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A 34-year-old female asked:

My infectious dis. spec. said that i was exposed to hsv2 (igg was positive 1.76) but by my description of symptoms, he said i did not have a classical outbreak. is there a difference between in "exposed" and having herpes? what's deal with "exposed"?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
Maybe false pos test: If test was HerpeSelect® (check with doctor or the lab), it's probably false positive. ELISA value over 1.1 is officially positive, but most people actually infected with HSV2 have values of 3.5 or higher. At 1.76, there's at least a 50% chance you don't have it. Ask doctor about confirmation with Western blot test. If true positive, you have HSV2; pos test always means infected, not just exposed.
Dr. Barry Auster
Dermatology 48 years experience
See below: A high percentage of people have a high IgG to Herpes.A high IgM indicates a recent infection. Many people have been exposed to herpes as children but don't usually develop active disease.
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
Childhood infection applies almost exclusively to HSV1 and oral herpes, not HSV2 or genital infection. Indeed most with oral HSV1, and many with genital HSV2, do not have "active disease", i.e. recognized outbreaks. But all with positive blood tests have persisting virus and are potential transmitters given the right kind of exposure.
Feb 25, 2017
Last updated Feb 25, 2017

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