What To Expect From An Hsv
HSV-2 testing should be conducted between four and six weeks after potential exposure.
When the body is infected with HSV-2, it produces antibodies to help fight the infection, called immunoglobulin G . The HerpeSelect® Herpes Type 2 Test is used to identify IgG in the blood. The HerpeSelect® Herpes Type 2 Test is 97 to 99 percent accurate between four to six weeks post-exposure and remains 99 percent accurate after 6 weeks post-exposure. Its important to wait at least four weeks after exposure, because it takes time for the body to develop antibodies that are detected by a blood test. The HerpeSelect® Herpes Type 2 Test detects HSV-2, even when there are no symptoms and the infection is not active.
Our herpes type 2 blood test requires a blood draw from the arm. Simply choose your test, use our lab locator to find the lab closest to you, and visit at your convenience. An appointment is not necessary, and walk-ins are welcome. You can expect results to arrive to your HealthLabs.com account in one to three business days.
The herpes type 2 blood test does not test for herpes type 1. If you would also like to be tested for herpes type 1, consider using our HerpeSelect® herpes type 1 & 2 panel.
Genital Herpes Is Common Why Doesnt Cdc Recommend Testing Everyone For This Std
CDC does not recommend herpes testing for people without symptoms. This is because diagnosing genital herpes in someone without symptoms has not shown any change in their sexual behavior nor has it stopped the virus from spreading. Also, false positive test results are possible. Even if you do not have symptoms, you should talk openly and honestly about your sexual history with your doctor to find out if you should be tested for any STDs, including herpes.
Although CDC does not recommend that everyone get tested for herpes, herpes testing may be useful in some situations. Herpes blood tests might be useful
- If you have genital symptoms that could be related to herpes,
- If you have a sex partner with genital herpes, or
- If you want a complete STD exam, especially if you have multiple sex partners.
Please note that while a herpes blood test can help determine if you have herpes infection, it will not be able to tell you who gave you the infection.
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.
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Should I Get Routinely Tested For Herpes
The CDC doesnt recommend routine testing for herpes. Individuals who are diagnosed with genital herpes but who do not have symptoms typically dont change their sexual behavior. Therefore, routine testing has not been effective at preventing the spread of the virus. It is also possible to get a false positive result from a herpes test, which is another reason the CDC doesnt encourage routine use of the test.
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I Have Symptoms But My Hsv 2 Blood Test Was Negative
Although HSV 2 is the most common infection that causes genital herpes, the HSV 1 virus can also cause the same signs and symptoms. Most of the time HSV 1 presents itself as an active infection by the presence of cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth. These will last for about 10-14 days in most individuals and created crusted sores in the corner of the mouth that can make it very painful to eat.
If an individual with an active HSV 1 infection of the mouth performs oral sex on their partner, then this can create an active genital herpes infection. If this happens, then the HSV 2 blood test could be negative because a different herpes virus has caused the bothersome symptoms.
The HSV 2 blood test has also been known to create false positive results from time to time. If this blood test is positive, but you do not have any known genital herpes outbreaks, did not have a positive culture test, and did not have a positive PCR result, then an immunoblot test may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis. If the immunoblot test is given, a test result that is higher than 1.1 is generally considered to be a strong indication of the presence of herpes.
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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
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Is There Anything Else I Should Know
Herpes can make people more susceptible to HIV infection. The skin lesions give other sexually transmitted diseases , including HIV, openings for entering the body. Likewise, it can make HIV-infected individuals more infectious. Infection with HSV can also increase HIV viral load. HSV-2 infection is a significant opportunistic infection in HIV-infected individuals due to immune system deficiencies up to 90% of HIV-infected individuals are co-infected with HSV-2.
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How We Chose The Best At
When researching at-home herpes tests, we considered online reviews, privacy protocols, result times, result accuracy, and budget.
We prioritized affordable pricing and accessibility to digital results. Additionally, we kept an eye on user ratings and reviews to ensure that most people received accurate results and were happy with their experience.
How To Avoid Genital Herpes
Using condoms reduces the risk of contracting all sexually transmitted infections including genital herpes.
Genital herpes can be passed on even when there are not blisters present.
