[Question #6971] IGM Testing

9 months ago
I recently had a herpes blood test. The IGG test was negative. HSV 1 value was .06  and type 2 was .20 The IGM was positive. The value was 1.55. I’m extremely worried now. Is this something I should disclose to my previous partners? Should I be retested? I’ve never had any symptoms or outbreaks. I’ve had new partners recently. 
9 months ago
I would like to add that my doctor called and informed me that I was recently exposed to HSV due to my IGM and I need to watch for symptoms. Does scoring positive mean you were definitely exposed?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
9 months ago
OMG, another IgM test, when the CDC says very specifically to never use them as they are not able to separate herpes simplex virus from other viruses correctly, cannot type correctly and in my personal experience, has about an 80-90% false-positive rate.
First of all, why did you do herpes testing to being with?  And when did you last have intercourse with anyone, and I am most interested in those without a condom used.

Terri
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9 months ago
I went for a full std screen and it was just included as part of it. It had been two weeks since my last unprotected sex encounter. I had been with this same person two months prior as well. I’ve had two new partners in the last two months. Both single encounters. No protection. All tests came back negative for STDs except the herpes IGM. I pay a lot of attention to any changes and check myself for abnormal lesions on a pretty frequent basis. I haven’t seen anything but have felt itching which I have felt itching at many points in my life. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
9 months ago
So at this point, the test that matters is the IgG.  But it is way too early for an IgG to be accurate at this point.  I would suggest that you consider doing the IgG at 6 weeks out from your last unprotected sexual encounter and see what it shows.  And don't use the IgM test at all.  If your IgG has considerably elevated, then you may currently have a new infection.  It's unlikely because you seem to be observing pretty carefully for symptoms.  That the problem with this terrible test - It's not wrong 100% of the time.

Terri
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9 months ago
That makes sense. As far as outbreaks, could they ever be internal, in the vagina, or do they always occur on outside tissues? Would someone who has the virus Indeed have an outbreak or do some people never have an outbreak but still pass along the virus? 
9 months ago
One more thing, as far as the igm test I should ignore that as far as my HSV status? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
9 months ago
They could sometimes be internal only, but it is more likely that you would also see something manifest externally.  and yes, some people have the virus, pass it along, and never report symptoms themselves.  Unfortunately, because the IgM isn't wrong every single time, now that you have it, I think you need to follow up on it to see if it is, in your case, an indicator of new infection.  So no, I don't think you can ignore it but you surely can consider there is a good chance it does not represent true infection.

Terri
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