Friday, November 25, 2022

Can You Test For Herpes Without Symptoms

Can Herpes Show Up In A Urine Test

Understanding Herpes Testing

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How Do You Test For Herpes

You can test for herpes in three different ways: a blood test, a urine test, and/ or a swab test. The right test for you will depend on:

  • whether you have any symptoms at the time of your test
  • how long ago you think you might have been exposed
  • where you think you have herpes
  • your personal preferences

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of The Herpes Virus For Good

Are You Less Contagious If You Have Asymptomatic Herpes

Some people believe you canât spread asymptomatic genital herpes this, however, is a myth. You can still spread the virus to others even if you have an asymptomatic infectionâor if you arenât currently showing symptoms because the virus is dormant.

Fortunately, whether or not a herpes infection causes symptoms, the risk of transmitting the virus can be significantly reduced by using condoms during sexual intercourse.

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Doctors Don’t Advise Getting A Blood Test For Herpes Without Any Symptoms

Hilda Hutcherson, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, is one of those doctors. “I usually dont do tests for herpes someone has a lesion or a sore, something I can see, I will do a swab and take it to a culture or check the DNA on the materials I removed,” she says. “If theres nothing there and I do a blood test and the blood test comes back positive, lets say its positive for type 1, what does that really mean? Most people are positive for type 1.” She adds that someone could be HSV-1-positive and either have or not have genital herpes. The result “doesnt mean much, and it makes people go crazy.”

Hutcherson’s motto is pretty simple: Why stress yourself over something if you haven’t seen anything especially when it’s something as common as herpes? “Let’s say they have a blood test come in positive but theyve never had a lesion. Now what? You may never get a lesion,” she says. It’s for this reason that she recommends people do not get tested for herpes unless they have a visible lesion that can be cultured and sent to a lab. Let’s say you get tested anyway and it comes back positive, despite the fact that you have no symptoms. What do you do?

When Should I Get A Genital Or Oral Herpes Test

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Testing for the viruses that cause genital and oral herpes may be ordered when a patient develops signs and symptoms of a herpes infection. Although many people who contract HSV never notice symptoms, signs of an initial infection appear 2 to 20 days after infection and depend on the type of HSV causing the infection.

When signs and symptoms of an initial infection occur, they may include:

  • Small sores on the skin
  • Tingling, itching, or burning on the skin
  • Fever, headache, or body aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

After the initial infection, HSV remains dormant inside of the body. HSV can reactivate throughout a patients life, causing symptoms of genital or oral herpes to reappear. While the trigger for an HSV outbreak is often unknown, potential triggers include a fever, stress, physical trauma, and a suppressed immune system.

Generally, expert organizations do not recommend herpes testing for patients without symptoms. An exception may be made for certain patients, including:

  • Patients who have a partner with genital herpes
  • Patients seeking a more complete STD test panel, including people with multiple sexual partners
  • Babies born to a mother who has HSV

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How Will My Doctor Know If I Have Herpes

Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at your symptoms. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. In certain situations, a blood test may be used to look for herpes antibodies. Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider and ask whether you should be tested for herpes or 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 how long you have been infected.

How Do I Find A Good Std Test Kit

Its important to use a reputable STD test kit company. Here are some features to look for in a provider that can help you narrow down your options.

Certified labs:

The most reputable companies will go through a certified laboratory. Make sure the companys lab meets the standards of the CLIA .

Healthcare professionals on staff:

A good STD test-kit company will have a medical support team on staff to answer questions and provide next steps. Qualifications and availability will differ from one company to the next: some have physicians on staff, others nurses or physicians aides. A good company will offer a professional staff with medical credentials.

Resources on web page:

An in-depth FAQ is one good sign of a legitimate company. Another good sign is supplementary resources. A company with a strong library of articles and links to sexual health resources on its site is likely to be more invested and reliable.

Customer service:

Though STD test kits are relatively simple to use, there are plenty of questions that can come up during the process, and a good company will be available to answer them directly. Check the customer service policy to see how and when youll be able to contact someone. Live chats and 24/7 services are the best signs that support will be available.

Privacy policy:

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How Common Herpes Really Is

Enough people have herpes to make it a totally commonplace infection, even though we may not treat it as one.

Nearly 48 percent of people aged 14 to 49 in the United States were estimated to have HSV-1 between 2015 and 2016, according to the most recent data from the CDC. This high prevalence makes sense because many people actually get the virus from nonsexual contact as children, the CDC explains. This can happen when a parent greets a child with a kiss on the mouth or while a kid is playing with other little ones, since children arent exactly known for their respect of personal space. Remember: HSV-1 often presents as cold sores, but its possible that some people with HSV-1 actually have genital herpes.

