What Should I Do If I Test Positive For Herpes
If you test positive for herpes, our doctors can provide you with expert advice on your next steps, including your treatment options and how to protect yourself and your partners. Herpes has no cure. However, the symptoms can be managed using medication. Some treatments can help to reduce the length of outbreaks and how often they happen.
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Reviews From People Just Like You
Overall had a good experience. It was eazy to set up and pay for the test. The wait was not long but I went early. Before they opened. There was alfeady a line i to the facility.
Great expirence, start to finish. The counselors made everything easy and I got my results quick. I was able to get them by email too, so no awkward conversation with a stranger. Totally recommend Rapid STD Testing
What Do The Tests Measure
At-home genital and oral herpes testing detects antibodies to the herpes simplex virus. Antibodies are produced by a persons immune system to defend the body against a potentially harmful substance, called an antigen.
Antibodies to HSV are only present in patients who have been infected with HSV at some point in their life. At-home genital and oral herpes tests cannot distinguish between a new or recent infection and an infection that occured in the past.
Antibodies to HSV are specific to the type of HSV and develop within a few weeks of being exposed to the virus but may take longer depending on the type of herpes. Antibodies to HSV remain in the body indefinitely. Some at-home kits test for only one type of herpes while others test for both HSV-1 and HSV2.
After a persons first outbreak of genital or oral herpes, the virus initially infects a persons skin cells and eventually moves to their nerve cells. The virus may stay inactive in the nerve cells forever without causing another outbreak, or it may become active again in the future.
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When Are Herpes Tests Accurate
In the table below, we summarize information about the timing of herpes testing.
One of the most important factors in any infectious disease testing is doing it at the right time. This means two things in the case of herpes:
- For the blood test to be accurate, the right amount of time needs to have passed
- The swab test should be done while symptoms are âfreshâ
For each available herpes test, we will mention:
- The earliest testing time
- The ideal testing time
|Test type||Ideal time|
|Swab||The swab test may be performed as soon as the first blisters appear .Technique: A doctor scrapes the fresh lesion, collecting skin and fluid. To get accurate test results, this should be done within 48 hours of the appearance of the lesion .Note that technique and timing are important. This test is not commonly done for that reason,|
|Blood test for IgG||
||12 weeks after the initial exposure, over 92% of infected people are positive|
Get treated and/or tested for herpes
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How Can People Test For Herpes
A person can ask for a herpes test at any sexual health clinic or a doctors office. A healthcare professional will either swab a blister or draw a blood sample.
At-home herpes tests often require a blood sample through a finger prick.
Once a person receives their test results, they should contact a doctor to discuss treatment options, if necessary.
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How To Test For Herpes
If you suspect you have herpes, the first thing you should do is contact your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can examine your blisters or sores to check for herpes. If you do have an HSV infection, your healthcare provider may recommend a treatment plan for you.
The Center for Disease Control recommends a genital herpes test if you have symptoms of herpes or a sexual partner who has genital herpes . Note that some people have asymptomatic herpes and donât show symptoms, but the CDC does not recommend asymptomatic screening for herpes .
If you would like an easy at-home option to test for 6 other common STIs, try the Everlywell home STD Test for women or the STD Test for men which checks for chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Once your sample is received and analyzed at the lab, the test results are sent to you quickly and discreetly via our secure, online platform.
How Does This Herpes Test Work
This is a blood test which you collect from home with the kit provided. After you have bought your test online, we will post your discreet Herpes test pack to your home . Open the pack, where you will find a form, three finger prick lancets, a small gold topped tube, wipes and a return envelope. In addition, we will email you a copy of the sample collection instruction leaflet. The leaflet will give you instructions on how to collect your sample. It is important that you follow the instructions on the leaflet carefully. You will get an email when your results are ready, but you can log on and check online whenever you like.
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Are There Any Risks To The Test
There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.
There are no known risks to having urine or swab tests.
If you had a lumbar puncture, you may have pain or tenderness in your back where the needle was inserted. You may also get a headache after the procedure. The headache can last for several hours or up to a week or more.
How Serious Is It
If 50 percent of the current adult population has oral herpes, your odds of having come into contact with the virus are fairly high. Though the disease may cause some discomfort, it is not very serious.
The CDC doesnt even recommend testing for herpes! They state, the risk of shaming and stigmatizing people outweighs the potential benefits. For these reasons, testing everyone for herpes is not recommended at this time.3
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What About Mental Health
We also know that due to the stigma, learning that you are positive for herpes can impact your mental health. Research shows that people diagnosed with herpes are more likely to become depressed, withdraw socially, and experience reduced self-esteem. The shame associated with contracting herpes can make a big impact on a persons quality of life. This is despite the fact that its a common virus that affects people of all walks of life, all social circles, and all socioeconomic classes. It not only affects people who have casual sex partners but also people who limit their sexual behavior to monogamous relationships. It can even affect people who have only had one partner.
I can almost guarantee you know multiple people who have genital herpes even if no one has ever told you. Also, many cases of genital herpes occur as a result of oral sex from someone who has a history of cold sores .
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How Can You Test For Stds At Home
Our roundup of nine home STD tests is a good starting point if you want to get tested without visiting a doctor.
Depending on the test, you may need to visit a lab in person for collection. Every other part of the process, including lab order, payment, and results, is done online.
