Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How Do Doctors Test For Genital Herpes

Best Convenient Herpes Test: Mylab Box

Understanding Herpes Testing

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.

Doctors Recommend Our Full 10 Test Panel

Our 10-Test Panel is a comprehensive STD testing package that tests for the most common bacterial andviral STDs in the United States. This inclusive STD testing panel has been carefully designed by ourphysicians to provide you with complete peace of mind.

If you are concerned about recent exposure, we recommend adding our HIV RNA Early Detection Test. Our HIVRNA Early Detection Test can detect an HIV infection as early as 6 days after exposure and is conclusiveif taken 9-11 days post exposure. Our standard HIV test is a 4th Generation HIV 1 & 2 Antibody/Antigentest that can detect HIV as early as 2-3 weeks after exposure.

Why You Should Go To A Sexual Health Clinic

You can see a GP, but theyll probably refer you to a sexual health clinic if they think you might have genital herpes.

Sexual health clinics treat problems with the genitals and urine system.

Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment.

Theyll often get test results quicker than GP practices and you do not have to pay a prescription fee for treatment.

Read Also: Can You Have Sex If You Have Herpes

Recommended Reading: How To Keep Herpes From Spreading

Type Of Tests Used To Diagnose Herpes

There are four main types of diagnostic tests that can be used to diagnose herpes. Your doctor will determine which type of test to use based on whether an outbreak is present or not.

If youre experiencing what you believe to be a herpes outbreak, your doctor can use a viral culture test or virus antigen detection test. If youre not experiencing symptoms, you can have an antibody test.

  • Viral culture test.This test is used to determine if a sore contains the herpes virus. This test can sometimes produce a false-negative, meaning that it may not detect the virus even though its present.
  • Virus antigen detection test. This test is used to determine if antigens to the herpes virus are present in a sore or lesion.
  • Antibody test. If youre not experiencing an outbreak yet but still believe you may have been exposed, you can opt to have an antibody test performed. This test will only show a positive result if the antibodies to the virus have been developed. Therefore, this test isnt necessarily recommended for recent exposure.
  • Polymerase chain reaction test. With this test, a healthcare provider can screen a sample of your blood or tissue from a sore. They can use this to determine if HSV is present and which type you have.

Testing With No Symptoms

Do STD Tests Check For Herpes? Probably Not &  Here

Blood tests can be used when a person has no visible symptoms but has concerns about having herpes. Blood tests do not actually detect the virus instead, they look for antibodies in the blood.

IgM vs. IgG

When an individual contracts herpes, the immune system responds by developing antibodies to fight the virus: IgG and IgM. Blood tests can look for and detect these antibodiesnot the virus itself. IgG appears soon after infection and stays in the blood for life. IgM is actually the first antibody that appears after infection, but it may disappear thereafter.

IgM tests are not recommended because of three serious problems:

The accurate herpes blood tests detect IgG antibodies. Unlike IgM, IgG antibodies can be accurately broken down to either HSV-1 or HSV-2. The challenge here is that the time it takes for IgG antibodies to reach detectable levels can vary from person to person. For one person, it could take just a few weeks, while it could take a few months for another. So even with the accurate tests, a person could receive a false negative if the test is taken too soon after contracting the virus.

For the most accurate test result, it is recommended to wait 12 16 weeks from the last possible date of exposure before getting an accurate, type-specific blood test in order to allow enough time for antibodies to reach detectable levels.

Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Get Herpes Test Results

What Is Life Like For Someone Who Has Genital Herpes

The virus that causes genital herpes stays inside your body forever. While many people carry this virus, some dont know that they have it because they never have an outbreak.

If you have an outbreak, taking an antiviral medicine can shorten the outbreak and relieve symptoms. Some people have several outbreaks. For most people, the outbreaks become less severe and occur less often with time.

Anyone who has been infected with the virus, however, can spread the virus to others during sex. Even if you never have an outbreak, you can still spread the virus.

