Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Can You Test For Herpes Simplex 1

If You Have Genital Herpes Already Can It Be Spread To Other Parts Of The Body Such As The Arms Or Legs

Understanding Herpes Testing

No. Genital herpes cannot be transmitted to another part of your body such as your arm, leg or hand after the first infection occurs. If you have genital HSV II, you will not get HSV II at another site in your body. The immune system produces antibodies that protect other parts of your body from infection. However, there are cases where a person has multiple site infections from the same virus. This is usually acquired at the time of the first infection. For example, if someone has never had herpes but then has oral and genital sex with an infected partner, they can acquire the infection at both sites.

What Happens During An Hsv Test

HSV testing is usually done as a swab test, blood test, or lumbar puncture. The type of test you get will depend on your symptoms and health history.

  • For a swab test, a health care provider will use a swab to collect fluid and cells from a herpes sore.
  • For a blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
  • A lumbar puncture, also called a spinal tap, is only done if your provider thinks you may have an infection of the brain or spinal cord. During a spinal tap:
  • You will lie on your side or sit on an exam table.
  • A health care provider will clean your back and inject an anesthetic into your skin, so you won’t feel pain during the procedure. Your provider may put a numbing cream on your back before this injection.
  • Once the area on your back is completely numb, your provider will insert a thin, hollow needle between two vertebrae in your lower spine. Vertebrae are the small backbones that make up your spine.
  • Your provider will withdraw a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid for testing. This will take about five minutes.
  • Your provider may ask you to lie on your back for an hour or two after the procedure. This may prevent you from getting a headache afterward.

When Is It Ordered

HSV PCR testing or herpes culture may be ordered when you have signs and symptoms of a herpes infection, such as a blister or blisters on or around your eye, mouth, genitals or rectum.

Herpes PCR testing may be ordered when you have signs and symptoms of encephalitis that a healthcare practitioner suspects may be caused by a virus. Examples of these signs and symptoms include:

Prenatal and newborn testing

  • A pregnant woman who has been diagnosed with herpes may be monitored regularly prior to delivery to detect a reactivation of her infection.
  • A baby born to a mother who has active lesions during delivery may be tested before symptoms appear to assess whether the baby was exposed to HSV during delivery.
  • A mother and newborn may be tested for HSV soon after delivery when a baby shows signs of HSV infection, such as meningitis or skin lesions that could be caused by the herpes virus.

HSV antibody testing may be done when your healthcare practitioner wants to determine if you have been exposed to HSV in the past.

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Best Affordable Herpes Test: Healthlabs

HealthLabs offers laboratory-based herpes tests. These may be the best option for people who do not have health insurance and those working with small budgets.

Collection method
does not require appointments and accepts walk-ins
Con requires a visit to a laboratory for a healthcare professional to collect the sample

After placing an order, the person receives a laboratory requisition form, which they need to print out and present at a laboratory. The company claims it has 4,500 laboratory locations, and individuals should receive their test results within 23 business days.

HealthLabs has three herpes tests available for purchase:

  • a test for HSV-1, which costs $45
  • a test for HSV-2, which costs $45
  • a test for HSV-1 and HSV-2, which costs $79

People may also order at-home tests for other STIs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV.

offers tests for early detection of herpes
Con requires a visit to a laboratory

To order either herpes test, a person must access the company website and enter their ZIP code to find their nearest testing center.

The company claims it has over 4,000 private test centers across the United States.

After ordering the herpes test, a person can walk into their local center to receive the testing. An appointment is not necessary.

The test procedure involves a simple blood test and urine sample, which typically takes a matter of minutes. A person can expect to receive their online test results within 13 days.

Who Is Rapid Std Testing

Easy Diagnosis Hsv Herpes Simplex Virus Lgg Lgm Test Cassette

Rapid STD Testing is a division of Rapid Screening Test Centre who is predominant test center for STDs and sexual diseases in US. They are the best center with Doctors and professionals who are sexual health experts. These doctors and professional sexual health experts are used to test the patient with different test panels to produce exact result. With 4000 test centers they are the one of the leading and best STD test center in the country.

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How Will My Healthcare Provider Know If I Have Genital Herpes

Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at any sores that are present. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. If sores are not present, a blood test may be used to look for HSV antibodies.

Have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider about herpes testing and other STDs.

Please note: A herpes blood test can help determine if you have herpes infection. It cannot tell you who gave you the infection or when you got the infection.

