Wednesday, April 10, 2024

How Accurate Are At Home Herpes Tests

How Test Accuracy Is Measure

Startup delivers STD tests to your home

The accuracy of all medical tests, including herpes tests, is measured based on two values: sensitivity and specificity.

Sensitivityis how often a test correctly identifies someone with a disease. A test that is 90% sensitive will correctly identify 90 people out of 100 who have the disease. Ten people will have a false-negative result.

Specificity, on the other hand, refers to a test’s ability to correctly identify someone who doesn’t have the disease. If a test is 90% specific, that means that 90 people out of 100 will be correctly diagnosed as not having a disease and that 10 people will have a false-positive result.

The higher the sensitivity and specificity, the lower the chances of a false result.

Finding Out The Hard Way

No good data exist on how often patients with questionable positive results are actually re-tested. Until the 2015 update, CDC herpes testing guidelines had no mention of confirmatory testing for low-positive results, said Johnston. So patients often discovered the option not through their doctors, but through searching the web and reading online herpes forums.

That was the experience of Bryan, a 40-year-old man who lives in Indiana, who wrongly believed he had herpes for about two months in 2011. The misunderstanding actually put him at higher risk, he said: During those months he considered joining the hundreds of thousands of Americans on dating sites for herpes-positive people. Exclusively dating people with herpes would have increased his likelihood of contracting the virus.

The experience of YT, a 33-year-old mom who has suffered from frequent herpes symptoms over the last year, shows another side of the testing breakdown. She believes she was given HSV by a partner who didnt realize herpes wasnt included in his previous STD tests, she told STAT. Having herpes has caused her significant emotional trauma, and has driven her to permanently swear off dating. Had her partner known his true status, she wonders if her story would have been different.

People call and say, I just dont know whats going on, he said. Weve almost become de facto counselors.

Online Herpes Treatment Providers

There arent many online providers that offer at-home testing for herpes, but many companies offer at-home treatment. If youve used one of the tests we recommend and test positive, you should always check in with your primary medical provider for next steps. If you dont have one, or are in a situation that means you cant report it, check out some of the best online herpes treatment providers.

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What Is The At

Testing herpes on your own is easy. After your test kit has arrived, youll need to provide your sample. This can consist of either a finger-prick blood sample or a vaginal swab/urine sample. Some tests will ask for both, but every test we recommend asks for a finger prick. Youll follow the instructions on the kit, register an account with your information and the kits ID to ensure that your information stays tied to you, and then ship the box back to the parent organization. In a few days, youll have your results privately in your inbox its that easy.

How Herpes Is Diagnosed

Herpes (Genital HSV2) Quick Test 20pack

Your first step is to make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have a lesion on your genitals or believe you were exposed to herpes. “Google really can’t tell you if you have genital herpes or not,” said Dr. Shim. A diagnosis of herpes can be made with an exam, but your healthcare provider will also order a culture swab from the sore to confirm the virus.

Your healthcare provider can give you advice on easing symptoms, shortening their duration, and preventing outbreaks in the future. Taking a daily dose of the antiviral drug Valtrex can decrease transmission to a non-infected partner, said Dr. Shirazian. It can also prevent recurrent outbreaks for the person with the infection. Maintaining general healthful habitseating nutritious foods, staying active, and getting enough sleepgo a long way to keeping your immune system able to minimize outbreaks.

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When Is The Best Time To Take A Herpes Test

The incubation period for herpes the amount of time from when you are first infected to when you first begin to show or experience symptoms is 3-6 days, but it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear.

We recommend that you take a Herpes test as soon as symptoms appear. Symptoms include small sores, ulcers and/or wart-like growths on your genitals and/or other parts of your body.

If you collect your sample too soon , the results of your test may not be as accurate.

If left untreated, both oral and genital herpes can lead to complications, including pain and susceptibility to other infections. If genital herpes is passed on during pregnancy or childbirth, it can also cause several complications in newborn babies.

In some cases, symptoms may not appear for weeks or even years after you have been infected herpes and, even if you have received treatment previously, you may suffer from an outbreak or recurrence of symptoms.

