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What is the window period for herpes test?

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Posted on Wed, 18 May 2016
Question: What are the chance I had a wrong herpes diagnosis. I had a small rash on my waist, a few pimple-like growths. Doctor diagnosed as herpes through visual observation. Every year for the last 7 years after getting my first negative blood test (after Dr. diagnosed on initial visit), I have gotten tested (STD check) and the results have come back negative. Is it possible I don't have it?
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (36 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
would have a definitive answer by 6 months

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

After 7 years the result should definitely be positive if the virus was present.

The tests for herpes 1 and 2 are highly accurate .
Tests can have window periods, this is the time from infection till when a test can accurately, without little to no error, say if the infection is present.

The window period for herpes 1 and 2 tests is up to 6 months, this means that after 6 months, the test would give a definitive answer.

So this means that you are definitely not positive.

It is possible that it was shingles if you had a child hood history of chicken pox but unless it recurs and your doctor can take a look at it, it would be difficult to know

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James (8 minutes later)
So without a doubt the blood test would be accurate. The girl I was seeing at the time was HSV-1 positive and that is why I assumed I had it and just thought the Doctor's visual observation was accurate. I also do get the tingly feeling in my waist when I get a little rash very infrequently. I did have chicken pox. Are you saying shingles shows up in the "shorts" region?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (53 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
can occur anywhere

Detailed Answer:
HI

Test would give an definitive answer by this time.
HSV 1 is common, found in large set of populations, most commonly causes lesions around the mouth but can cause genital lesions due to oral sex and transfer of the virus.

Shingles can show up in any region of the body.

I have seen persons have it in that area but can also occur anywhere else.

Please feel free to ask anything else
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James (1 hour later)
Thank you so much Dr. Gibson. I have been living with this for 7years as if I did have it. UGH! I still do get rashes that itch or tingle and jock itch like symptoms down there (not jock itch though),though infrequently. So I guess I will have to figure that out, but a huge relief on the herpes thing.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
no problem

Detailed Answer:
HI

Sorry about the late reply

Glad to have eased your mind

If anything else unclear, can let me know

Blessings
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James (2 days later)
I just read in a book that testing for HSV one is only 91% accurate. I just want to make sure. Is it possible that I could still have it or are we quite sure that after this long being tested that many times I don't have it. Don't mean to be paranoid but it's important that I know. I'm in a new relationship I want to make sure


Thank you. I have had 4 tests in the past 2 years. All negative. I just wanted to be sure because I am dating again and it is on my mind. Thank you
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
if the same result is obtained over a period of years, then accurate

Detailed Answer:
HI

While there is a risk of a small amount of error with a single test, but when the test is repeated over a period of years with the same result then the chance of error is extremely extremely unlikely.
The chance of a false negative result would decrease substantially with each repeated negative result

While it is understandable to be concerned, your chance of error after 7 yrs of testing, is neglible


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (31 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
ok

Detailed Answer:
No problem

Blessings
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

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Practicing since :2001

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What is the window period for herpes test?

Brief Answer: would have a definitive answer by 6 months Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic After 7 years the result should definitely be positive if the virus was present. The tests for herpes 1 and 2 are highly accurate . Tests can have window periods, this is the time from infection till when a test can accurately, without little to no error, say if the infection is present. The window period for herpes 1 and 2 tests is up to 6 months, this means that after 6 months, the test would give a definitive answer. So this means that you are definitely not positive. It is possible that it was shingles if you had a child hood history of chicken pox but unless it recurs and your doctor can take a look at it, it would be difficult to know I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions