What Is The Herpes Simplex Virus
The herpes simplex virus is a type of virus that causes infections in humans. Approximately 3.7 billion people under the age of fifty â or 67% â have been infected with HSV-1 in their lifetimes. There are about 491 million cases of HSV-2 worldwide â or 13% of the global population between the ages of 15 and 49.
HSV is spread through direct contact with the virus. This can happen during sex or while giving birth.
The virus leads to an increased risk of infection with human immunodeficiency virus . It can also cause you to develop more severe conditions if you have a compromised immune system.
HSV can have particularly problematic results if youâre infected with the virus when youâre born. The chance of passing it on while pregnant is low but â if it happens â it can lead to disabilities and death.
Thereâs also a social stigma associated with this virus that can be damaging to your mental health if you ever become infected.
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Early Symptoms Of Hiv & Std
If you have any of the following symptoms, walk in to any of our locations throughout Long Island, upstate New York or NYC for STD testing and treatment.
Symptoms of STDs in Women
In women, symptoms of common STDs may include pain or burning during urination, abnormal vaginal discharge, bloody vaginal discharge, pain in the abdomen, spotting, itching, blisters, fever, swollen glands, open sores, and warts. Some STDs, like chlamydia, and gonorrhea cause no symptoms. If your sexual partner has been diagnosed with an STD, testing yourself is vital to prevent complications such as infertility and certain types of cancer.
Symptoms of STDs in Men
Men with STDs may experience discharge from the urethra, pain during urination, inflammation of the testicles or prostate, fever, or sores. Untreated STDs put you at risk for organ failure, infertility, and even brain damage. If you have an STD, your sexual partners are at risk of transmission, so the only way to protect them is to refrain from sexual activity until diagnosis and treatment are completed.
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 Get An Std Test
Getting tested for STDs is a simple process. Almost all mid-sized and large cities offer options for free or low-cost STD testing, with convenient online testing options also available for many common sexually transmitted diseases.
You can get tested by:
Talking to your healthcare provider. Your primary care provider will be able to provide testing for most STDs. Many health insurance policies either provide free STD testing or offer tests at a significantly reduced price.
Visiting your local urgent care center. Many urgent care centers offer testing for most STDs. You can search for free, fast and confidential testing locations in your area using the CDCs GetTested tool.
Visiting your local pharmacy. Many pharmacies can schedule testing for some STDs, or provide an at-home test that you can return to the pharmacy or mail directly to the lab for analysis.
Contacting Planned Parenthood. Many Planned Parenthood centers offer STD testing and treatment.
Using an at-home/online test. Several companies provide at-home STD tests that you can order online. Some tests provide instant results, while others may need to be mailed to a lab for analysis.
When Was Your Last Screening
STD testing is necessary because it helps to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and it also gives you and your partner some peace of mind. If you are sexually active and have seen a doctor for screening recently, visit our center for STD testing.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
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.
If You Think You Have An Sti
Get it checked out as soon as possible!
STIs are serious, can be painful and may have long term effects on your health and your ability to have children in the future.
If youre experiencing any of the symptoms below, visit your family doctor or any one of our healthy sexuality clinics to find out what you might have and how to have it treated.
Its also important to avoid having sex until youve seen a doctor to find out if you do have an STI.
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What To Expect From Lab Visit
To complete the Viral STD Panel, patients will need to have a blood sample collected in a certified laboratory. To order the Viral STD Panel, purchase the test on our website and take your lab requisition form to the laboratory location most convenient to you. You can find locations using our lab locator. Drop by the lab at any time during business hoursthere is no need to make an appointment. The results of your Viral STD Panel will arrive in your HealthLabs.com account within one to three business days.
There is a recommended window for viral STD testing. Each viral STD has a unique timeframe in which it can be detected in the blood. To ensure the most accurate results for each test, it is recommended that you get the Viral STD Panel 12 weeks after potential exposure.
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MNT chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria where possible:
- Laboratories: Where possible, MNT will choose companies that process test samples in labs. This means they follow state and federal regulations.
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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
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Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About An Hsv Test
The best way to prevent genital herpes or another STD 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 condoms correctly every time you have sex
If youve been diagnosed with genital herpes, condom use can reduce your risk of spreading the infection to others.
