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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is negative HerpeSelect IgG test after 14 weeks of exposure conclusive?

Answered by
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Dr. Kakkar S.

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 8397 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 9 Nov 2015 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: I recently got a IGG herpeselect test from Quest after 14 weeks of exposure. Both HSV 1 and 2 came back <0.9 (Negative).

However, I am concerned that I still may have herpes in my blood but it is just too early to detect. Should I repeat the testing at 6 months. Is it possible to get an exact number (i.e 0.2) instead of just "less than 0.9"

Also, what does this index number mean, and is it possible to have an index number of 0?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
You don't have herpes

Detailed Answer:
Hello. Thank you for writing to us

A negative HSV IgG after 12 weeks of exposure is conclusive and rules out herpes infection.
Index value can be an exact number and some tests do report it as an exact number (e.g 0.2, 0.5 etc) however, as long as it is 'less than 0.9' it is negative.
Index values, are really only to tell whether you have detectable antibody or you don’t have detectable antibody therefore an index value that may not be 'Zero' but 'less than 0.9' does'nt mean that you have a low level herpes infection or early herpes infection, it simply means you don't have detectable antibodies related to herpes infection. Therefore if this test was done after an adequate time interval of exposure (usually taken as 12 weeks for IgG antibodies to appear after infection) and index value of IgG was 'less than 0.9' it is taken as negative i.e you don't have antibodies.

Regard
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Kakkar S. 3 hours later
Thank you so much for the reply (and relief) Doctor. So do you think it would be redundant to test again after 6 months, or would it be a good precaution/double check?

also, just to be clear, I don't have any herpes antibodies in my blood even though the index number is still <0.9, and this means I don't have HSV 1 or 2 at all?

Thank you so much once again, and sorry to be redundant, I just want to be perfectly clear.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
No need to re-test

Detailed Answer:
Hi.

I don't think there is a need to test at 6 months.
Yes, you don't have any antibodies against the virus because you don't have the infection. If you were infected you would have had circulating IgG antibodies by now.
Index value 'less than 0.9' indicates that you don't have antibodies.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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