Hsv-2 False Positive?

Question

Asked by maisonsturm

Hsv-2 False Positive?

I recently had mononucleosis. About a month later, I got an IGg test for herpes done, which came back with a 1.4 for HSV-2. My doctor said that they are actually no longer providing the test because it is so often falsely positive, and that mono could affect the results as it is a type of herpes (EBV). I was wondering what the possibility was of it being a false positive with such low results and the fact that I recently got over mono? My doctor also said that redoing the test would likely not mean anything unless I waited 3 or 4 months and that HSV2 could not be transmitted to someone orally. I will also add that I have never had unprotected intercourse, only unprotected oral sex, but apparently my HSV-1 test was negative. Also, how long would it take for symptoms to appear? If the last time I had sex was 3 months ago and I have had no symptoms, could this also be an indication of false positivity?

Answer

Hi

Symptoms of genital herpes generally appear within the first two or three weeks. This article on Genital Herpes: The Basics gives more information about symptoms.

A false positive occurs as a result of corruption of the sample, or some level of insensitivity with the testing procedure, or some other issue (maybe a temperature due to another virus) causing false readings.

In terms of what you can and can't spread my concern would be that you don't appear to know what your situation is. Until you have greater clarity over this I would have thought it better to err on the side of caution and continue to use barrier methods.

Answered by Jerry Kennard, Ph.D., CPsychol., AFBPsS