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I know I have genital herpes. The first time I got tested,

Resolved Question:

I know I have genital herpes. The first time I got tested, it came up negative. I still had an outbreak. Got tested again and it came up positive. Why would it do that?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.
Hello, this is Dr. David. I have read your question and am ready to help.

testing for antibodies for genital type 2 herpes virus can be unreliable in some patients. sometimes it can take 6 months or longer for the body to create antibodies against the herpes virus which can be detected on blood testing. the virus is very sneaky and enters the body and then enters the nervous system and when it does this very quickly, the body does not have time to identify the virus and create antibodies against the virus. only after the virus has been in the body for a while and the virus is making extra copies of itself and stending it out, does the body then have time to make antibodies against the herpes virus. this can be after the virus has already caused blisters.

that is why antibody testing for genital herpes can often be unreliable.

does this make sense?

does this help?

do you have other questions?
Dr. David, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 30118
Experience: Experienced Physician trained in New York City. I'm ready to help.
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