Related AAD resources

Centers for Disease Control. Genital Herpes – CDC Fact Sheet . Last accessed December 19, 2016.

Fatahzadeh M and Schwartz RA. Human herpes simplex virus infections: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, symptomatology, diagnosis, and management. J Am Acad Dermatol 2007 57:737-63.

Madkan V Sra K, et al. Human herpesviruses. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008:1075-6.

Marques AR, Straus SE, Herpes simplex. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008: 1199-1204.

US Preventive Task Force. Serologic screening for genital herpes infection: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2016 316:2525-30.

What Tests Are Available For Genital Herpes

Common methods for testing genital herpes include swabs, blood testing, and visual examination by a healthcare provider.

The most common testing method in Canada is swabbing the lesionâs surface and sending it to a lab for testing. This cell culture test can determine whether HSV-1 or HSV-2 caused the genital herpes infection.

Swab testing is most likely to detect HSV when completed within 72 hours of symptoms first appearing.

Getting regular STI tests is a critical way to prevent infection or reinfection of sexual partners. â

Also Check: How To Tell Some You Have Herpes

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.

The Different Types Of Herpes

Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of herpes | Infectious diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

Herpes, or the herpes simplex virus, is a highly contagious and common virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes. You may become infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 or herpes simplex virus type 2 . Each type of virus causes unique symptoms, so its important to understand their differences.

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Submission And Collection Notes

Follow the instructions found in the Virus-Culture Kit Instruction Sheet.

HSV resistance testing is also available at NML (National Microbiology Laboratory, Winnipeg when clinically indicated. Specimens submitted for this test is initially cultured at PHO Laboratory prior to submission to NML for HSV 1 or HSV 2 resistant testing: NML guidelines-Viral Exanthemata and STDs-Viral STI, Polyoma and Herpesvirus unit.

What Can Be Confused With Genital Herpes

Can Be MistakenHerpescanherpesgenitalmay be mistakenherpes

. Just so, can you get misdiagnosed with herpes?

Turns out herpes is misdiagnosed 20% of the time, with professionals mistaking everything from fungal and yeast infections to other skin conditions for the STD. It can take up to 16 weeks to for virtually anyone with herpes to have the antibodies show up in an STD blood test.

Beside above, can chancroid be mistaken for herpes? A few days after a person is infected, chancroid might look like one or more little red sores. Diagnosing chancroid is its own challenge. The symptoms are often confused with those of herpes and syphilis. If a doctor suspects a patients symptoms are caused by chancroid, she would have no easy diagnostic test to use.

Furthermore, what does genital herpes look like?

Genital sores vary in size and number, but as with oral herpes, they look like pimples or blisters filled with fluid. They will burst and develop a yellowy crust as they heal. Females are more likely to have trouble urinating during a genital herpes outbreak than men.

What can cause a false positive herpes test?

Herpes tests arent the only ones with a risk of false positive results. False positives can occur for any test that diagnoses viral infection based on antibodies, i.e., your bodys immune reaction, rather than direct detection of the virus.

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Read Also: How To Heal Genital Herpes Fast

Can My Kids Use This Too

Many peer-reviewed clinical studies have shown light therapy to be safe and efficacious. However, if you have any concerns about using it with children, we recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Please also note, all treatments with children should be done under adult supervision.

Started using this device during the middle of an outbreak I had while taking Acyclovir. Since using this treatment, Ive been able to get off meds.

Also Check: Can I Take Herpes Medication While Pregnant

Myth: A Condom Protects 100% Against Genital Herpes

How to Recognize the Signs of Herpes One on the Head of a Penis ...

The herpes virus is always active in your body, even when no sores are present.

Wearing a condom is an important preventative measure if you or your partner has herpes, but it doesnt guarantee complete protection. The herpes virus lives both inside and outside the area a condom covers, so it can still spread from one person to another.

If youre concerned about contracting or transmitting herpes, dont have sex if you or your partner has an active herpes outbreak. The virus is more likely to spread when active sores and ulcers exist. Its also important that the infected person regularly take antiviral medicine to keep their infection under control.

