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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Question: Herpes culture vs blood test

 tivo12 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:36 pm

I have a very tiny area that is slightly irritated and I had a swab done and it came back positive for herpes, they did a blood test as well and it came back negative, they waited 3 or 4 months and did another blood test and still negative. They did one additonal one much later and still negative. Is it possible to have herpes without the antibodies and a neg blood test? I have the same little irritation it never changes or scabs over. I have never passed it to my husband. It is like a tiny pinhead and red. I actually had it removed and they said it was a wart,many years ago, It's really strange, what do you think? Would the blood test be negative many months later. I would've contracted this over 10 years ago. My gyno said that if the blood is neg. then I don't have it, because I would've had antibodies to it. I'm really confused about this, it does irritate sometimes and burns during sex. Please help.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:53 am

User avatar Hello Tivo12,

This is a bit difficult to interpret. Generally, by this point, if one truly did have herpes there would be expected to be detectable antibodies to the virus. However, if the viral culture grew the virus it is difficult to dismiss its presence.

I would recommend you have the viral culture repeated to see if it is still positive. If it is negative, it is likely that you do not have herpes. If the culture is positive I would tend to think the lesion is due to herpes but I cannot explain why you would not have the antibodies.

If there is continued question about the spot it may be helpful to see a dermatologist to get a skin expert opinion about it.

Best wishes.

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