[Question #5750] Herpes HSV 1 Result For Terri

19 months ago
Hi Terri
I posted  earlier about an incident where I received oral sex from a woman ( I’m a man) and had protected vaginal sex and some kissing.  Last year I tested negative for all STDs  and after this episode I tested for herpes  Elisa  at 21 days.   My results came back with a 1.36 positive result for HSV1. Being that I tested negative last year , have had no other sex incidents besides this one, and no symptoms, could I have gotten this from the kissing ? There were no visible signs of anything.  Or could this be a false positive? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
19 months ago
There could be one of three things going on here:
1) this is a false positive.  We do see false positives for HSV 1 for people with index values between 1.1 and 3.0.  For HSV 2 the range is 1.1 to 3.5
2) you could have been recently infected either through kissing or by receiving oral sex and you have a low number because you are on the way to a higher number.  However you aren't reporting any symptoms and I think someone with brand new HSV 1 would likely have symptoms either orally or genitally .  So I think #2 is highly unlikely.
3) you could have long standing HSV 1 infection and the IgG test that you took last year missed it (the IGG test misses 30% of HSV 1 infections) and the second one picked it up.

The best way to sort this out is to obtain a herpes western blot done only at the University of Washington.  You can work with your own provider to obtain this or I can work with you at westoverheights.com - video conference.

Terri
---
19 months ago
One to note , I’ve never had a cold sore or any other symptoms.  I’ve reached out to my provider about WB. If they won’t do it I’ll  reach out to you.  What are possible false positive rates regarding hsv1?  Obviously experiencing anxiety now.   Thanks 
19 months ago
Additional question regarding your response.  You said from # 2 that hypothetically it could  be a low number going high , then in # 3  , that my test last year could’ve missed it.   If it was missed , and I’ve had HSV1 for some time , wouldn’t my number be higher than 1.36?  I’m at 25 days post incident, could I potentially still develop symptoms ?   Thanks 
19 months ago
Hi Terri
I had another test performed for HSV 1 and got the exact same result of 1.36.  It was performed by any lab test now , which  I believe is through Quest.   Could this still be a false positive , or is it definitive.   Is the something else that could be in my system causing his reading?  Really at a loss. 
19 months ago
Verified it was actually LabCorp
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
19 months ago
This could definitely still be  a false positive, yes. 
To answer your other question, some people just have a low positive with an established infection.  I have seen it many times in people with a well know history of cold sores who are actually trying to find out about HSV 2 and get that result back for HSV 1 in the process of testing. 
It's not about something else in your system if it is a false positive, it could just be that you have a protein in your blood that is the same molecular weight at one of the herpes antibody proteins, nothing to worry about if that is the case.
Both LabCorp and Quest can have false positive results on IgG tests.

Terri
---