Oral Herpes On Tongue

The most widespread form of the herpes simplex is HSV-1 that attacks the area in and around the mouth. Symptoms of oral herpes on the tongue are sensitive, open sores. Children aged 1 to 2 years old experience sores within the mouth the most frequently, but it can occur at any age.

Asymptomatic infection is common with HSV-1, so the virus spreads easily from person-to-person that have no idea they are a carrier. Anyone can contract herpes by kissing and other interactions with saliva. The virus is fond of mucous membranes and breaks out usually in clusters of painful blisters. Sometimes the spots are accompanied with fever, but you may have no signs at all.

If your child is dealing with this uncomfortable situation, know that it will usually resolve itself within a few weeks and the potential for a scar is low. In the meantime, drinking and eating can be problematic. Encourage the kid to drink plenty of fluids like water and Pedialyte, but avoid acidic beverages like orange juice because they can sting. If your son or daughter refuses to eat, dont force the issue. Instead, offer popsicles and mild fruit juices to keep some calories coming in. A few days of fasting wont harm them. The chill from popsicles could also ease the pain.

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What Can I Do If I Have Herpes Simplex 2

Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing theyâll always have the virus and can give it to others. But you arent alone. Herpes is one of the most common STIs, both in the U.S. and worldwide. If you have herpes, you should:

  • Learn all you can about it. Information will help you to manage your disease and feel better about yourself.
  • Talk about your illness with your doctor.

If you have herpes, you can still:

  • Have sex if you use a condom or dental dam , and you tell your partner about your illness. Some couples, who have sexual relations only with each other, may choose not to use condoms even though one partner has herpes. Because each situation is different, you should ask your doctor if this is the right choice for you in your relationship.
  • Have children. People with herpes can still give birth to healthy babies. If you have herpes and plan to have children, discuss your illness with your healthcare provider.

If you have herpes, you should also get checked for HIV and other STIs .

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Are There Other Types Of Herpes Viruses Besides Hsv

Discontinuation of Herpes Simplex virus (HSV) IgM Testing

Yes. There are over 25 viruses in the herpes family and at least 8 types that infect humans. These include herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 discussed in this article as well as varicella zoster virus , associated with chickenpox and shingles, Epstein Barr virus , which can cause infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus , human herpes virus 6 and human herpes virus 7 , both associated with roseola in young children, and human herpes virus 8 , which has been found in tumors in people with Kaposi’s sarcoma . KS primarily affects people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS and organ transplant recipients.

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Is Herpes Simplex Related To Herpes Zoster

Herpes simplex and the varicella-zoster virus are related, but they arent the same. VZV causes chickenpox and shingles.

Like HSV-1 and HSV-2, shingles can cause a painful, blistering rash. The shingles rash usually shows up on the back, side, abdomen , neck and face. It is often only on half of your body, following the pattern of your nerves. See your healthcare provider if you have a new rash and suspect you may have shingles.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Herpes simplex is a virus. Once you have herpes, its a lifelong condition. A herpes infection can lead to outbreaks , but youll also have times when you have no symptoms. The main sign of herpes is sores that appear on the infected skin. Some people choose not to treat herpes, especially if symptoms are mild. Others take antiviral medications to reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/17/2022.

References

How Soon Can You Be Tested

The incubation period for herpes is 2 to 12 days, which means that the best time to get tested for the herpes virus if you havent had an initial outbreak is after 12 days. If youre worried that youve been exposed to herpes but have not yet been diagnosed, here are some steps you can take:

  • If youre currently sexually active, stop all sexual activity until you can receive a formal diagnosis.
  • Reach out to your doctor and schedule an appointment for once the incubation period is up.
  • If youre having an outbreak, you dont have to wait to get tested. Its possible to receive a diagnosis based on the lesions.

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The Accuracy Of Herpes Blood Tests

As you can see, the accuracy of herpes tests depends on several factors. Certain blood tests are more conclusive than others and as mentioned above, some tests wont tell you which type of herpes you have.

Its possible to get a false positive herpes test result, and that can depend on several confusing factors. One is the duration between contracting the virus and taking the test: the amount of antibodies changes and can impact the test results.

  • For best results if you think youve been exposed, the CDC suggests waiting 4-6 weeks from contact to get the blood test.

Its also interesting to note that a high percentage of the population is infected with HSV-1, which can be transmitted orally or genitally. That brings up a lot of questions for some people as to whether knowing about it via blood test is even useful. For example, it wont tell you much about where the virus is located without symptoms.

