[Question #2620] Herpes Test Result IgM Freak

42 months ago
I was tested yesterday for all std's in my hometown, more than a year (nearly 2 years) after my last exposure after that i've been absence from any kinds of sex.

All are negative except when yesterday I got my herpes result (HIV syphillis gonorrhea clamydhia hcv all already negative) and i was shocked to hear :

HSV 1 IgG negative
HSV 1 IgM negative
HSV 2 IgG negative
HSV 2 IgM positive.

I've never had any herpes symptoms on my genitals, and its been already more than a year since last encounter. I believe in many credited websites that IgM is not recommended and yield in high rate of false positive. 

Then should I worry about the IgM positive? Or should I just believe that I don't have herpes and move on?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
42 months ago
Please completely ignore the positive HSV 2 IgM test.  This is a terrible test.  The CDC says to never do it.  It has many many false positives.  In my personal experience as a clinician specializing in herpes, I would say that 9 out of 10 people who test positive by IgM NEVER become positive by IgG, the test you really want to pay attention to, in the end.  You have waited long enough for an IgG to be positive if you were going to be positive.  Ignore this positive and move on with your life.  The IgG test isn't perfect, but two years out, the IgG is as good as it is going to get. 


Terri
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42 months ago
Okay, so I don't have herpes? 

Also I want to ask regarding if i have hsv 2, whats the risk of another person that i've partnered (woman) with but have no oral sex no vaginal or anal sex, just :

Kissing
Hugging ( topless )
Handjob
Dry humping (me without pants, she with panties)
(She never took off her panties)

And no symptoms present on me. Can she contract hsv 2 if i have one?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
42 months ago
Yes, you should consider yourself negative, within the bounds of the sensitivity of the IgG test - 92% sensitive for HSV 2 and 70% sensitive for HSV 1, in our most recent study.  the IgM has no meaning for you.  And the activities that you ask about above present zero risk for transmission of genital herpes - none.

Terri
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41 months ago
This is my last question regarding herpes.

Since 2 weeks ago, i have had anxiety because of my HSV 2 IgM result positive (borderline and repeated) but IgG negative post ~1.5 years post any sexual activity. 

Then I tested for IgG again (but not IgM because of high rate of false positive ) to ensure my status.

I got :

Anti HSV 2 IgG   0.08       Non reactive                 With reference reactive > 1.1

I am really glad and relieved. Then considering my last exposure is 1.5 years ago, and i had never experienced blisters, and the number is very low (0.08!) 

Can I neglect the IgM result 2 weeks ago and finally move on and consider myself hsv 2 negative?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
41 months ago
Yes, I believe that you can.  I'm so sorry the test was done at all.  That test has caused more anguish over the years than I can tell you.  One major lab actually stopped doing it completely - now I wish the others would follow suit.

Terri
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