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I am female 68 yrs old who just got tested & found positive…

Customer Question
I am female 68...

I am female 68 yrs old who just got tested & found positive for herpes. I have not had any of the herpes symptoms nor had an outbreak of such. I have been divorced from my ex-husband since 2003 & have not had sex since then. I now am considering having sex & would like to know if we can engage in oral sex if I'm not having an outbreak or on any meds?

Doctor's Assistant: What medications do you take daily? Are you allergic to any medications?

Synthroid, vitamin D3, Ocuvite I don't like Tylenol with codeine or sulfa drugs. Codeine makes my too warm & my mother had Stevens-Johnson syndrome in 2012 & I heard it may be hereditary.

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?

Like what? My daughters are shocked I have it because I've never had any symptoms that I've got it. But 2 different clinics have come back showing positive results. I have hypothyroidism since birth. Began taking 6 grains at age 10 to boost thyroid hormone.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: OB GYN
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
12/20/2017
OB GYN Doctor: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 7 months ago
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 19,747
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Hello from JustAnswer. This is Dr. Love.

Was this for HSV1 or HSV2 or both?

What tests were done at the two clinics?

Do you have the actual numeric results?

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OB GYN Doctor: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 7 months ago

Hello. Did you receive my request for further information?

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OB GYN Doctor: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 6 months ago

I have asked for the specific results because the first consideration in someone with no previous symptoms is whether these results could be a false positive. There are several different types of tests for herpes, and some are more prone to false positives than others. For some tests, the likelihood of a false positive is directly related to the numeric result, which is why I ask for the numeric result.

The fact that the test was positive in two different clinics does not change whether it could be a false positive. When there is cross-reactivity from a different antibody causing a false positive antibody test, the antibody that is cross reacting would be present when blood is drawn in each of the clinics.

Even in the worst case scenario, the risk of transmission during oral sex (or any sex act) is quite low, and most people would engage in oral sex as long as there are no symptoms. But if these results are false positives, then the risk would be zero.

I am going to bed, and I wanted to provide some level of answer before doing so. But if you can get the additional information, then I can provide additional information tomorrow.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
They say I have both HSV types 1 & 2 AB,IGG S. The first blood test done 11/29/17 was sent to Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN came back positive. I wasn't given a numeric value. The 2nd blood test was done locally (as far as I know) Dec 14th & the clinic called me back with the results.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I cannot afford a phone call at this time.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It's hard for me to believe I have herpes when I've never ever had any symptoms other than yeast infection recently which I was surprised at even that because of no burning or itching! Ugh!
OB GYN Doctor: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 6 months ago

It is fine if you do not want to do a phone call; it is an automated offer within the system.

The IgG test is far more accurate than the IgM test. However, a low positive result could still be a false positive. Any index above 1.1 is considered positive, but the test has a fair number of false positives until an index over 3.5.

You can contact your doctor to obtain the numeric results. If the index is <3.5, then a confirmatory test can be done. There are a couple of tests available, but I typically order a Western Blot test.

The absence of symptoms is not surprising. In studies that look at the prevalence of positive IgG tests for HSV2, about half of the people with positive tests do not recall ever having typical symptoms.

As I said above, even if the test result is truly positive, the risk of transmission during oral sex, or any sex act, is quite low. But if you want to be more certain, then you can request the numeric index from your doctor.

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