I tested positive today using the blood tests that separated the viruses into the the type 1 and 2

by Sara Williams
(Perth, Australia)

Positive for both.

I've only had 3 partners, all tested negative, and never been symptomatic.

I have never had any symptoms at all.

Is it possible it's an error?

Do I need to be concerned?


Dear Sara,

The thing about herpes is that it is tricky to tell. Some people who have not been educated about the subject would brush off minor symptoms—not knowing that what they might be experiencing could already be mild herpes outbreaks. Others never get to experience herpes signs and symptoms at all. They can be carrying the virus for years and years and not know it.

But one thing is certain, once a person is infected with the herpes virus he or she is infected for life. A positive antibody test result almost always indicates an “exposure” to the virus, but a negative test result does not necessarily mean a person cannot be infected.

This is due to the fact that it takes awhile for the herpes antibodies to show up. For some individuals, it takes three to six weeks before the antibodies can be detected by a type-specific serological test. With that said, best to advice your previous partners to get tested again to dismiss the probability of false negative test results.

One very good brand is the HerpesSelect ELISA. But take note that false positives do occur with this type of test—which means a person might have a positive test result for the virus but is not actually infected. Tests require some degree of interpretation too, thus it is important to have a second opinion from a different brand at a different clinic.

Ask for another antibody blood test preferably the Western Blot Test. That way, you can know for sure that your prior test result wasn’t an error.

Hope this helps,



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