However, the blisters and sores are highly infectious, so if you or a partner have cold sores or genital herpes:
- avoid kissing when you, or a partner, have cold sores around the mouth
- avoid oral sex when you, or a partner, have mouth or genital sores
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When Is The Hsv 2 Blood Test Most Useful
If someone wants to know if they have genital herpes because of their sexual history, then the HSV 2 blood test can provide conclusive information about whether or not they have been infected. This result can then help to reduce future transmissions to additional sexual partners. It is also useful to confirm a herpes diagnosis if someone is suffering from the symptoms of an active infection.
The symptoms of an HSV 2 infection can be so mild that they are undetectable. Many people who are infected with genital herpes do not know that they have it. If there are active symptoms, however, they will typically involve the presence of a small blister that will eventually break and ooze fluid. The blister than scabs over and becomes a painful sore that takes several weeks to heal.
There may also be flu-like symptoms experienced with the first outbreak of symptoms after the initial infection. This may include a fever, chronic and severe fatigue, nausea, and dizziness.
The issue with an HSV 2 infection is that the body is always shedding the active virus. People can transmit HSV 2 even if they arent experiencing active symptoms. The herpes virus can also make people 2x more susceptible to other STD infections, particularly HIV. This is because small, unnoticeable cracks in the skin can occur around the genital region to allow the virus to have access to the body. Herpes also attracts the cells that HIV likes to infect.
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How Do I Know If I Have Genital Herpes
Most people with genital herpes have no symptoms or have very mild symptoms. Mild symptoms may go unnoticed or be mistaken for other skin conditions like a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people do not know they have a herpes infection.
Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. This is known as having an outbreak. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. Flu-like symptoms also may occur during the first outbreak.
People who experience an initial outbreak of herpes can have repeated outbreaks, especially if they have HSV-2. However, repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. Although genital herpes is a lifelong infection, the number of outbreaks may decrease over time.
Ask a healthcare provider to examine you if:
- You notice any symptoms or
- Your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD.
STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly genital discharge, burning when peeing, or bleeding between periods .
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How Is Herpes Simplex Diagnosed
Healthcare providers may diagnose herpes simplex based on how the sores look. Your provider may take a sample from the sore. Laboratory analysis of the sample can confirm or rule out the herpes virus.
If you dont have sores, your healthcare provider can use a blood test to check for HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibody, a marker showing youve been exposed to the virus. The blood test doesnt show an active infection . But it informs your provider whether youve been exposed to the herpes virus in the past. If this is your first infection, you may not test positive for herpes if there hasnt been enough time for your body to develop antibodies. The HSV-1and HSV-2 antibody test may be repeated in eight to 12 weeks.
How To Read Your Results
Your HSV test results will likely be reported as negative or positive :
- Negative. The herpes virus was not found. However, you may still have an HSV infection if your results were negative. It may mean the sample didnt have enough virus to be detected. If you still have symptoms of herpes, you may need to order another test.
- Positive. HSV was found in your sample. It may mean you have an active infection or contracted the virus in the past .
If your test results are positive for HSV, talk with a doctor about your next steps.
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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.
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Symptoms Of Genital Herpes
Most people with herpes type 2 do not have symptoms and have no idea they are infected. However, it is still possible to pass genital herpes onto another person even when there are no visible signs of infection.
When symptoms are present, they may include:
- Blisters and sores on the genital, buttock, thigh, or rectal areas
- Flu-like symptoms
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Is There A Cure Or Treatment For Herpes
There is no cure for herpes. Antiviral medications can, however, prevent or shorten outbreaks during the period of time the person takes the medication.11 In addition, daily suppressive therapy for herpes can reduce the likelihood of transmission to partners.11
There is currently no commercially available vaccine that is protective against genital herpes infection. Candidate vaccines are in clinical trials.
Can You Donate Blood With Hsv 2
According to the American Red Cross donor eligibility guidelines, people with HSV are allowed to donate blood , unless they have another prohibitive infection, like HIV or hepatitis. However: People having their first herpes outbreak are discouraged from donating, and are asked to wait about a month.