How Is The Test Used

Easy Diagnosis Hsv Herpes Simplex Virus Lgg Lgm Test Cassette

Herpes testing may be used a few different ways:

  • Herpes simplex virus PCR testing or culture may be used to diagnose an active herpes infection if you have signs and symptoms, such as genital sores or encephalitis.
  • HSV PCR is the preferred test to diagnose newborns suspected of having neonatal herpes, a rare but serious condition in which herpes is contracted during vaginal birth.
  • HSV antibody testing may be used to determine whether you have been exposed to HSV in the past. This may be helpful in screening certain populations, such as potential organ transplant recipients. It may also be useful for pregnant women to help determine the risk of them passing an HSV-2 infection to their baby.
  • PCR and antibody testing may be used to distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend screening for herpes in the general population, but it may be helpful in some cases, such as:

    • If you have signs and symptoms, such as genital sores that may be related to herpes
    • If you have or had a sex partner with genital herpes
    • If you would like to have a complete exam for sexually transmitted diseases , especially if you have multiple sex partners if this is the case, you should discuss STD testing with your healthcare practitioner.

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    When To Call The Doctor

    Even though HSV sores can hurt and be unsightly, most cases of herpes do not cause serious illness. The sores go away in a few days. Contact the health provider if:

    • Sores are present and you think it might be a first herpes infection. The diagnosis is usually made by examining the sores. If the sores have not healed, sometimes a laboratory test is done.
    • Sores do not heal by themselves or show signs of infection such as pus, spreading redness or fever.
    • Sores are near the eyes.
    • You have another health condition with a weakened immune system.

    What Are The Risks Associated With Herpes

    If you have symptoms for Herpes, the use of condoms might not protect your sexual partner from getting the virus from your infected areas that are not covered by the condom. Therefore, it is advised to abstain from sex if you have symptoms.

    Neonatal Herpes can occur in rare cases and might lead to lasting neurologic disability or even death of the infant. Pregnant women who get their first viral infection during late pregnancy are at a higher risk of acquiring the disease than those infected prior to pregnancy.

    The symptoms and pains associated with recurrence of Herpes might lead to psychological distress, which could negatively affect the quality of life and sexual relationships of infected individuals.

    If Herpes is left untreated, there is an increased risk of getting other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

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    Does My Healthcare Provider Include A Blood Test For Genital Herpes When They Test Me For Everything

    Herpes blood tests may or may not be part of the tests your healthcare provider gives you. They may choose tests based on several factors .

    They will also evaluate you for signs or symptoms of herpes to choose which tests to use. This is why its important to talk openly and honestly with your provider during your visit. Ask them which infections they are and are not testing you for and why.

    Additional Resources

    Interpretation Provides Information To Assist In Interpretation Of The Test Results

    Herpes Simplex

    This assay detects IgG-class antibodies to type-specific herpes simplex virus glycoprotein G and may allow for the differentiation of infection caused by HSV types 1 and 2. The presence of IgG-class antibodies to HSV types 1 or 2 indicates previous exposure and does not necessarily indicate that HSV is the causative agent of an acute illness.

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    Can I Treat Herpes Simplex At Home

    Avoiding known triggers, such as illness or stress, can help reduce how often you have herpes outbreaks.

    How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-1 ?

    • Over-the-counter creams such as L-lysine, benzocaine or docosanol .
    • Applying ice to blisters or sores.

    How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-2 ?

    • Apply an ice pack to your genitals. Wrap the ice pack in a washcloth or apply it over your underwear.
    • Keep your genitals dry. Wear cotton or other nonsynthetic underpants and avoid tight-fitting clothes. Moist sores take longer to heal.
    • Soak in a warm bath.

    What Else Can I Do To Help With A Genital Herpes Outbreak

    As well as taking medication to help with symptoms, you can also try:

    • using an anaesthetic gel to numb your skin and ease any pain
    • soaking the affected area with plain or salt water
    • applying Vaseline to the affected area
    • drinking plenty of fluids
    • wearing loose clothing
    • taking pain relief medications, like paracetamol or ibuprofen

    The symptoms of herpes outbreaks will usually go away by themselves within 10 days as your immune system fights the infection on its own. You might find the sores painful during that time, so medication can help you by clearing up the infection more quickly.

    If youd like to speak to one of our doctors about your symptoms, you can book a telephone consultation. Theyll be able to provide personalised advice on how to cope with genital herpes.

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