[Question #368] HSV Tests

35 months ago

Hello.  I am a 40 year old male.   In February, I had a short term casual sexual relationship with a female.  We had sex 4-5 times, and our last sex was on 3/20.  In April, I had sex on a couple of occasions with a different female. Our last sex as on 4/23.  With both of them, I used condoms each time for intercourse, but not for oral.   I have had a limited number of other partners in the past but each was more than six months prior to these.  Each of the two most recent female partners said she had previously been tested and was clean before I hooked up with her, but I have no way to know the circumstances or if each was being honest.  


I saw the error of my ways and was tested at a lab for a number of STDs on 6/29 and again on 8/17, including for HSV-1 and -2. In both cases, the tests for HSV were IGG Herpeselect type specific ELISA blood tests.  All results were negative both times for all STDs, including both types of HSV.   I have not had any symptoms I would recognize as Herpes since. However, I am concerned based on online research that I may be missing symptoms.  So, I would like to know whether these tests were sufficient or if I should follow up to confirm I don't have HSV?  I want to make sure I don't infect someone else.  Thanks in advance. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
Hi Brad,
I think you can rely on the HSV 2 results - the IgG screening test picks up 98% of HSV 2 infections, compared to the gold standard, herpes western blot.
The HSV 1 test is not quite a good, missing 1 out of 4 infections compared again, to western blot.  However, having said that, 56% of the population has HSV 1 infection, between the ages of 14 and 49.  Have you ever in your life had a cold sore on your lip or in your nose?  If yes, then you already have HSV 1. 

Terri

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35 months ago
I honestly don't recall if I've had a cold sore or not. In either case, I assume that because I've had no noticeable symptoms of a HSV-1 infection in the last 8 months, it is not a big deal. Correct?  Thanks for your help. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
I would agree that it is not a big deal, Brad, mostly because so many people are already infected.  I just can't give you a 100% clear answer to the HSV 1 question.

Terri
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35 months ago
Last follow up.  Given that I was last tested 16 weeks and 4 days after my last possible exposure, I assumed that there was no point in getting tested again without having further exposures.  Is that correct or do I need to be tested again to be safe?  
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
You are correct, there is no point in getting tested using the screening IgG test again without further exposures.  You have waiting long enough for the testing that you have had done.  Unless you have a burning desire to truly know your HSV 1 status, the testing that you have done is adequate.

Terri
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