So, about genital herpes. You may have heard that one in six people has this infection. Thats a little bit of an outdated figure, Christine Johnston, M.D., an associate professor and herpes researcher at the University of Washington School of Medicine, tells SELF. That number is related to national survey data released by the CDC in 2010 and based on the years 2005 through 2008. This nationally representative research, published in the CDCs 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , tested peoples blood samples for antibodies of HSV-1 and HSV-2, estimating that 16.2 percent of Americans aged 14 to 49 had HSV-2 between the years 2005 and 2008. Thats around one in six.

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Are Test Results Accurate

Herpes Spreads, Even Without Symptoms

Tests that identify evidence of HSV infections are routine and commonly used medical tests. The ability of a test to accurately diagnose or rule out HSV infection depends on the test used for analysis and the stage of a patients infection.

The Tzanck smear and viral culture are less able to accurately identify patients who have an HSV infection than other tests. PCR testing and antibody testing are more sensitive, which means that they miss fewer cases of infection.

Blood tests that detect antibodies to HSV can distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 but not the site of infection. This means that blood tests cannot tell whether a patient has a genital or oral herpes infection.

Although these tests are valuable for identifying HSV infection, no test is perfect. When learning of test results, patients should talk to their doctor about the type of test conducted, the reliability of test results, and if additional tests are necessary to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.

rwd1107

Since iâm postingin this discussion you can geuss what came back postive. HSV-2.

The worst part was having to tell my girlfriend that i had this and she probably does too, BUT ater she went and got tested her results came back NEGATIVE.

So now I am left here, told that I have HSV-2 without ever having an outbreak and with my girlfriend, who iâve made gentail open wound contact with , that is negative and donât know what to do.

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Best Sti Panel Test For Herpes: Everlywell

Everlywell offers STI test panels for males and females. This test may be most suitable for people who want to test for a wide range of STIs.

Collection method

Once a person has purchased a test, they must register it on Everlywells website. They then need to post the collected samples with prepaid shipping.

Everlywell states that people can receive their test results within 57 of posting the samples. However, several customer reviews on the companys website say they had to wait up to 2 weeks.

The person receives digital and printable results. If they test positive for any STIs, they can connect with Everlywells network of independent physicians for advice and treatment.

This test costs $149. However, people can subscribe for twice-yearly tests and save money per kit. They can also use their FSA or HSA to pay for this test.

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Herpes Testing : What Are Your Options

Medically reviewed by Michele Emery, DNP

Are you worried you might have been exposed to the herpes virus?

First: dont panic. The HSV viruses are a lot more common than you may think, and are very manageable in most cases.

Second: if you think youve been exposed to the herpes virus, testing is going to be your first plan of action.

Take a couple deep breaths and when youre ready, read on.

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What Happens If I Dont Get Treated

Genital herpes can cause painful genital sores and can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems.

If you touch your sores or the fluids from the sores, you may transfer herpes to another part of your body, such as your eyes. Do not touch the sores or fluids to avoid spreading herpes to another part of your body. If you do touch the sores or fluids, immediately wash your hands thoroughly to help avoid spreading your infection.

If you are pregnant, there can be problems for you and your developing fetus, or newborn baby. See Im pregnant. How could genital herpes affect my baby? above for information about this.

What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes

Test PMV

Blisters are the most common symptom of herpes. They can occur in various parts of the body around the:

The blisters can often be itchy or tingle. They can also be painful, sometimes causing pain when you use the toilet. This can also affect your quality of life and ability to enjoy sex.

The blisters contain a clear liquid that bursts and scabs over. Blisters may take 1 to 2 weeks to heal, but the first outbreak may last longer. Symptoms may disappear on their own but can return.

If herpes is left untreated, it can increase the risk of getting other STIs, including HIV. As herpes has no cure, it is only advisable to test for it if you have symptoms. Early diagnosis can help manage the condition and reduce the risk of spread to sexual partners.

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If You Get A Positive Result Dont Panic It Really Doesnt Mean Much

All of this is to say that unless you have symptoms consistent with the herpes virus, why put yourself through the emotional turmoil of getting a blood test that may or may not give you legit results? As Hutcherson notes, if you do get a blood test and it comes back positive but youâre asymptomatic, what does that mean for you if you have nothing to treat? For many, due to the high rate of stigma still surrounding herpes, it can mean feelings of self-contempt, humiliation, and distress, all of which could be avoided if you arenât experiencing any symptoms.

