[Question #5267] Question about Herpes testing and typing
24 months ago
I noticed red, raised bumps and blisters on my penis, which I thought was a herpes outbreak, even though I have never had one and regularly test negative for antibodies (IGG). The nurse at Planned Parenthood who took the culture said it "didn't look like typical herpes." The result came back positive, however it didn't determine the type. PP said their Herpes cultures do not EVER determine the virus type.
to know the virus type and took 3 steps to find it out.
1. Attempted to get another culture, by that time, my lesions had healed enough so it was no longer possible.
2. I got tested for antibodies (IGG) but the results were negative for both type 1 and type 2. This is not surprising because it takes the body a while to produce antibodies. Rather than wait 3-4 months to get another antibody test:
3. I got a Herpes PCR blood test, which came back negative for both type 1 and type 2.
Is it more likely that the culture was a false positive or the PCR test was a false negative? Is PCR from a blood test less accurate than PCR from a lesion? Since Planned Parenthood said they were able to reproduce a virus but they couldn't determine the type, is it possible the positive was for another type of herpes virus (like Epstein Barr or shingles, which can also produce outbreaks)?
I suppose I will wait 4 months from the time of the original outbreak and then get another IGG test. Is there any other way I can determine the virus type?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
24 months ago