[Question #5629] HSV Antibodies

20 months ago



When I was in college (20+) years ago I became sexually active. My memory is hazy due to the time that has passed. However, I remember having a group of bumps on my perineum that went away on their own. I also remember experiencing extreme itching and they were prickly and flesh colored. I do not remember any pain. At that time I was in a monogamous relationship. The relationship went on for 5 years after that. I never experienced another episode of those bumps since then. Also, since I was in College I don’t remember ever having them looked at, so I don’t know what it was. A couple of questions:


In 2017, after a current sexual encounter, I took the Western Blot test and it was negative for HSV 1 and HSV 2. Plus all IGG tests, since 2014 have also been negative.


  1. Given I took the Western Blot, 20+ years after the bumps, and it was negative can I be assured I don’t have Herpes? And that it would have picked up the antibodies?
  2. I have read that antibodies can disappear over time and become non-detectable to antibody blood tests (seroreversion). Is this possible? Would the Western Blot test of still picked up the antibodies if I was infected/exposed to HSV at one point in my life and was an latent infection.? My understanding is antibodies never disappear and are always detectable in our blood.
  3. My understanding as well. Is with HSV 2 if you had an initial outbreak then I would of experienced additional outbreaks? Is that correct?


Thank you for the time in answering this question. I’m in a new relationship and have confirmed with him that I am not infected with HSV, but these bumps haunt me since I never found out what they were and they haven’t returned, I am concerned all the testing I have done does not give confirmation I am free of the herpes virus. And the information on the web is very confusing.

Thank you.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
20 months ago
1.  I would believe the western blot.  It is the best antibody test for herpes that there is.  it does miss just a very few HSV 1 infections (compared to the IgG test that misses 30% of HSV 1 infections).  It would almost certainly have picked up HSV 2. 
2.  Seroreversion does not happen with the western blot, only the IgG test. 
3.  Not every single person who acquires HSV 2 has recurrences but most do. 

Given that you only had the bumps once, that the didn't hurt, no recurrences in 20 years, and are negative by western blot, I think you should  definitely move past this and face your life without herpes in the picture. You have done absolutely everything that you can to sort through this and it needs to be good enough.  Try to let this be your final worry on the topic.  If I were you, I surely would!