Hi, I am a 31 year old male I

Patient

Q: Hi, I am a 31 year old male. I am getting an std panel test that includes herpes type 1 and 2. I don't have any symptoms and I already know I have herpes type 1...never had any mouth sores but I understand that it is common to test positive for type 1 even without any symptoms.

My question is; Is there anything that could discredit my std panel test? The last time I had unprotected sex was December, so about 4 1/2 months ago. I always get very anxious before I get tested. Is there anything I need to avoid doing before hand? Do I need to fast, avoid certain food. I obviously didn't drink alcohol. Should I avoid masturbation within a certain time period? I'm going in to get tested this morning and I masturbated yesterday morning.

Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thanks for the query to ATD for an opinion,
It is to be understood that std panel testing is immunohistochemistry and is based on levels of antibodies against herpes virus antigen present in the body and not in any manner affected by eating, masturbation, fasting or even drinking. If there is a recent infection then IgM would be positive and if there has been an old infection then IgG would be high. So as you mentioned that your last sex was 4.5 months back and was unprotected that can have an influence on your titres if your partner had an std or was transferred to yob her, but unlikely as you have been asymptomatic since all these months.
So, your anxiety is understandable but it is definitely not the reason for the results of your previous screen test.
I hope i have answered your query in detail,
Wishing you good health,
Regards

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Ok, thx. Yeah, last time I tested was 9 months ago...last July I think. All negative, except for herpes type 1...which I already knew about at the time.
Patient: The last part you said "So, your anxiety is understandable but it is definitely not the reason for the results of your previous screen test."

I think you meant any previous screening or future screenings, right?
Doctor: Thank you for the follow-up. I was referring to the future tests. And there are no real specific precautions needed for testing. Also, try not to be anxious, but being anxious will not affect test results.

All the best.

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