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.
Staying Safe While Avoiding Panic And Stigma
It can be tempting to freak out a little bit when you realize that herpes is both super-common and something you arent routinely getting tested for. So how do you process that information?
The first step is practicing the same safe sex that you know helps protect you from other STIs. Your best bet here is a barrier method like internal and external condoms for any penetration and physical shields such as dental dams for any oral play. Even though this wont fully protect you from herpes , it will reduce how much of your skin touches your partners.
This is why screening for herpes infection in the absence of any symptoms wouldnt really do much to cut back on casesthe advice would be the same: Practice safe sex with barrier methods. I agree right now with the recommendations not to screen people, but I think if we had a better diagnostic strategy, I would be much more in favor of routine screenings, Dr. Johnston says. It is important for people to know their status so they can protect themselves and their partners.
If you think you have herpes, see a doctor such as your ob/gyn or dermatologist , or go to your local health clinic. A medical expert can evaluate your symptoms, take samples for testing, and eventually offer treatment options if you need them.
You will likely be started on antiviral medications to help you heal faster and make you less contagious, Dr. Bard says.
What Happens During An Std Test
Depending on the type of suspected infection, you may get one of the following types of tests:
- Used to diagnose syphilis, HIV, and sometimes herpes
- During the test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial
- Used to diagnose trichomoniasis and sometimes gonorrhea
- During the test, you will provide a sterile sample of urine in a cup as instructed by your provider
- Used to diagnose HPV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes
Lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap
- This is not a frequently used STD test, but it may be ordered if your provider thinks you have an advanced stage of syphilis or if a herpes infection has affected your brain or spinal cord.
- For this test, a provider will inject an anesthetic into your back, so you wonât feel any pain during the procedure.
- Once the area is numb, the provider will insert a thin, hollow needle between two vertebrae in your lower spine. Vertebrae are the small bones that make up your spine. Your provider will then withdraw a small amount of fluid for testing.
You may also be able to check for STDs with an at-home test. Home test kits are available for several STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and hepatitis C.
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How Can I Book My Test
To arrange a booking with Better2Know today, you can book online by clicking on the orange button at the top of the page. If you would prefer to contact us personally, or have any additional queries, then please call us using the number displayed above. Our expert Patient Services team can answer your questions or help you choose the most suitable screen that will meet your requirements.
Will I Need To Do Anything To Prepare For The Test
You don’t need any special preparations for a blood test. If you’re a woman, you may need to avoid douches and vaginal creams for 24 hours before a urine or swab test.
You may need to empty your bladder before a lumbar puncture.
Your provider will let you know if you need to make any other preparations.
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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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Where Can You Be Tested For Stis
Some of the places you can go to recieve STI testing include:
- Planned Parenthood. STI testing is available at Planned Parenthood. Costs vary by certain factors, including income, demographics and assistance eligibility.
- Doctors office. For quick testing, you can schedule an appointment with your doctor, or visit your local urgent care center.
- Local health clinics. Most government-funded healthcare clinics offer free or low-cost STI testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV. Some also receive funding to test for herpes, trichomoniasis, and hepatitis.
- Pharmacy. Some pharmacies offer the options to schedule testing for certain STIs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV.
- At home. Currently, the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test is the only HIV test thats FDA approved, but there are other options if you dont live in the United States. There are also other STI home-testing kits like LetsGetChecked, STD Check, Everlywell, and Nurx.
Several STIs are notifiable diseases. That means your doctor is legally required to report positive results to the government. The government tracks information about STIs to inform public health initiatives. Notifiable STIs include:
Depending on your sexual history, your doctor may order a variety of tests to check you for STIs, including:
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Recommended Specimens And Tests In Symptomatic People
Testing by NAAT is appropriate when:
Cultures from lesions caused by HSV can yield positive results within 24 hours.
Sensitivity varies depending on the lesion being sampled Footnote 21. Sensitivity of culture declines when lesions start to heal and is low for recurrent lesionsFootnote 21. Due to its superior sensitivity, consider NAAT when a false negative culture result is suspectedFootnote 1Footnote 23. If NAAT is not available, viral culture can be repeated on fresh lesions.
Consult the local laboratory for the availability of HSV TSS.
A study of TSS showed a sensitivity of 80.5% and specificity of 98.5% for HSV-2, and a sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 96.4% for HSV-1Footnote 28.
TSS testing can demonstrate whether partners are serodifferent or serodiscordant or concordant .
TSS may be useful in the following situations:
TSS should not be used for screening asymptomatic people because:
Best For Private Pay: Healthlabscom
Why We Chose It: HealthLabs.com offers a price guarantee. If you find the test that you ordered for a lower price elsewhere, it will match that price and provide a 10% discount.
Has a variety of testing options that include at-home herpes testing
Tests are run at the same labs that doctors use
Offer single type-specific tests for HSV-1 or HSV-2, which some people might choose to save money, not realizing that both viruses can infect the genitals
No medical consultation included, although patients can get help interpreting results
With HealthLabs.com, your order and pay for your test online and then go to a local lab to have your blood drawn. Thousands of testing locations are available around the country, and you should be able to find a site near you. Some locations may allow you to make an appointment in advance for testing. Then when you arrive, they will draw your blood and send it off for testing.