General guidance

If you are sexually active, a comprehensive sexual health check is recommended once a year, and should include our 7-panel STI test, which tests for some of the most common STIs in the UK, and at least one blood test, such as our:

If you are in a high-risk category and/or engage in frequent sexual activity with multiple partners, we advise that you have a comprehensive sexual health check every 3-6 months.

For further advice and guidance, visit

How Can I Check If My Covid Tests Expiration Has Been Extended

To see if the expiration date for your at-home test has been extended, first find your test on FDAs website here.

  • If the expiration date column says that the shelf-life is “extended,” there is a link to “updated expiration dates” where you can find a list of the original expiration dates and the new expiration dates. Find the original expiration date on the box label of your test and then look for the new expiration date in the “updated expiration dates” table for your test.
  • If the expiration date column does not say the shelf-life is extended, that means the expiration date on the box label of your test is still correct. The table will say “See box label” instead of having a link to updated expiration dates.

Additionally, you could check directly on the website of your test manufacturer, or contact your tests manufacturer.

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When Is The Best Time To Take An At

The incubation period for herpes the amount of time from when you are first infected to when you first begin to show or experience symptoms is 3-6 days, but it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear.

We recommend that you take a Herpes test as soon as symptoms appear.

Symptoms include small sores, ulcers and/or wart-like growths on your genitals and/or other parts of your body.

Please note: this test is only suitable for people who are experiencing symptoms of herpes.

How Effective Is Suppressive Treatment In Preventing Herpes Transmissions

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We do not really know. Studies have quoted anything from 48% to 71% reduction in risk of transmission. So we know that it does reduce the risk of transmission. And since these medicines have very few side effects if at all, and are rather low cost, doctors are advised to at least speak to their patients about the option.

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Can I Take A Herpes Test If I Dont Have Symptoms

The Herpes test has been designed to test people who are symptomatic and requires a lesion swab to be rubbed gently and painlessly over an active lesion, sore, or ulcer.

If you believe you have been exposed to an STI, but do not have symptoms, you can order a different test such as our 7-panel STI test, HIV & Syphilis test, Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea test, Syphilis test, HIV Test, and/or Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C & HIV Test.

Are Home Std Test Kits Accurate

Generally, at-home STD testing is done with about 99% accuracy if all instructions are followed correctly, including ensuring youve paid attention to exposure windows. Every STD has a unique window of time before which the disease can be detected in your body, and before you provide your sample, you should be sure to understand the exposure time frame for the STDs youre hoping to get tested for. Any test, including those done in doctors offices, can return a false negative if testing is done too soon after exposure.

*Estimated from ratio of prevalence of STDs in youth to number of sexually active youth 15-24 . 2001, Table B, p. 8). The prevalence estimate assumes STDs are in different people.

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How To Prevent False Positives

When it comes to inaccuracy, you run into 2 issues: getting a false positive and getting a false negative. Getting a positive test result is usually a good thing. But when it’s an STD test, positive results are the last thing you want to see. Unfortunately, there have been instances where people have received false positives from their STD tests. This can wreak havoc with your emotional state. But even more disturbingly, it can cause you to take certain medical procedures that, when done unnecessarily, can be harmful to the person.

So, how can you prevent this type of error from occurring? Well, there is no way to be 100% sure you wont get a false positive from any STD test since the technology is fairly new. However, these tests are becoming increasingly more accurate with time and usage. In fact, there is no fear of false positives when it comes to gonorrhea, hepatitis B or C, and herpes at all. The others have a less than 1% chance of receiving a false positive, so theres not much to worry about.

But in case you want to bring those numbers down even more, here are a few ways to avoid getting the wrong message:

  • Opt for capillary testing

Choose an STD kit that uses capillary testing for their testing method. Capillary testing is a method that tests the capillaries for the specific diseases youre looking for. Its known to be highly accurate, much more so than other forms of blood testing.

  • Choose reliable kit services
  • Test for the right diseases
  • Taking multiple tests

How Can You Interpret The Results Of A Hormone Test For Men

Herpes Home Test

After you have a hormone test, its important to understand how to interpret the results. If you get any abnormal results, then youll need to talk with a health professional to discuss what your next steps should be. Different hormones interact with each other, so the results of all of the different tests need to be considered as a whole.

