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Changes in blood results 7 weeks after symptoms


Lisa2021

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Hey ! So I’m (not so) patiently awaiting the 12 week mark after I had herpes symptoms so I can do a blood test and find out for sure if o have it . The way I contracted herpes seems to be a bit unclear and I didn’t have a swab when I had symptoms , the doctor just did a visual exam and prescribed me antivirals . 
my new partner has HSV1 orally from childhood but hasn’t had a cold sore in years and hasn’t done oral sex on me. 
I did a blood test 1 week after symptoms (I now know this is too soon) results :

Hsv2 <0.5

hsv1 0.188

now at 7 weeks the results are:

hsv2 <0.5

hsv1 0.205

 

(pos range is >1.1)

 

would this slight increase over the past 6 weeks show that this is likely to turn positive or can other things cause fluctuations with the reading ? Thanks , Lisa 

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Hello! 🙂

I hope you are well. It is totally normal to be stressed during this uncertain time! Have faith that everything will be okay, regardless of official diagnosis. 

Since your doctor didn't do a swab test, and your partner did not give oral sex, there are a few other ways to see if it is indeed herpes. One is the visual exam, which your doctor said it looked like HSV. Next, the symptoms. Did you have the classic HSV prodrome symptoms (itching, burning, the sores going through the stages of healing, such as oozing, crusting, scabbing, etc, and did you have any tingling or other symptoms? Also, did the antivirals seem to help?

Yes, a blood test one week after the outbreak wouldn't show too much, unless it was an IgM test. IgG tests (which is probably the test you had) test for IgG antibodies, which generally take 12+ weeks to show up in your blood in detectable amounts. An IgM test tests for IgM antibodies, which spike in numbers (making it detectable) during the initial contact with the virus and during the primary outbreak, but soon decrease in numbers and aren't detectable as time passes and your body builds up IgG antibodies.

Taking the test during week 7 showed a slight increase, however it is still in the negative range, as you mentioned. Actually, this is really interesting, since you can see the rate at which your antibodies are building up (kinda cool!), however it is going slowly, so it is frustrating to be in a limbo of sorts where you aren't sure of it is HSV or not. 

I would say wait another 5+ weeks (the more, the better, even though it is hard to wait! 😞) and test again. 

In terms of what could also cause an increase in IgG anitbodies, I am honestly not sure. Other herpesvirus-family viruses, including chicken pox and shingles, MAY influence it, as these blood tests also check for IgG and IgM antibodies, however I am not a medical professional, so I cannot say for sure if they can differentiate between the proteins/antibodies they are specifically testing for (like, if they can see IgG HSV-1 antibodies from shingles and chicken pox ones). 

However, since you had symptoms and your blood antibodies are sloooowly rising (frustrating!) I would say it is leaning towards HSV-1, and it probably isn't due to shingles or chicken pox. Again, I am not a doctor or medical professional, so if you have more questions about that I would consult your doctor 🙂!! 

In the meantime, take notice of any symptoms you may have, and any new outbreaks. Be kind to yourself and do things that make you feel happy ❤️ Please know that no matter what, you are loved, worthy of love, and are a beautiful human being! 🙂 

We are all here to support you! 

Blessings,

Grace

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