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What causes initial negative HSV1&2 report and positive result in swab test from lesion?

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Posted on Thu, 3 Dec 2015
Question: Hi,
Im just a bit confused. I tested positive by swab test to HSV1 on the genitals. Blood test also showed HSV1 and negative HSV2.
However my doc said it was from a previous outbreak nit current.
What indiny understand is, what does orevious mean in this instance when inhad a bisible legion that was swabbed and thats what came back positive. Before this legion i had never had a cold sore or anything like this on my genitals???
Please shed some light!
Im also confused as to whether i need to inform any future sexual partners?
Thank you in advance.
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (49 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
previous means that you have contracted it in the past

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

There are various ambiguous elements in your case. First of all, the swab test is the best for active lesions (culture or PCR). The antibody tests are usually negative in newly contracted herpes because they may require a couple of weeks to develop. One problem regarding herpes antibodies is that labial herpes is very common and most people would test positive for antibodies against it. This means that the positive antibodies can be related to previous labial infection (cold sore), previous genital infection or - less likely - recent genital infection.

You need to inform your partners because you may transmit it even without visible lesions! Using a condom and perhaps taking low dose antivirals will protect your future partners.

I hope you find my comments helpful!
You can contact me again if you'd like any clarification or further information.

Kind regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3767 Questions

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What causes initial negative HSV1&2 report and positive result in swab test from lesion?

Brief Answer: previous means that you have contracted it in the past Detailed Answer: Hello, There are various ambiguous elements in your case. First of all, the swab test is the best for active lesions (culture or PCR). The antibody tests are usually negative in newly contracted herpes because they may require a couple of weeks to develop. One problem regarding herpes antibodies is that labial herpes is very common and most people would test positive for antibodies against it. This means that the positive antibodies can be related to previous labial infection (cold sore), previous genital infection or - less likely - recent genital infection. You need to inform your partners because you may transmit it even without visible lesions! Using a condom and perhaps taking low dose antivirals will protect your future partners. I hope you find my comments helpful! You can contact me again if you'd like any clarification or further information. Kind regards!