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Q. How can blood show HSV-1 IgG positive without any symptoms?

Answered by
Dr. Meha Malhotra
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 13, 2017

Hello doctor,

I am a 35 year old male. I weigh 68 Kg and my height 5'5". I am in a healthy status. History:

  • No episodes of herpes except chickenpox in childhood.
  • No infection of HIV - clinically tested every 6 months since last 7 years.
  • I am straight and only 1 relationship with spouse.
  • Both me and my spouse are not having HIV - clinically tested.
  • I had bacterial/fungal infection with pus and redness in the genital area and so blood test was done.

I recently got tested and the report is as follows:

  • HIV -ve.
  • HSV-1 IgG 4.5 +ve.
  • HSV-1 IgM 0.29 -ve.
  • HSV-2 IgG 0.45 -ve.
  • HSV-2 IgM 0.69 -ve.

HSV-1 is mostly a non-genital infection. I have not had any episode of HSV-1 type herpes in my life. I have never had HSV-1 type herpes anywhere in the body.

  • How can blood show HSV-1 IgG positive without any symptoms?
  • Doctor (dermatologist) says it is because of past infection and there is no present infection.
  • Doctor told that I should take antiviral dose Acyclovir for 20days for HSV-1 IgG past infection. 
  • Is it useful to take antiviral dose for past HSV-1 type infection? Will it reduce the IgG level in blood? 
  • Is HSV-1 IgG showing a false positive result?

Question 1 : Should I take Acyclovir medicine for HSV-1 IgG positive results? (Blood test done on 20th January 2015) Question 2 : Should I retest for HSV-1? Question 3 : Is HSV-1 transmitted via intercourse or sexual contacts? Question 4: Is HSV-1 a life threatening disease? Question 5 : Does HSV-1 positive at present means that I had infected with HSV-1 3 or 4 months back (but no symptoms at present)? Question 6 : Various herbs like monolaurin, a coconut ingredient are proven to flush out/kill HSV-1 virus from nerves, how far is this trustworthy? Please explain.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thank you for providing all the details.

I shall answer your questions one by one.

1. As you have mentioned that you do not have any symptoms at the moment, there is no need to take Acyclovir. 2. A repeat test can be done just for your reassurance. Chances of false positive result is there with every test due to technical errors. 3. HSV-1 is primarily not transmitted through sexual intercourse, but kissing or oral sex can cause transmission to partners. 4. Except encephalitis, HSV-1 causes no life threatening diseases. 5. A positive IgG means exposure to the virus anytime during your entire life. IgM shows present infection. You might have had a sub-clinical infection earlier, which is very common. 6. The herbs do not work and there is no data to support this. Hope this relieves your anxiety. Take care.

Revert back to a dermatologist online for further follow up --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist


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