Recommended Reading: What Can You Do To Treat Genital Herpes

How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Genital Herpes

If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting genital herpes:

  • Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected with an STD
  • Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.

Be aware that not all herpes sores occur in areas that are covered by a latex condom. Also, herpes virus can be released from areas of the skin that do not have a visible herpes sore. For these reasons, condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.

If you are in a relationship with a person known to have genital herpes, you can lower your risk of getting genital herpes if:

  • Your partner takes an anti-herpes medication every day. This is something your partner should discuss with his or her doctor.

Recommended Reading: Do You Have To Take Medication For Herpes

More Information About Oral & Genital Herpes Testing

How Did I Get Herpes Simplex Virus?

HSV-1 is often transmitted through kissing, sexual contact, oral secretions, sharing personal objects liketoothbrushes, and direct contact with herpes sores. HSV-2 is seldom spread in ways other than sex and directcontact with genitals of someone who is herpes-positive. Those who have herpes often do not display symptoms atfirst. It can take weeks, months, or even years before symptoms appear, which aids the virus in spreading.

Though its important to always practice safe sex, herpes can occasionally be transmitted even when usingprotection. This is why its important to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about theirstatus, to be aware of the symptoms to look out for and to understand that herpes can be contracted even when nosymptoms are present.

Do You Use a Blood or Urine Sample to Test for Herpes?

The herpes type 1 and 2 type-specific antibody test requires a blood sample to be taken. This type oftesting is the most accurate and reliable option available.

How do I Prepare to Test for Herpes Simplex Virus?

No preparation is necessary prior to testing, including fasting or appointments.

When Should I Test for HSV-1 & HSV-2?

If youre experiencing symptoms, get tested immediately! If youre not experiencing symptoms, our cliniciansrecommend waiting at least four weeks after potential exposure to the herpes virus before getting tested to ensurehigher accuracy.

Herpes Test Results Explained

Recommended Reading: What Are Antibodies For Herpes

How Do Healthcare Providers Test For Herpes

How are you tested for herpes at a clinic or healthcare providerâs office? Healthcare providers will examine the location and severity of any active blisters or sores around the mouth or genital area. They may take a tissue sample of the sores to send to a laboratory for examination. A blood sample will be needed if an antibody test is used to check whether you have been infected with the herpes virus.

Best For Quick Results: Stdcheck

Understanding Genital Herpes

STDcheck offers tests for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. A person can order an HSV-2 test for $45, or they can order a test for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 for $79. There is also an option to order a test package that tests for 10 different STIs.

This option is best for people who need their results quickly.

Collection method

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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
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.

How Common Is Genital Herpes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 40 million to 50 million adults in the United States have genital herpes. HSV II infection is more common in women and in people who have had more than five sexual partners. Most people with HSV II do not know they have it, because it does not always cause symptoms.

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Taking A Genital Or Oral Herpes Test

Testing for genital and oral herpes may be performed with a blood sample or a sample of fluid swabbed or scraped from a sore. Both types of samples are collected by a health professional when conducted at a doctors offices, clinic, or community organization.

If a patient is experiencing an outbreak, a doctor can collect a sample for testing by swabbing or scraping a sore. Material from the sore can be used for a herpes viral culture, PCR testing,

A Tzanck smear or an antibody test.

If a patient is not currently experiencing an outbreak, a blood test may be used to identify HSV antibodies. If a doctor suspects a brain infection with HSV, a lumbar puncture may be performed to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid for analysis.

Genital Herpes Treatment In Pregnancy

How Is an STD Test Performed?

You may be offered antiviral treatment:

  • to treat outbreaks in pregnancy
  • from 36 weeks to reduce the chance of an outbreak during birth
  • from diagnosis until the birth if you first get herpes after 28 weeks of pregnancy

Many women with genital herpes have a vaginal delivery. You may be offered a caesarean, depending on your circumstances.

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