[Question #6459] Low Positive HSV2 IgG Value of 1.5

16 months ago
Hello! Please help me make sense of my results.

I went to my gyn end of October this year after my last relationship ended as my partner had cold sores (HSV1 based on STD testing) and I wanted to see if he had infected me during our relationship. I had no obvious herpes symptoms (blisters etc), but I would get nervous any time there was a patch of dry skin or little bump, so I thought it would give me peace of mind to get tested.

My HSV1 result came back negative, but my HSV2 result came back equivocal - 0.99.

We did follow-up testing that just came back today as 1.5, and I am panicking and also confused.

I was solely with my partner over the last year (and I am fairly sure that he did not cheat), and I had him get retested after my equivocal result, which confirmed that he does not have HSV2. Prior to our relationship I was STD tested, and was negative for both HSV1 and HSV2.  I had never had sex before this relationship, and had only had oral sex performed on me once (in April 2018 - I was tested initially for STDs September 2018 before this relationship began). Other than that, I had only kissed a couple of people, the last one being June 2018. Based on my history I don't see an obvious way I could be HSV2 positive, but it was concerning for me that this value was positive and also higher than the last one.

I know that low positive values can sometimes be false for HSV2, so I am thinking of getting a Western Blot.

What is the likelihood that I actually am HSV2 positive? Is it the right move to get a Western Blot?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
16 months ago
At an index value of 1.5, there is an 85% chance that this is a false positive, standing on it's own without any history from you, for the general population.  BUT since your only sex partner for intercourse tests negative for HSV 2, then how could you possibly have HSV 2 infection, right?  You wouldn't get HSV 2 from the one time you received oral sex prior to this, at least I would say the risk is like one in 10,000.  So I feel strongly that this is a false positive IF your partner is being truthful about not having any other partner during the time you were together.  Also, how long has it been since you last had sex with him?

Terri
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16 months ago
Hi Terri! Thanks for your response!

The last time we had sex was mid-August, and I have had no sex since then. I had him get re-tested in early November after my first equivocal test came back, and he said that was negative for HSV-2. So unless he is lying about both, I am having a hard time coming up with a way I could have been infected.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
16 months ago
I think this just reinforces that this is highly highly likely to be a false positive.  Really.  And if you can't let this worry go, you can always get the herpes western blot for greater certainty.  But in my opinion, this low positive is a false positive.

Terri
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16 months ago
Thanks so much Terri! I will probably get the Western Blot just to firmly put it behind me, but this has definitely helped my stress levels!!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
16 months ago
good!  That's what we are here for!

Terri
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