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woodchuck

Flu Shot Fiasco, Now Equivocal

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woodchuck

My nurse gave me a flu shot immediately before I left for a testing clinic to do an STD screening. The results came back negative for everything except HSV2. The HerpeSelect IgG score was 1.24, with >1.10 being the threshold between equivocal and positive. My girlfriend who I had only been sleeping with for a few weeks was devastated. A test I took a year before came back all negative but I didn’t remember the scores or the nature of the tests. I read online about the IgG test being based on the detection of antibodies, remembered the flu shot, and asked my nurse for a HSV 1/2 IgG retest. She filled out the form but disagreed with my theory about the flu shot. My second IgG score actually dropped dramatically, to .93, with .90 being the threshold between negative and equivocal. I had a herpes-like symptom in 2005, a definite blister below my waistline that was sore for a few days and left a mark that lasted a month. I was having unprotected sex at the time with a woman who later mentioned having HPV complications. I’ve since had a few warts removed that were small, skin colored, and painless. I had also told my most recent partner about those, but the HSV2 results changed everything. We began going to bed with our jeans on and she was leaving my place at 2,3 AM to drive herself home. We broke up this past weekend.

My plan when I see the nurse this Friday is to ask for a third HSV2 test by a different test company. I'm not hopeful about definitively testing negative. From what I read online, the answer seems to be that I'm probably one among millions of asymptomatic carriers. The equivocal result seems no better than a positive one. I have to warn future partners either way. Anyone care to contradict me?

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RealisticGal

Sure, I'll bite...

Yes, I will offer you some contradiction. :proud:

The Herpeselect brand ELISA test kit has a problem with its published index values. The experts are all aware of this, and it has been publicized in the medical community. Nevertheless, many labs and doctors ignore the information.

The bottom line is that any value between 1.1 and 3.5 may be a false positive on that test.

Here is a Q&A on the medhelp forum that does a very good job of explaining the situation:

IgG Test Confusion

Be sure to read both the Question as well as Dr. H Hunter Handsfield's Answer further down the page.

:wavey:

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woodchuck

Well, that's ....interesting. Thank you! I will bring this information to my doctor's office this Friday.

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RealisticGal

You are welcome.

As an FYI: Dr. Handsfield is one of the foremost experts in the field of STIs/HSV. (Just in case your doc gives you any grief.)

The fact is, the average doctor who does not specialize tends to be very poorly informed about HSV and HSV testing.

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woodchuck

It took some effort persuading my nurse and doctor to consider ordering a Biokit test. They had never heard of it. Having a printout of the BMC U. of Washington paper helped a lot. The nurse said she'd read it, so I think some good will come of this. Thanks again.

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RealisticGal

Good for you, talking them into it. It is good to take in info that makes it hard for a doc to stonewall you!

Also, you may have done your part to help educate the medical community better about HSV and HSV testing. One small step...

Please let us know what happens.

:wavey:

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woodchuck

I saw an infectious disease specialist who sent me to a lab to get blood drawn for a Herpes Simplex PCR blood test. Just got the results this afternoon: negative. In his words “no trace” of herpes DNA was found. He attributed my equivocal and low-positive Herpeselect results to cross-reacting antibodies. Many thanks to RealisticGal and others offering good information and encouragement on this site.

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