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Equivocal early herpes test results. Please help

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I am male.


I had a short protected (condom) vaginal intercourse with an ESCORT for 1-2 minutes on 10/22. I don't shave my pubic area.


For peace of mind, I completed an STD panel on day 12 post exposure (early for HSV 2).


Here are the results for IGG test:


Day 12 post exposure: HSV 2 was .92 equivocal


DAY 14: The ESCORT agreed to take the same test for HSV 2 and her test was negative.


Day 22 post exposure.: HSV 2 was 1.05 equivocal.


I have no symptoms as of day 50 . I visited an infectious disease doctor. The doctor said that the results are inconclusive and early. The doctor physically checked me. He said most probably I don't have HSV 2.


Here's are my questions:


1) What are the chances of contacting HSV 2 during a protected short encounter?


2) Is it possible that the escort tested negative at day 14 and I test equivocal at day 12?


3) What is equivocal? Please help. I read it could be early infection or inconclusive? Please share you experience.


4) Am I doomed that my HSV 2 igg results keep climbing ?


5) Should not I get some symptoms of infection by now? If stress triggered an outbreak, I been stressed for the past 50 days. Please help and share you experience and knowledge.


Thank You.

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Hello and Welcome! Glad you came here for help and information :)


I would guess you are juuuust fine! 2 min with a condom isn't much and given her H- results, I would BREATHE and relax friend. Your results were both under the MINIMUM H+ number ... 1.1 is considered positive, but anything between 1.1 and 3.5 is considered questionable because there is a 40% chance of false positives in that range. At this point you are still below that number.


There are a lot of things that can contribute to a false positive and equivocal results ... that's the reason the CDC doesn't like to have people tested with the normal STD results




#1 - you are NOT doomed ... no matter what happens (I promise you, herpes isn't the plague that people imagine it to be in the grans scheme of things) .. but really, I think you are over thinking this. As you said, you don't have symptoms yet, so that's good news... and with all the info you gave, I'd agree with the Dr that your odds of having HSV2 are extremely low.


If you are that worried. WAIT till you are a full 4 months out, and re-test. If you are over 1.1, we can give you the info for the clinic that runs the Western Blot test, which would give you a definite result (you have to do it privately... they do a phone consult).. But really, I wouldn't sweat it.



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Thank you for responding.


Is there any indication that I can use to have some peace of mind before the 4 months period? Please let me know. This is consuming me. It may be irrational but I cannot help it.


Based on your knowledge, shouldn't I have some indication/symptoms by now? I have none. I am healthy. No sores or lesions or pain or anything. Is this normal?


Do all people have a primary out break or some type if symptoms after the initial exposure?


What are the chances of transmitting HVS 2 with one protect short intercourse?


This is nuts because the escort tested negative 2 days after me using the same test and I am still very worked up over this. Please if you can help clarify anything. Thank you for your support and all thing you do to help others.




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Is there any indication that I can use to have some peace of mind before the 4 months period?


Well, you have no symptoms, your numbers are still under the lowest "positive" number (which is very often a false positive number), and the Escort tested negative (and the fact that she went and got tested says a lot about her).


Based on your knowledge, shouldn't I have some indication/symptoms by now? I have none. I am healthy. No sores or lesions or pain or anything. Is this normal?


The "however" is here: 80% of people don't have symptoms ... at least nothing they recognize (ie, many may have a rash/small lesion/whatever that they don't recognize ... you have been obsessing about this so you would have noticed ;) ).


No, not all have an initial OB.... hence the 80% who don't know they have it


What are the chances of transmitting HVS 2 with one protect short intercourse?


There isn't a number we can give you,.... again, as I said before: with all the info you gave, I'd agree with the Dr that your odds of having HSV2 are extremely low. That's all I can say ... and that's all any doctor will say as well.


The Escort has a more "realistic" outlook about Herpes. Odds are she is tested on a regular basis. That's part of the business.


So here's the deal. You will live about 4000 wks. You have about 10 weeks to wait to re-test to give you a reasonably accurate result. That's a pretty small blip in your timeline. So rather than obsess for the next 10 weeks, why don't you use this time to really REFLECT on what you want in love and life. Really look inward. Work on loving yourself. And go out and find someone or something you can help this holiday season whose situation is not as "good" as yours (ie, Soup Kitchen, etc). Put as much of your energy towards that as you can to keep your mind busy. Then when you get your test results, you will be in a better place no matter what the result :)





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  • 1 month later...


I just got an IgG result and am very nervous about the HSV2 part being an equivocal 1.0.

I have been reading and reading online. How likely is the result false? This 1.0 figure shows that my body is developing antibodies and so I was exposed. If the result was accurate, does exposure equate transmission as HSV is highly transmittable?


