Q. Does HSV positivity indicate risk of HIV?

Answered by
Dr. Sidharth Sonthalia
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Oct 21, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

I am a 28 year old male. I had an exposure with a CSW and precaution broke during the act. I do not know the HIV status of the girl. Four weeks later, I got a light fever which subsided in a week. I got a blood test that showed 11500 WBC with a bacterial infection. But, I have leg pain and stuffy nose from the last 30 days. I went with the following test.

  • 28 days after exposure: HIV antibody 1 and 2 and p24 antigen test nonreactive.
  • 37 days after exposure: HIV antibody 1 and 2 and p24 antigen test nonreactive. HIV RNA PCR (quantitative test) undetectable.
  • 42 days after exposure: HIV antibody 1 and 2 and p24 antigen test nonreactive.
  • 49 days after exposure: HIV antibody 1 and 2 and p24 antigen test nonreactive. Serological test for syphilis nonreactive. Herpes simplex 1 and 2 IgM reactive. Herpes simplex 1 and 2 IgG reactive.

What are my chances of being infected with HIV? Since herpes simplex is reactive, does it mean that I am infected with HIV?

Dr. Sidharth Sonthalia

Cosmetology Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Hair Transplant Surgeon Venereology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • First of all, do not panic. Your results till now are highly suggestive (but not 100 % confirmatory) of you being HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) negative.
  • Please note:
  1. Getting triple ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) with p24 Ag test every few days will not help. You just need to get it done once, and if negative, it should be repeated at the fourth month and then sixth month only.
  2. Your positive IgG and IgM for herpes simplex virus  (HSV) are only indicative of the fact that you have been exposed to HSV virus in the past and may have an active herpes progenitalis, characterized by superficial erosions over the glans or penile shaft. Having HSV infection increases the chance of acquiring HIV. But, a positive Ig test for HSV does not in any way have any indication of HIV positivity. So, please do not get unduly concerned about that.
  • If you want to be really sure about a remote possibility of HIV infection, get a western blot test.
  • The possibility of HIV positivity, however, is almost negligible due to negative (undetectable) HIV RNA levels.
  • So as of now, just do the following:
  1. Relax and do not panic.
  2. Get a western blot test for HIV confirmation. If it is negative, you are surely HIV negative.
  3. Get the following additional tests - HBsAg and Anti-hepatitis C antibodies.
  4. If you are married, get HIV ELISA with p24 done for your spouse.
  5. And, until both your results are available, strictly avoid any sexual contact.
  6. In the future, stick to your spouse or partner.
  7. Always use barrier protection such as a condom during any act of intercourse.
  • Get back to me with the reports as suggested.
  • Also tell me in your response, if you have any genital ulcer, swollen glands in the inguinal (groin) region, burning sensation on the passing of urine, pus discharge from the urethral opening. Also, if you are married, then inform me about any genital symptoms that your spouse is suffering from.

Awaiting your answers to the queries. Follow up with reports. Best regards.

For more information consult a cosmetologist online -->https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/cosmetologist


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Thank you doctor,

No, I do not have any of those symptoms that you asked about. But, I do have a regular pain in my foot and a tingling sensation. I also got tested for vitamin D and the result was 7.67. I have a vitamin B12 deficiency as well. I also tested for allergy and got the result as high dust allergy. As I have a stuffy nose from a long time, immunoglobulin E level is 657 (high). What is the right time to get the western blot test done? Is 60 days after exposure reliable enough? What are my chances of being infected with HIV?

Dr. Sidharth Sonthalia

Cosmetology Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Hair Transplant Surgeon Venereology


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • May I suggest you have a telephonic consultation with me? I need to counsel you and discuss some issues that cannot really be written elaborately. There is nothing to worry at all. But a telephonic discussion would definitely help you much more.

For further queries consult a cosmetologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/cosmetologist

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