[Question #6687] Test Interpretation

14 months ago
Hello

So I took the advice of Terri and Doctor Handsfield and took a IGG blood test. The test was done at 7.5 weeks after last possible exposure.  Both Hsv 1 and 2 came back negative <.90. 

This was a little confusing to me as I thought I’ve had cold sores before but they were never medically diagnosed so it’s possible I confused pimples on my lip to a cold sore. 

How reliable are tests at 7.5 weeks? I believe I’ve read that 12 weeks is the definitive standard but I couldn’t wait much longer I was driving myself crazy with worry. 

I would imagine you would advice retesting at 12 weeks? 

Hopefully we can leave this thread open so when I retest I can resubmit for interpretation for those results. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
14 months ago
We don't have data for 7.5 weeks, but we do have data at 6 weeks, and that tells us that at 6 weeks out, we pick up about 70% of infections, assuming no antiviral use.  So 7.5 weeks should be somewhat higher.  But remember, the HSV 1 IgG test misses 30% of infections, as compared to the western blot so you may well have HSV 1 and you history of cold sores could be correct.  I will be happy to leave this open until your test results are back.  We delete questions that have not been active for 30 days, so test just a tad earlier, that will be fine.

Terri
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14 months ago
Thank you very much Terri. So if I test again say at 11 weeks (before this question expires) and receive the same negative result would you say that should officially put any worry about herpes to rest? 

Also this is more of a general question not specific to me but throughout this whole process I’ve obviously read a lot about herpes and have become curious. Some people report nerve pain as a prodrome symptom correct? Shooting pain in the foot/leg? 

Would those symptoms (and lesions for recurrent infections) be limited to one leg/one side of the body? 

Also how long can a prodrome phase like that last before lesions appear? Just a day or two or can that kind of nerve pain last say a week or two before any lesions appear?  
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
14 months ago
Some people do present with nerve pain with prodrome, yes, it usually lasts a few days before an outbreak and is, in my experience, more often one sided rather than bilateral

Trri
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14 months ago
I just realized I don’t need to wait for my test results to post my final question as I can just ask for both possibilities. 

Assuming I test between 11-12 weeks and receive a negative result. Is that, combined with all other factors discussed in my previous threads, conclusive enough to allow me to go on with my life without fear of herpes with no need for any further testing? 

If I receive a low positive that is Likely a sign of a newly developed infection as I was negative at a little over 7 weeks. With that I should consider a western blot for a definitive result? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
14 months ago
So if you get a negative IgG test at 12 weeks, you can know with 70% certainty that you are HSV 1 negative (although if you thought you had cold sores previously then the test may well have missed your infection) and 92% certainty that you don't have HSV 2.  And yes, if you get a low positive, then you should obtain a herpes western blot which you can do through your regular provider or through me.  You got it!

Terri
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