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Getting Specific Antibody Level/Test Results Help

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Hi everyone,

I was exposed and presented with (what I assumed was) a primary outbreak on my buttocks near the anus back in late May/early June of this year. I had a culture of the blisters - negative for any Herpes virus. I also had a blood test done, just to get a baseline reading - type specific IgG test, negative for everything.

I went to a different doctor in August and I suspect it was an IgM test which showed a positive result, but he could not tell me what type.

I had another test done on November 5 by the same doctor who said he ordered a type II test only (is that possible?) and it came back negative.

After reading this site, I went back to primary doc and requested another type specific blood test, ran last Friday November 30, and this time I had a copy of the results sent to me so I could come here and share.

HSV I IgG, Type Spec <0.9 Negative, Index 0.0-0.8

HSV II IgG, Type Spec <0.9 Negative, Index 0.0-0.8

I know some of you have had numbers that show .43, .61, etc. How can I get that specific number to know if it's possible that I do have antibodies but they're simply too low to classify as a positive result. Or, since the numbers aren't detailed, am I to assume I am at a 0.0 level?

I'm very confused as I have had what I assumed are physical symptoms of herpes, although no visibile outbreaks since late May. I was not sick then at all - no fever, headache, or other symptoms indicative of primary outbreak. I don't know how often primary outbreaks are accompanied with flu -like symptoms.

What prompted me to go back in was a tingling, stinging, pinching feeling so I assumed the infection was active and if my antibodies had somehow disappeared, they'd be back since it felt like the virus was waking up. With the negative results from last Friday, I don't know what to think.

It's been about 6-7 months now... one poster said it took 8 months for him to turn positive, so I guess that's possible, but any insight into these results are appreciated.

I have been reading about getting the Western Blot done by U of W - does anyone know if regular insurance covers the cost of this test? Or, is there a different test to request that will give me specific antibody numbers that aren't just "less than 0.9?"

Either way - I just want a definitive answer on what's going on so I can share with my partners. I've been with 3 people within the last few months, all of whom knew ahead of time of my infection, and all were cool with that since I have not had any outbreaks and take Valtrex 1 gm daily.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Your posted IgG results clearly show you're negative for both types, with values less then .90. Congrats!!

What a lot of labs are doing now is not showing the actual number if it's less than .90 or greater than 5.00. While reading these numeric values isn't rocket science, many people including doctors don't understand what the numbers mean. So, to reduce confusion, the lab is trying to simply things.

A negative result typically won't be zero, its the nature of the test. There's no difference between a .46 and .64, they both negative. You can not be less negative or more negative, you're just negative. The same idea goes with positive results, there's no difference between a 4.6 and 6.4. It just means you're positive and has nothing to do with how infected you are.

The HerpeSelect test comes in a couple different flavors. The ELISA format will return a numeric value for either HSV1 or HSV2, but the lab may omit it. The Imnunoblot format returns and easy to read 'negative' or 'positive' for each HSV type.

The WesternBlot can be order online at a couple of testing places, cost is about $250. If you're close to Seattle, you can get it for $115 at the UW.

I would suggest getting retested with the HerpeSelect IgG ELISA test for both HSV1 and HSV2. I would suggest waiting as long as you can before getting retested. If you have an outbreak, get to the doctor within the first 48 hours for a culture test.

Skip any IgM testing, it's worthless.


Mr Smith

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