not offer those tests, I would go elsewhere. If all else failed locally, I would become a phone patient of Terri Warren's Westover Heights Clinic, which will order for you the Western Blot test (and perhaps others, I'm not sure).

I don't allow doctors to bully me. I am the boss of my health care team. If a doc doesn't see it that way, he or she will get fired and replaced.

Good luck figuring it out! :wavey:

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  • 6 years later...

Are you only testing for HSV2

You should get a value back for HSV1 and HSV2.  Considering you had oral sex you are most likely to get hsv1 if anything.  

Please confirm you were not given a combined igm and Igg.  

Also I would disregard your igm they are in the equivocal range anyway which is not positive or negative.  

At 15 weeks if you took a type specific test for Igg HSV1 and Igg hsv2 and you were negative I would be betting on no infection.  

Some can take up to 6 months to convert.  If it were me I would wait until 20-24 months and take a hsv1 and HSV2 type specific IGG test. 

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