How soon to test for Herpes

Question

Dear Dr:

About 4 days after unprotected sex, I began suffering from irritated and painful genitals. After one week of continuous symptoms, I had a blood-test for anti-herpes IgM for HSV2, and came out negative. Should I trust this result, or did I test myself too soon? Can it be possible to test negative and still have genital herpes?

Thank you.

Answer

A week might be a little early for positive IgM. However, I am curious as to why an antibody test was performed (and that you might have had a positive IgG indicative of past exposure), were there no characteristic lesions that would be associated with a herpes infection? MH