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My girlfriend may have herpes. Help with diagnostic testing and analysis?


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Hello everyone. On July 4th 2021 my girlfriend started to experience all the symptoms of herpes. Itchiness, vaginal ulcers, mild fever, chills and sweats, swollen lymph nodes and other flu like symptoms. She was tested July 10th and so was I. All test results for both she and I for all STDs including herpes came back negative. I did not experience any symptoms associated with the virus.Currently she and I have decided to abstain from any sexual activity for at least another month which we plan to get tested once again for the Igg antibody. Prior to this first outbreak she has never experienced any symptoms including sores associated with herpes. 

The first question I have is since we were both tested very soon after her outbreak began is it possible our test results were false negatives due to the antibodies not showing up yet in our bodies? If so is two months post outbreak a reasonable amount of time to pass to get more reliable results? 

Second question is will the Igg antibodies only develop after an outbreak occurs or will they develop even if someone does not or has not had an outbreak to date? Thanks so much for the info everyone. 

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Hi!!

I hope you and your girlfriend are doing well. I am so sorry about the symptoms she is experiencing, but it is awesome how supportive you are both being for each other!! Getting tested together is awesome. 

For your first question, yes, it is highly possible to recieve a false negatives for herpes. 

There are four herpes tests in total: the culture swab, an IgG blood test, an IgM blood test, and the Western Blot test. 

The culture swab is used when someone is showing active lesions or sores. The doctor swabs the discharge from the sores and then the sample is tested for the presence of the virus. The issue with swab tests is if they aren't done within 48 hours of the sore first appearing, the reliability chances of these tests drops extremely low. Plus, sometimes the culture swab doesn't detect anything because the area swabbed just happened to be healing quicker than other active sores, so not enough of the virus was collected for the test to detect as positive. 

For 💉 blood tests: there are two main blood tests, IgG and IgM. IgG is recommended since it can tell you which type of herpes you have (IgM cannot). You are totally right in that too early of testing can result in class negatives, as IgG antibodies can take 12-16 weeks or longer to build up. In order to recieve a more accurate reading, it is recommended to wait 12-16 from the last possible date of exposure (last time you had sex or when she started experiencing any prodrome symptoms (pain, lymph nodes, fever, etc)/last date of possible exposure before getting the IgG test. IgM tests are helpful only in the early stages of an outbreak, because IgM antibodies are the first to appear, and grow in number, then start to decrease in number, which IgG antibodies increase throughout the next week's to months (hence why it's needed to wait before an IgG test).

The Western Blot: this is if the others keep producing false negatives, etc. You can cross the road if it comes to that! No need to worry now 🙂.

For your next question: Yes, someone will have antibodies even if they didn't have a physical visible outbreak of sores. Honestly, so many people don't even know they have herpes, and asymptomatic patterns occur more in people with penises, as the mucus membranes herpes enters the body through are not as "out there" in the open as a vagina, labia, etc are. 

I hope that the above advice helped!! If you have any more questions feel free to reach out. I think it is great that you guys are holding off on physical intimacy until things are figured out, and I love the support you seem to be giving your girlfriend. If anything, she may be feeling very embarrassed and worried about the situation, and acceptance and providing unconditional love and support is the best thing you can give her right now ❤️

Sending you guys blessings and health!! 🌻🌄🌼

Blessings, 

Grace

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On 7/20/2021 at 7:56 PM, Flowerteacher55 said:

Hi!!

I hope you and your girlfriend are doing well. I am so sorry about the symptoms she is experiencing, but it is awesome how supportive you are both being for each other!! Getting tested together is awesome. 

For your first question, yes, it is highly possible to recieve a false negatives for herpes. 

There are four herpes tests in total: the culture swab, an IgG blood test, an IgM blood test, and the Western Blot test. 

The culture swab is used when someone is showing active lesions or sores. The doctor swabs the discharge from the sores and then the sample is tested for the presence of the virus. The issue with swab tests is if they aren't done within 48 hours of the sore first appearing, the reliability chances of these tests drops extremely low. Plus, sometimes the culture swab doesn't detect anything because the area swabbed just happened to be healing quicker than other active sores, so not enough of the virus was collected for the test to detect as positive. 

For 💉 blood tests: there are two main blood tests, IgG and IgM. IgG is recommended since it can tell you which type of herpes you have (IgM cannot). You are totally right in that too early of testing can result in class negatives, as IgG antibodies can take 12-16 weeks or longer to build up. In order to recieve a more accurate reading, it is recommended to wait 12-16 from the last possible date of exposure (last time you had sex or when she started experiencing any prodrome symptoms (pain, lymph nodes, fever, etc)/last date of possible exposure before getting the IgG test. IgM tests are helpful only in the early stages of an outbreak, because IgM antibodies are the first to appear, and grow in number, then start to decrease in number, which IgG antibodies increase throughout the next week's to months (hence why it's needed to wait before an IgG test).

The Western Blot: this is if the others keep producing false negatives, etc. You can cross the road if it comes to that! No need to worry now 🙂.

For your next question: Yes, someone will have antibodies even if they didn't have a physical visible outbreak of sores. Honestly, so many people don't even know they have herpes, and asymptomatic patterns occur more in people with penises, as the mucus membranes herpes enters the body through are not as "out there" in the open as a vagina, labia, etc are. 

I hope that the above advice helped!! If you have any more questions feel free to reach out. I think it is great that you guys are holding off on physical intimacy until things are figured out, and I love the support you seem to be giving your girlfriend. If anything, she may be feeling very embarrassed and worried about the situation, and acceptance and providing unconditional love and support is the best thing you can give her right now ❤️

Sending you guys blessings and health!! 🌻🌄🌼

Blessings, 

Grace

 

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If you get a blood test, you will have two indicators: IGM & IGG.
IGM antibodies develop when you get the virus for the first time and they take up to 10 days to show up in a test and they can last up to 21 days. After that, this indicator desapears and then the IGG indicator will become positive. IGG will always remain positive, meaning you have the virus with you forever.
IGG can take up to 12-16 weeks to show up in a test. IGG after this frametime is extremely reliable.
It doesn't matter if you have symptoms or not. IGG will tell you if you have it or not. It has nothing to do with symptoms. 

According to the dates you gave, you got tested to soon to get the IGM indicator.
Second, if you both tested negative, I assume that it is not herpes and it is something else.
To be sure, take the test in 12-16 weeks after last exposure. If it comes back positive for both or one of you, it will mean that somebody has been unfaithful.  

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