Antibodies for HSV-2

Dear Dr. Rob:

I have recently had a blood test indicating I have antibodies for HSV-2. I have never had an outbreak and have no idea when I may have contracted the virus. I am 42 years old, and had many partners in my 20s but very few in the past 18 years; I was married for 11. I’m not sure if I need to contact my former spouse or how many other partners for that matter. I was told that on a scale of 9 to 5, my antibodies were a 5, which may indicate that I’ve had the virus for a very long time. Can you shed some light on this?
Thank you.

Dr. Rob’s Response:

Dear Zonar:

Many people never have an outbreak. If you had many partners in your 20’s but not very many in the last 18 years, it is impossible to say when you contracted this.  As a Good Samaritan, I would suggest you do contact your previous partners and suggest that they get a Herpes Select Test. It is impossible to say when you got the virus other than the fact that IgG can take between 3 and 6 months to come up. The level of IgG does not suggest time bur rather briskness of your immune response against the virus.


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