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Genital Herpes Is Common Shouldnt Cdc Recommend Testing For Everyone
CDC recommends herpes testing for people who have genital symptoms to confirm if they have it. Testing allows a healthcare provider to talk with patients about what to expect in the future. This includes talking about medications that help with symptoms. Providers can also tell patients how to lower the risk of transmitting herpes to sex partner.
CDC does not recommend herpes testing for people without symptoms in most situations. This is because of the limits of a herpes blood test and the possibility of a wrong test result. The chances of wrong test results are higher for people who are at low risk of infection.
Blood tests might be useful if:
- You have genital symptoms that could be related to herpes, or
- You have a sex partner with genital herpes, or
- Your provider found signs of herpes, but you still need a test to confirm it.
If you are sexually active, talk openly and honestly with your healthcare provider about what tests are right for you. These tips can help.
What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes Simplex
Many people with the infection never experience any herpes symptoms. If you do notice symptoms, youll experience them differently depending on whether youre having your first herpes outbreak or a repeat outbreak. Recurring symptoms are usually milder than the first outbreak. Symptoms dont last as long with later outbreaks. Some people may only have one or two outbreaks during their lifetime. Others may have as many as four or five outbreaks a year.
People who do have herpes symptoms may experience:
- Cold sores around their lips, mouth or tongue. They may look crusty or like fluid-filled blisters.
- Tingling, itching or burning.
- Pain while urinating.
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What Are The Complications Of Genital Herpes
Genital herpes may cause painful genital ulcers that can be severe and persistent in persons with suppressed immune systems, such as HIV-infected persons. 5 Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also cause rare but serious complications such as aseptic meningitis . 5 Development of extragenital lesions may occur during the course of infection. 5
Can I Still Have Sex If I Have Herpes
If you have herpes, you should talk to your sex partner and let him or her know that you do and the risk involved. Using condoms may help lower this risk but it will not get rid of the risk completely. Having sores or other symptoms of herpes can increase your risk of spreading the disease. Even if you do not have any symptoms, you can still infect your sex partners.
You may have concerns about how genital herpes will impact your overall health, sex life, and relationships. It is best for you to talk to a health care provider about those concerns, but it also is important to recognize that while herpes is not curable, it can be managed with medication. Daily suppressive therapy for herpes can also lower your risk of spreading genital herpes to your sex partner. Be sure to discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider. Since a genital herpes diagnosis may affect how you will feel about current or future sexual relationships, it is important to understand how to talk to sexual partners about STDsexternal icon.
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Hsv 2 Blood Test Results Explained
The HSV 2 blood test is used to determine if there is a type 2 genital herpes infection in specific situations: if someone has genital symptoms that could be related to herpes or if someone has had a sexual partner who has symptomatic herpes at the time. The HSV 2 blood test is also sometimes ordered when performing a complete STD panel. It may also be recommend for individuals who have multiple sexual partners within a short period of time.
The HSV 2 blood test may only need to be given once. Herpes is a virus that creates a chronic, lifelong infection. Once someone tests positive for this virus, then they will always test positive for herpes. Because the virus is not believed to spread unless there is symptomatic genital herpes present during sexual intercourse, however, routine testing is generally considered unnecessary unless the risk factors are in place.
The Average Person Experiences 4
The issue with HSV 2 is that it can spread even when safe sex measures are taken. A condom may not protect a sexual partner who has not been infected with herpes. It can be present on any skin that remains uncovered while having intercourse and then spread.
Sometimes genital herpes is mistaken for other health conditions, such as a bacterial, bladder, or yeast infection. If there are persistent symptoms that do not go away or are accompanied by tingling feelings around the genital region, then the HSV 2 blood test may help to provide confirmation of the health issue.
There is no cure for genital herpes, but there are treatments available that can help to lessen the symptoms that are experienced. Antivral medications can help with discomfort and some people may benefit from taking a daily medication that suppresses the virus. Even so, it is still possible to have 4-6 outbreaks every year.
The HSV 2 blood test is useful when it has never been given before. Once a person tests positive, however, then this blood test will always be positive because the antibodies never go away. It is a lifelong chronic infection. Speak to a medical provider today about your risk factors, take preventative measures to prevent transmission during sex, and avoid sexual contact with active symptoms. In doing so, you may be able to reduce or stop the spread of this virus.
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