One option is to visit your regular doctor and talk with them about your test results. However, when you do an at home male hormone test, youll usually be given the opportunity to discuss your results with a medical professional via telemedicine. This will allow you to ask any questions that you may have, and to decide what your next steps should be.

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Doctors Dont 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.

Hutchersons motto is pretty simple: Why stress yourself over something if you havent seen anything especially when its something as common as herpes? Lets 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. Its 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. Lets say you get tested anyway and it comes back positive, despite the fact that you have no symptoms. What do you do?

The Accuracy Of Various Herpes Tests

This table summarizes the overall accuracy of different herpes tests. Please especially pay attention to the most common test, the IgG testâand most importantly to its false positive and false negative rates.

The table has three columns:

  • Test accuracy: how accurate is the test in detecting the herpes virus
  • False positive: the test detects the presence of herpes, but the person doesnât actually have it
  • False negative: the test doesnât detect the presence of herpes, but the person does have it

Please note: the numbers in the table are averages and may vary from case to case based on factors such as when the test is performed , the testing technique, and the herpes viral load.

Test Type
100% 0% Depends on the time of sample collection: usually 25% but may be up to 70%
Blood test Commercially available IgG test: 94%Washington University test: > 99% Commercially available IgG test: up to 19%Washington University test*: 0% Commercially available IgG test: up to 38%Washington University test*: 0%

* The Washington University test is considered the âgold standardâ blood test. The false-negative and false-positive rates for the commercially available IgG test are based on a comparison to the Western blot results of the Washington University test.

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Accuracy By Test Type

Two blood tests are used to screen for herpes. To ensure that an initial positive result is correct, a second test using a different method of detection is used to confirm the results.

The first test is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay . An ELISA looks for immune proteins, called antibodies, that are produced by the immune system in response to the HSV. HSV antibodies are present even when there are no symptoms.

If the ELISA result is positive, your healthcare provider may administer a Western blot assay. This second test looks for proteins on the surface of the virus, called antigens, which serve as the virus’ “ID tag.” HSV antibodies produced in response to these antigens help the immune system target its attack.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the accuracy of the two blood used to diagnose herpes breaks down as follows:

Test
Over 99% Over 99%

Due to its high level of sensitivity and specificity, the Western blot is considered the gold standard of herpes blood testing.

With that said, the accuracy of the tests can be affected by the timing of the tests. For an ELISA to return an accurate result, the immune system needs to produce enough antibodies to reach detectable levels.

Testing too early during the so-called window period can end up causing a false-negative result .

Are Home Std Tests Accurate And Reliable

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Are home STD tests accurate and reliable? The Theranos controversy in 2014 may have left consumers feeling concerned about whether at home STD tests provide accurate results. Heres what we know.

At home STD tests are as accurate as those you could take in a doctors office, generally speaking, but its important to know that not all home STD test providers are the same, and testing experiences can vary for a number of reasons.

Accuracy rates for at home STD tests range from a 8597% sensitivity rate and a 9199.9% specificity rate, we will talk you through sensitivity and specificity later in the article.

The Theranos controversy in 2014 may have left consumers feeling concerned about whether at home STD tests provide accurate results. Heres what we know.

No medical tests are 100% accurate. False positives and false negatives can happen in any setting, whether its in the home or in a healthcare setting. Usually a healthcare provider will look at the bigger picture of your health to put all the jigsaw pieces into place.

Nowadays, with the use of at home health testing, its more convenient, accessible and often more cost effective to put those pieces of your health puzzle together from the comfort of home. Whats more, the majority of home health providers will offer follow up advice and treatment as part of their package should you require additional support.

Sensitivity refers to a tests ability to correctly identify those with a particular disease .

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Is This Herpes Test Accurate

Yes, this is an accurate test that allows you to test for Herpes Simplex Virus types I and II from the comfort and privacy of your own home. This is a blood test which means it is very accurate when you do not have any symptoms. If you are not sure which STI you may have or are concerned about a risky encounter, we recommend the Full Screen which also tests for a range of other STIs including HIV, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.

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