To recap, while there are some tests for herpes that can prove correct, none are 100 percent perfect, and blood tests are particularly problematic since they can produce false positives and negatives. We also know that the majority of the population has some form of herpes, so IMO itâs a mystery as to why weâre still making a big deal out of it. No one likes blisters or sores, but neither does anyone love having acne, a widespread condition without the same level of attached shame.

What You Need To Know About Herpes And How Its Transmitted

Two versions of the herpes simplex virus can cause this infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 .

You might be thinking, Oooh, wait, HSV-1 causes oral herpes, and HSV-2 causes genital herpes, right? Technically, yes. But thats not the full picture. Both viruses can infect either your mouth or your genitals through skin-to-skin contact, the CDC explains.

HSV-1 has a predilection for the oral mucosa, but cases affecting the genitals are rising, Susan Bard, M.D., a New York City board-certified dermatologist and adjunct clinical instructor at the Mount Sinai Hospital, tells SELF. This can happen if, say, a person with HSV-1 in their mouth passes the infection to someones genitals while performing oral sex. And although HSV-2 is still behind most cases of genital herpes, it can cause oral herpes when someone with this infection on their genitals passes it to another persons mouth during oral sex.

You might think these signs would make it really obvious that something is up with your health if you have herpes. But its also entirely possible to have herpes without exhibiting any symptoms at all. The virus can lie dormant in the body without ever making itself known. Thats why so many people have herpes without realizing it, the CDC explains.

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How Can I Prevent Transmitting Herpes

Although latex condoms can reduce the risk of transmitting most STIs by 98 percent, condoms dont prevent herpes transmission. This is because not all herpes sores occur in areas that are covered by a condom.

If youre experiencing an active outbreak, you can

  • avoiding sexual activity until symptoms go away
  • washing your hands thoroughly and applying medication with cotton swabs to reduce contact with sores

Taking a daily antiviral herpes medication can also help prevent transmission, shorten outbreaks, and manage symptoms.

Best Convenient Herpes Test: Mylab Box

Sexual Health – Herpes

People can order at-home herpes tests from MyLAB Box. These kits contain instructions, a specimen bag, and a prepaid return envelope. Users may find this test convenient because of its quick turnaround for results and the option to book a free consultation and get treatment.

Collection method
doctor may prescribe treatment if test results are positive
Con only tests for HSV-2

Once a person receives their collection kit, they can collect their sample using the instructions. They can then use the prepaid envelope to send it to the laboratory.

People should receive their results within 25 days. If the test is positive, they can book a free consultation with a doctor to discuss their results and treatment options. The doctor may then prescribe treatment.

This at-home test only works for people who wish to test for genital herpes. The company does not offer test kits for oral herpes.

The kit costs $89 as a stand-alone test, but the company also markets other kits that test for different infections. For example, if a person also wishes to test for other STIs, they can purchase the Total Box 14 Panel option or the Uber Box 8 Panel option.

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How Is Genital Herpes Spread

  • Saliva from a partner with an oral herpes infection
  • Genital fluids from a partner with a genital herpes infection
  • Skin in the oral area of a partner with oral herpes or
  • Skin in the genital area of a partner with genital herpes.

You also can get genital herpes from a sex partner who does not have a visible sore or is unaware of their infection. It is also possible to get genital herpes if you receive oral sex from a partner with oral herpes.

You will not get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools. You also will not get it from touching objects, such as silverware, soap, or towels.

If you have more questions about herpes, consider discussing your concerns with a healthcare provider.

Best For Difficult Sexual Relationships: Stdcheckcom

STDcheck.com

Why We Chose It: STDcheck.com is very easy to use and offers several options for at-home herpes testing. However, whats notable about the site is that it lets you send online anonymous text alerts to sexual partners who might need to be tested. Thats not as good as talking with them in person, but it can help with some awkward conversations you might not otherwise be willing to have.

  • For $139, individuals get access to both HSV-1 and HSV-2 testing. A 10-test panel with other STDs costs $249

  • Ability to alert sexual partners by anonymous text

  • Results within 1-2 days

  • Tests are run at the same labs used by a doctors office

  • The least expensive option does not detect genital herpes cases caused by HSV-1

  • Doctor consultations are only available for people who test positive

  • Insurance is not an option for payment

STDcheck.com allows people to order STD tests online and then go to a local lab for testing . Over 4,500 testing locations are available nationwide, and most people will be able to find a site that is convenient for them. After the test is ordered, you go to the lab and have your blood drawn. The lab sends it for analysis and, in a few days, you can access your results by phone or online.

Recommended herpes testing options run from $139 to $249, and telephone doctor consultations are free for individuals who have a positive test.

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