[Question #2475] HSV 1/2 IgG Test results and advice

45 months ago
Hi Dr.  Terri, 

You might tell from my previous questions to the other doctor that I have recently been concerned about a one-night stand exposure. I did full panel testing at 6 weeks post-exposure and the only thing that came up positive were my HSV results. I have had a cold sore before but it has been a very long time since my last one, so I could have guessed it might be positive. Should I concerned with this "HIGH" result? This means I have had this awhile? I have never tested for it before.  Could I pass it to my partner through oral sex? Please see below. 

Also, my HSV2 result seems to be border line in the "equivocal" range but the testing website says anything <0.91 is negative? Should I retest at the 3-month mark since the number seems borderline? I have no visible sores or outbreak since the exposure I am concerned about, there was just some irritation and itchiness at first. 



HSV 1 IgG, Type Spec    31.60 HIGH        0.00-0.90 index 01
 Negative <0.91
 Equivocal 0.91 - 1.09
 Positive >1.09
 Note: Negative indicates no antibodies detected to
 HSV-1. Equivocal may suggest early infection. If
 clinically appropriate, retest at later date. Positive
 indicates antibodies detected to HSV-1.

HSV 2 IgG, Type Spec <0.91                 0.00-0.90 index 01
 Negative <0.91
 Equivocal 0.91 - 1.09
 Positive >1.09
 Note: Negative indicates no antibodies detected to
 HSV-2. Equivocal may suggest early infection. If
 clinically appropriate, retest at later date. Positive
 indicates antibodies detected to HSV-2.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
The thing is, once you ever in your life have a cold sore, your HSV 1 antibody will always be positive and often at this level, even if you don't have recurrences.  The virus will continue to be active even without symptoms and your immune system will continue to see the virus and mount an immune response which you are seeing reflected in the antibody index value here.  And yes, it is possible to shed virus from your mouth and infect your partner genitally through oral sex.  This is true if you do or don't have an outbreak.  It might be useful, if you have a regular partner, to have them antibody tested.  If they also have HSV 1 (as does 56% of the population), you don't need to worry about further transmission.

Terri
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