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Anyone been wrongfully diagnosed with genital herpes, when it was shingles?

Discussion in 'Herpes Tests and Diagnosis' started by glassofwine, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. glassofwine

    glassofwine Member


    I went in to see the doctor because I had genital, butt and thigh pain. She could not see any sores, and I have yet to see any myself. I got the IgM test done, and it came back positive and the IgG was negative. I know it's not very accurate, so I feel I have to wait 2 more months to confirm this.

    But I know that the test can pick up on other herpes infections like chickenpox, and shingles. Has anyone here had that happen? I know shingles can manifest the same symptoms as genital herpes, so I'm thinking there is a chance I may have that. I think I definitely have something because the Valtrex has helped with the pain...
  2. JBnATL

    JBnATL Staff Member

    • Super Moderator
    Chicken pox or shingles will not show up as hsv1 or hsv2. And I have met a LOT of people on this site who were POSITIVE they had herpes and later found out they did not. There are many things that can cause similar symptoms. Just wait a couple of months and test again.

    Good luck!

  3. bob12

    bob12 Active Member

    IgM isn't reliable as it does pick up chicken pox, Epstein Barr, etc.... Your igG negative is a good sign, but how long has it been since you think you were exposed?
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  4. glassofwine

    glassofwine Member

    It's been about 6 weeks, which means i still have to wait 6 more weeks to retest. It's really killing me! At this point i'm pretty sure I have something herpes related, whether its genital herpes or shingles. The reason is that I've been taking Valtrex and that has reduced my pain. I went off of it for a day, when the 10 day treatment was over, and the pain returned....so I'm pretty sure I have herpes of some kind.
  5. bob12

    bob12 Active Member

    The danger of thinking that way is two-fold... if you don't have it you've overlooking something that may need attention by assuming it's something else, and at 12 weeks when you are still possibly negative, you won't believe it... Believe me, I've been there, at 6 months I have all negatives and am still not 100% convinced. I was convinced for a bit, but then the pain returned, starting a whole new wave of paranoia...
  6. Kitty123

    Kitty123 Well-Known Member

    • VIP Supporter
    Did you recently have sex with someone who you suspect may have herpes?

    I would find it highly strange that it was 'shingles' if you recently had sex....

    but in any event...it may help to get tested again just to be sure. :)

    Best of luck to you!
  7. glassofwine

    glassofwine Member

    Bob- aren't you the one that has already tested negative in many tests, and are already at the 6 month mark!? if so, stop freakin out and be happy! at least u never tested positive for the IgM!

    Kitty123- I recently had sex with someone whose sexual history i do not know. i suspect he's pretty promiscuous but that doesn't mean he had herpes...so i guess i just have to wait it out. i just have pain that wont go away :/
  8. bob12

    bob12 Active Member

    Thanks, I wish I could... Basically what I was saying was that the experts say IgM tests are unreliable, do a search of medhelp and you'll see Dr. HHH's posts on it. So you're IgM test doesn't mean a whole lot, which is good.

    Where I'm stuck is symptoms that line up, no alternate diagnosis, and the time that has evolved, with one recurrence (no visual symptoms the second time). You always see that 3-4 months is conclusive (3 for HerpeSelect, 4 for other IgG). What you don't pay attention to is the little caveat that says, "Without the presence of worrisome symptoms, 3-4 months is conclusive."

    So where does that leave us? In this no man limbo land. I had worrisome symptoms, initial red bumps with an icy hot feeling and crazy raw sensitive skin. The partner that I was with said another partner had red bumps after being with her and thought she had repeat outbreaks in the past, but at first she said she was never truly diagnosed visually or serologically, then she said it was cultured but had no idea of the type. Red bumps could be a lot of things, even just irritation, but another partner got irritation starting at 10 days out as well? That would be one crazy coincidence.

    Since this last episode last week I've felt more normal than I ever. No more rawness down there, no more stinging, the redness has even dissipated. It's been six months of not being right and all of sudden it's just gone? The recurrence has me more freaked out than ever, yet the symptoms have gone away? My rationale is that if it was all in my head the symptoms would be worse than ever, which they aren't.

    I never took antivirals, which should make antibodies appear sooner and hopefully higher. I've seen way too many posts where people had swab positives, yet blood is negative at a much later date. It doesn't make me 100% confident in an "elevated" negative after worrisome symptoms, I wish it could.

    I don't want to be one of the cases that proves anyone wrong...
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  9. bob12

    bob12 Active Member

    I didn't want to sound like a hypochondriac, it's easy to type in "blood negative swab positive" to a search engine and see a fair amount of people who were swabbed positive and haven't been positive on IgG after years. I kick myself for not going in with the physical symptoms... How can you ever be comfortable when seeing actual cases?

    I tried to email HerpeSelect to ask about index values, they just referred me to their website and said to talk to my doctor. I'm sure part of it is CYA, but here's some interesting info on their site.

    How long after infection will HerpeSelect detect IgG antibodies?
    HerpeSelect can detect HSV IgG antibodies as quickly as 3 weeks after the onset of a patient's symptoms4. It is important to note that each individual may seroconvert at different rate leading to earlier or delayed detection. Some patients do not seroconvert for 6 months or longer.

    What confirmatory testing is necessary for HerpeSelect type specific assays?
    As with other serological tests, false results may occur. Repeat testing or testing with a different device may be indicated in some circumstances, for example, patients with a low likelihood of HSV infection. All results must be correlated with clinical history, epidemiological data, and other data available to the attending physician in evaluating the patient.

    Hearing even experts say 3-4 months is conclusive, even with worrisome symptoms, doesn't jive with the other things you read, but then again I'm no expert.
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
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