[Question #2048] HSV antibody question

45 months ago
Hello, I recently had a, IgG antibody test for HSV-1/HSV-2 at 14.5 weeks post exposure.  Test results are: "Negative for antibody to HSV-1 and HSV-2.
No evidence of infection with HSV-1 or HSV-2." My question is, can vaccines slow the seroconversion of antibodies for HSV? At 5 weeks post exposure and almost 10 weeks before my test I had my second round of shots of Twinrix for Hep A/B as well as a Tetanus booster. Could these shots have slowed my seroconversion? Also, how reliable are Negative IgG results at 14.5 weeks?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
No, I don't think you need to worry that the vaccine interfered somehow with the herpes antibody test.  Compared to the gold standard western blot at this time frame, the IgG test picks up 70% of HSV 1 and 92% of HSV 2 infection.    Do you have other questions for me?

Terri
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45 months ago
1) So you are saying that at 14.5 weeks there is a 92% chance I am negative for HSV2 and a 70% chance I am negative for HSV1? I have never had a cold sore nor have I had any lesions on my genitals. The only HSV symptom I have had has been leg/nerve pain for 12 weeks. 

2)Would you say given the information I have provided it is safe to put all of this behind me and live my life as if I am HSV negative? 

3)What about the people who never test seropositive but do test positive via swab? Are they part of the 8% and 30%?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
1.  Yes, that is what I am saying.
2.  You are safe to put this behind you as the statistics indicate.  For some people, the odds are just fine, for others not so much.  That absolutely has to be your call - it varies so much between people.
3.  Yes, I have nine of those people in 33 years and they are in those numbers, out of many thousands tested.

Terri
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45 months ago
1) I had unprotected sex with an individual of unknown status 20 weeks ago. 3-4 weeks later I started experiencing shooting/aching pains in my legs, feet and buttocks ever since. The pain is worse when I sit down. I tested negative at 5 and 14 weeks post exposure with the ELISA test. I have never had any form of outbreak. In you professional opinion, do you think I contracted HSV?

2) Are the 70% for HSV-1 and 92% for HSV-2 statistics an accuracy per test or is that a percentage of individuals who will test positive by that time? 

3) Would another ELISA test at 6 months give me different results?

Thank you very much nurse Warren. I appreciate your time and so do many others.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
1.  I think the odds are certainly against you having this infection, given your negative tests - there is probably an 8% chance you might have this and the test missed it.
2.  Those statistics comparing the test results of people who tested with both ELISA IgG and herpes western blot.
3.  I don't expect that an ELISA at 6 months would be different, no,  but I can't promise that.  Our suggested wait time for a final test is 12 weeks - there are likely a very small number of people who will become positive after that time but they are uncommon. 

Terri
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