[Question #3052] Low HSV 2 Positive Result - What do I do next?

40 months ago
As I mentioned in my last question, I have diagnosed OCD. It exhibits itself when I am under a lot of stress, which I currently am. Or just whenever it likes. Which is why I asked a question two weeks ago. 

Because of my OCD, I started to worry that maybe I had HSV-2. I've never had a clear outbreak. I have maybe had a "cut" below my clitoris, but I'm pretty positive that was from over-self examining or a yeast infection/bv, which I get frequently. Anyway, because I had developed this fear, I decided the way to stop obsessing over it was just to get a blood test. I just did HSV-2 because I knew if it came back positive for HSV-1, I wouldn't know where it came from since I don't get cold sores and never ever have (I remember as a child being very very conscious of this). 

Anyway, my result came back today. It says positive with a 1.16.  My guess is that it is the Elisa test, but I don't know for sure. I talked to the lab at the doctor's office and they referred me to the lab that actually ran the test, but that lab said they don't have permission to talk to me. All I know is that my results say HSV Type 2 IgG, 1.16 H.

I believe this is a low positive. And I would like to retest but I don't know what to ask for. It also seems like my doctor isn't really sure what to do. I just want to be able to request what I need to request or go somewhere else where I can get what I need. 

How likely is it that the test is a false positive? And what next-steps would you recommend? 

Thank you for your time. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
So there is probably a 90% chance that this test represents a false positive.  Per the CDC STD treatment guidelines, you should obtain a confirmatory test, preferably the herpes western blot from the University of Washington.  Anyone can order the test kit from them but a clinician must order the actual test - perhaps your provider can do that for you or I can help you with it as well.  I would encourage you to investigate this process.  The odds are really small that you are actually infected.

Terri
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40 months ago
I actually scheduled an online appointment with you for next Tuesday. It will be difficult for me to get the Westernblot without driving a few hours, but it is honestly worth my sanity. 

I went to the doctor today and she pretty much scoffed at me. And then she had me do another IgG test for no charge. I told her it would most likely come back with very similar results, but I did it anyway. If somehow it comes back negative this time, what should I do? 

Also, I've had a fairly consistent partner for  a while. But we are in an open relationship. The last time I had intercourse with someone other than him was September 29th and then last week, November 29th. Both of those interactions were protected. I do not use protection with my consistent partner. How long would I have to wait to get the Western Blot? I'd really rather not wait 12-16 weeks, mainly for anxiety purposes. I've debated telling my consistent partner, but I also don't want him to get in the same anxiety situation as me. 

Thank you for your time. The past 24 hours have been really awful for me. And my doctor is obviously frustrated with my OCD, which is understandable but also frustrating seeing as I'm the one actually going through the mental anguish. So I just appreciate you taking your time and listening to my concerns. It's nice to feel listened. 


Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
I'm happy to listen!  If the IgG is negative this time, I would probably put this behind me if I was in your situation. 
If the other partner encounters were protected and the condoms stayed on and intact, I would not include them in your timing.  but what about your partner?  is he using condoms with others?   Condoms are not as protective for men as they are for women

Terri
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40 months ago
As far as I know, he is not sleeping with anyone else. If he was, I'm confident he would use protection. We stopped using protection when we weren't actively seeing other people. We haven't slept together since my last encounter with someone else, so I hadn't mentioned it to him. We would probably discuss going back to condoms because I slept with someone else. 

Also, what do I do until I can take the Western Blot? Do I abstain from sex? Do I need to inform partners? I'm just trying to be safe but also realistic (as in, i don't want to freak someone out about something most likely not real). 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
If you next IgG test is negative, I think you are OK to have sex and not disclose this - that isn't a 100% certain recommendation but I think you would be OK. If you next IgG is positive again, I think you should likely look back for the timing of your last unprotected encounter and test with the blot 12 weeks from that encounter as condoms protect women against infection when have sex with men who have HSV 2 96% of the time - pretty good,huh?  Between now and then, you could either disclose this concern or avoid sex.

Terri
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