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Is Alzheimers Disease Related To Hsv
Alzheimers disease is a progressive brain disease that develops as a result of a complex series of events occurring in the brain over a long period of time. The causes of Alzheimers disease may include genetic, environmental, and other factors. Several different factors have been statistically linked to Alzheimers disease, including HSV-1 infection. However, some investigations suggest that viruses other than HSV-1 may influence Alzheimers disease. More research is needed to determine whether or not there is a causal link between HSV-1 infection and Alzheimers disease.
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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.
Can I Take An Sti Test On My Period
According to Planned Parenthood, its perfectly OK to get screened for STIs during any day of your menstrual cycle.
Some at-home tests do recommend waiting a few days after your period to test for certain diseases, though, so be sure to check the test instructions if you are using an at-home product.
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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 Do People Get Genital Herpes
Infections are transmitted through contact with HSV in herpes lesions, mucosal surfaces, genital secretions, or oral secretions. 5 HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be shed from normal-appearing oral or genital mucosa or skin. 7,8 Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during genital contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. However, receiving oral sex from a person with an oral HSV-1 infection can result in getting a genital HSV-1 infection. 4 Transmission commonly occurs from contact with an infected partner who does not have visible lesions and who may not know that he or she is infected. 7 In persons with asymptomatic HSV-2 infections, genital HSV shedding occurs on 10.2% of days, compared to 20.1% of days among those with symptomatic infections. 8
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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.
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.
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When Do You Need To Undergo An Std Screening
As soon as someone become sexually active, it is important for them to undergo STD testing every year, especially since there are dozens of STDs out there nowadays. While it can be uncomfortable to ask for a test, its important.
Most STD screenings are done through a blood sample, urine sample or a swab test.
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.
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How Does A Herpes Test Work
A herpes test may require a swab sample, a blood test or both.
Swab tests involve taking a swab sample from an active sore in or around the mouth and/or genitals. A swab sample can either be collected by a healthcare professional or by you in the comfort of your own home using an at home herpes test. Swab tests are often the first port of call when it comes to diagnosing or confirming either oral or genital . If symptoms are present , this will likely be the test used.
Blood tests involve taking a blood sample. The type of herpes blood test used is a virus culture, also known as a PCR test. PCR tests look for pieces of the viruss DNA and are very accurate. A PCR test will be able to diagnose herpes even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. It is a very accurate herpes test. Other blood tests on the market test the blood for antibodies that are produced in reaction to the virus.
The two antibodies that are tested for include IgM and IgG. IgG antibodies appear shortly after you become infected with herpes and stay in the body for life, whereas IgM levels will typically decrease shortly after the initial infection. IgG testing is more accurate than IgM testing.
How Soon Can You Be Tested For Stds
You can get tested for STDs as soon as you like, however, it is possible that you will receive a negative result even if you do have an STD, due to the fact that your body has not yet started to produce antibodies.
Use the above chart to determine how soon you can get tested for specific STDs.
Written by Hannah Kingston on July 12 2021
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Tingling Or Pain Before Blisters Form
If you know you’ve been exposed to herpes, you may want to watch for “prodromal” symptoms. “About 50% of people will have symptoms such as itching, tingling, or pain on genital skin before blisters or sores appear,” said Dr. Shim. Usually, you’ll experience an outbreak later, but it’s possible to have this tingling or itching and have no sores emerge.
Can I Take The Test At Home
At-home tests are available to test for evidence of an HSV infection. At-home herpes testing typically detects HSV antibodies in a self-collected sample of blood and may require additional follow-up if preliminary results are positive. At-home herpes tests can be obtained online or at a local pharmacy.
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Reasons Not To Get A Herpes Test
Should you take a herpes test if you have no symptoms of this STI? Heres what experts advise.
If you think you have genital herpes because you have a sore on or near your genitals, a doctor or nurse can test the sore and diagnose you. But how do you test for herpes if you have no symptoms and are simply worried youve been exposed to the virus? There is a blood test available, but experts disagree about whether its worth the trouble. Here are a few arguments for not bothering with the herpes test.
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