If you receive a positive test result, the testing kit company may offer a consultation with one of their physicians about the next steps, such as further testing or treatment.
At this point, its also a good idea to contact your primary care doctor to share your results.
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The Most Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases
It is crucial to get tested for STDs regularly â especially if you are sexually active. STDs do not always cause symptoms and may be dormant in your body, so having an STD without knowing it is possible. If this is the case, the STD may cause long-term damage to your body if left untreated.
Outlined below are some of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States:
- Bacterial Vaginosis
Each of these STDs is passed differently. Some are carried in bodily fluids such as semen and blood, while others can be passed from skin-to-skin contact.
Therefore, one of the best ways to treat STIs is to prevent them in the first place. If you are having sex, using protective barriers, such as condoms and dental dams, are among the best safe sex practices to protect you from STD transmission.
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Are There Other Types Of Herpes Viruses Besides Hsv
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.
Can Herpes Simplex Virus Cause Serious Infections
Yes. The most serious, or life-threatening, HSV infections can occur in newborns who are infected during birth and in individuals with weakened immune systems , such as organ transplant recipients and people with HIV/AIDS. Neonatal herpes is a serious condition, but also very rare. While 25-30% of pregnant women have genital herpes, less than 0.1% of babies born in the U.S. each year get neonatal herpes. This means that most women with genital herpes give birth to healthy babies.
HSV lesions tend to be more extensive and persist longer in newborns and immunocompromised people than in individuals who have healthy immune systems.
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.
|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.
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Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About Std Tests
The best way to prevent an STD infection is to not have sex. If you are sexually active, you can reduce your risk of infection by:
- Being in a long-term relationship with one partner who has tested negative for STDs
- Using latex condoms correctly every time you have sex. If you or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
What Is Included In Standard Std Testing
Sexually active people with multiple partners are often told to use protection when they have sex and to get regular STD testing, or sexually transmitted disease testing. Practicing safe sex and getting checked for STDs is essential because you can have a disease without knowing it. This puts your partners at risk of getting the disease and spreading it with others.
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What Does The Test Result Mean
Direct detection of the virus
- A positive HSV DNA test or culture indicates that you have an active herpes infection, and the result may indicate if it is HSV-1 or HSV-2.
- A negative PCR test or culture indicates that the herpes simplex virus was not detected, but this does not definitely rule out an infection. False negatives can occur if there is not enough active virus in the sample. This may happen if the lesion is cultured more than 48 hours after the symptoms appear. If suspicion of herpes remains high, repeat testing may be done.
Antibody blood tests
- A positive HSV-1 or HSV-2 IgG antibody test means antibodies are present in your blood, which means you have had an infection in the past even if you haven’t noticed any symptoms. The type of antibody detected indicates the type of HSV infection.
- Negative HSV antibody results mean that it is unlikely that you have been exposed to HSV or it may mean that your body has not had time to begin producing HSV antibodies.
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.
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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So Why Is This Test Not Included Doesnt The Medical Community Care About Preventing Transmission
Although it may not feel this way, the doctors and researchers who established these guidelines have been quite thoughtful about them. If you read the documents, you can see that the researchers sensitively consider their decision from many different angles. In fact, you can learn a ton about the research on genital herpes and transmission where they discuss the reasoning for their decision.
The biggest contributing factor to the guidelines is that 1) standard herpes blood tests are not totally reliable and 2) receiving a herpes diagnosis can have a significant impact on mental health while being virtually non-threatening to your physical health.
Who Will Know I Got Tested
All lab services and clinic medical records are strictly confidential. This information is kept between you and your doctor.
Minors do not need parental consent for STI testing or treatment. STI testing and treatment information will not be shared with parents of minors without the minors permission.
If you have charges for an STI test, they will be transferred to your Student Account within 30 days of the visit. These charges do not give details of your visit and will only appear as Health Center Visit Charges. No one will know from your charges that you received STI testing at the health center.
If you use health insurance to get tested, you should consider who else has access to that information . If you do not want to submit your charge to insurance, please tell the front desk staff member at check-in.
Positive results for some STIs, like HIV or syphilis, may be shared with state or city health departments for tracking purposes, but there are laws preventing health departments from sharing your test results with your family, friends or employer.
Be sure to ask your health care provider who will know that you got tested and your results, especially if you are using insurance. Ask questions and stay informed.
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Best Subscription For Herpes Test: Letsgetchecked
The LetsGetChecked home kits can test for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. This test kit may be best for people who require regular testing as the companys subscription options can offer significant discounts.
|nurses available through LetsGetChecked to discuss positive results|
|tests for both HSV-1 and HSV-2|
|Con||does not accept insurance|
A person receives a collection kit with all the tools they need to collect their samples at home. This includes needles, a prepaid envelope, alcohol swabs, and a tube. The tests come in discreet packaging so that other people will not know what the person has received.
The person also has access to an instruction video on the company website that explains how they should take their test. LetsGetChecked suggests that people take a blood sample before 9 a.m. and return it to the laboratory on the same day.
The company states that it issues the results within 25 days.
Individuals who receive a positive result can contact a nurse through the company, and they may suggest a treatment plan.
LetsGetChecked offers a one-time purchase for $119. Anyone who requires regular testing can purchase a LetsGetChecked subscription and get discounts on its tests. For instance, a 3-monthly subscription will give a person a 30% saving on the cost of the kits.