The worst thing is that in Apr 2014 my tests for a full panel STD tests showed negative results. I had just had unprotected sex with 2 different men and within 3 days I went for tests because I am always paranoid. I understand I didn't wait long enough. About a month ago I started having oral sex and a short episode of genital sex with a new guy. There's really no telling who gave it to me unless I ask all 3 guys to get tested? I am sure they won't do it. :(


There are no symptoms yet but I have also read that sometimes they appear deep in the vagina and are very hard to detect.


I am worried sick.

Please comment.




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Hello and Welcome!


Anything under 1.1 is considered a negative result ... so you should be fine. I don't know all the reasons that some of the proteins may be detected without a full on infection but odds are at least some of the reason is you *may* have been exposed and your body fought it off before it took hold in the nerves.... the odds are pretty high that anyone who is sexually active has been exposed to Herpes at some point in their life ;)


Given you have had a new partner in the last month you will need to get re-tested in about 3-4 months... without symptoms you will never know without the test. Have you asked this partner if he has had a FULL STD panel (and you will have to explain that if he didn't ASK for the Herpes test odds are he wasn't tested because the vast majority of tests don't include herpes) You will want to know if he had cold sores as well because if he has he needs to know they can be passed to the genitals as well ... so he needs to be aware to not play with *any* sores/ulcers on his mouth AND if you have any knicks or cuts as well, just to be cautious.


Generally if the OB is on the vagina you will get a discharge ;)


If you are not using condoms with your partners, it's time you started ... at least until you exchange STD information (I suggest you actually SEE their results because people can say they've been tested and not know that H wasn't included in the test :( ). YOU are the only person who is in charge of your sexual health and so you sometimes just have to have an ADULT conversation about these things before you have sex ;)




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Thank you so very much for your prompt response. I know this is a 'wake-up' call. I have been terrible in the sense that when a man I care for or get too infatuated with refuses to use condoms, I back down. Absolutely flying with fire.

Is it possible that some BV antibiotics I took caused the positive result? During the months of Sept to Dec, I kept having large amounts of smelly discharge and thought I was having candidas. Both myself and the docs I consulted chose yeast med. and of course the problem didn't go away. Then, 2 days after I had sex with this new partner, I went in to see a new doc, he was able to put me of BV med. As soon as the antibiotics were finished, my discharge problems vanished.

Will taking Red Marine Algae, St. John's Wort, Cat's Claw Bart and things like 4Life Transfer Factor supplements that boost the immune system help me eliminate my chance of getting the virus on top of using condoms? Condoms only protect my chance by 30- 50% anyway. And in terms of oral sex, I actually dread being given oral sex precisely because I always knew that I can contract HSV but I love giving it. If I were to protect myself in the future but allow myself to enjoy sex with different potential partners till I find 'the one', is there any natural or holistic suppression substances I can take long term to decrease my chance of contraction?

Many thanks to your suggestions.

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Oh one more thing, after we had our first sexual encounter, he got quite sick the next day with flu symptoms that he believed he contracted from a coworker. They work in tight enclosed spaces and he had a hunch he was getting sick. His throat was really swollen (I think that's what he told me). Another thing, he also stopped very early on in the act as he complained about a gross pain in his groin. He thought he was exercising too hard at the gym and pulled a muscle. Could he had an outbreak and either knew or didn't know about it? I am beginning to wonder if he knew that he's a carrier because he stressed that he just wanted to be close but not actually have intercourse. When I actually got him 'interested' enough, he started the intercourse without a condom, in only half a min. got kind of mad that I was reckless in letting him go unprotected, stopped, then asked for a condom but took it off 5 sec later saying he hated using them. I know this is all senseless speculation but I do suspect he is a carrier and knows about it.

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For one thing 1.0 is NOT a positive result - again .. 1.1 is the lowest number considered to be "positive" and anything up to 3.5 has a 40% chance of being false positive. And with you having absolutely no symptoms, odds are you are fine, but I would re-test at the 4 month point.


And no - antibiotics won't affect the result one way or another.


Certainly keeping your immune system up will help ... but there aren't any studies around *what* works so all you can do is keep healthy, USE CONDOMS!, don't have sex if you have knicks or cuts... (you may want to use a short trimmer rather than shaving ... there's speculation that shaving is aiding the spread both because of the microcuts that often happen and the fact that there's no "barrier" between you and the other person's skin :/


If you want oral, just make sure your partner has been tested... even for casual relationships you need to have those talks my friend! And you have to ASK if they KNOW they were tested for H because most people believe they were with their STD panel when in fact H isn't included in it the vast majority of the time. Then you have to weigh how much you trust their response without actually seeing their test :p


As for the guy - who knows? Certainly if you kept pushing him, but you didn't have "the talk", you certainly played with fire but I'm guessing HE was afraid of getting something from YOU ;)

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