The least expensive herpes test that looks for HSV-1 and HSV-2 is $158, and a variety of other testing options are available. FSA cards can be used for purchase. When your test results are available, generally within 1-3 days, you will be sent email instructions to log into your secure online account and access your results. Medical consultations are not available with this company, although it will offer help understanding your test results over the phone or through live chat.
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There Are Two Common Blood Tests Used To Identify Herpes And Theyre Often Misleading
I had a patient once who underwent this test, which was positive, and was told she has herpes, which to her was devastating and life-altering, Friedman says. She burst into tears when I explained the significance or lack thereof with this test, which is very misleading. There are two common blood tests used to identify herpes: IgG and IgM. The IgM test is still used by some doctors even though it has been denounced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . According to the American Sexual Health Association , IgM tests can lead to deceptive results, as well as false assumptions about how and when a person acquired HSV.
And thats not all: IgM tests fail to accurately distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies, leading them to provide false-positive results for HSV-2. In other words, if youve been exposed to oral herpes , results of the IgM test could lead you to believe youre positive for genital herpes, when in fact you simply have antibodies against HSV-1.
IgG tests, on the other hand, are more accurate, but arent without their own issues. For instance, ASHA says that while an IgG test can distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2, the problem is that the time it takes for IgG antibodies to reach a detectable level varies from person to person. This means that even with accurate results, someone could get a false-negative if they have the test administered too soon after contracting the virus .
How Do You Get Rid Of A Herpes Outbreak Fast
The most effective treatment method is prescription medication from a doctor. This can be in the form of topical cream or an oral medication.
If you suspect you have herpes and would like to speak to a physician and/or get tested and treated online, book an appointment with a PlushCare doctor now.
We accept insurance and appointments are available every 15 minutes. Our doctors can order lab tests for a herpes test and diagnose you based on the results.
If you have already been diagnosed with herpes they can prescribe you a treatment plan, including any necessary medications.
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When Should I Talk With A Doctor
If you have a primary care doctor who you regularly visit, you can share your results with them to provide better insight into your next steps.
If you dont have a primary care doctor, you can consult with a physician or nurse from the testing site about treatment options.
If youve been treating your symptoms with medication and are still in pain or discomfort, reach out to a healthcare professional.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hsv
Most of the HSV-2 infections occur without any noticeable symptoms and signs which makes most of the infected persons unaware of the infection. About 10-20% of the people infected with HSV-2 report a prior diagnosis of genital herpes, which can also be caused by HSV-1. The common symptoms of the infection caused by HSV-2 include,
- One or more blisters in the genital area
- Open sores or ulcers in the genitals
In addition to the above-mentioned symptoms of genital infection, the symptoms and signs of new genital herpes often include,
- Pain and itching
Most of the mild symptoms of genital herpes go unnoticed and unrecognized. Regular testing can avoid the development of the infection and can help decrease the severity of the disease.
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Book Your Herpes Test
Better2Know is the worlds leading provider of private sexual health testing services. We will arrange a clinic appointment or home testing kit quickly, and deliver fast and accurate results for your peace of mind. If you have any concerns about your sexual health, please call our friendly booking team on the number above or click Book Now.
Are There Any Risks To The Test
There is no known risk to having a swab 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.
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.
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What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Herpes
Most of the people do not show any symptoms for months or years after the initial exposure. Those people who experience the symptoms in the initial period will notice within 4 to 12 days of exposure. The symptoms of herpes infection might be recurring for some people. The following are the most common symptoms caused by herpes simplex virus 1 and 2.
What Is Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is a highly contagious sexually transmitted infection that is caused by Herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2 . People aged 14 to 50 years are more prone to infection. Direct or indirect contact with the virus through sexual contact or sexual activity is the primary reason for the transmission.
Herpes simplex virus type 1
HSV-1 is a highly transmissible viral infection, which is very common throughout the world. Most HSV-1 infections are seen in youngsters and teens and they can develop from childhood and may stay for a lifetime. Most cases of type 1 herpes are oral herpes, which is infections in or around the mouth, which are commonly called orolabial, oral-facial herpes, or oral-labial. But according to statistics, a proportion of the reported cases of HSV-1 also include genital herpes.
According to WHO reports, an estimated 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 had herpes simplex virus type 1 in 2016. The highest number of cases were reported in Africa and the lowest in America.
Causes of Herpes simplex virus type 1
- Oral-to-oral contact
- Oral-genital contact without safety measures
- An infected mother to child during childbirth
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Herpes Is Very Commonand Not Easy To Spread
The CDC estimates that between 2015 and 2016 nearly 50 percent of the population had HSV-1, which is typically associated with cold sores but can cause genital herpes through oral sex, and about 12 percent of the population had HSV-2, which is usually genital herpes. But if youve never had any herpes symptoms, youre highly unlikely to spread the disease since its most likely to spread during an outbreak. And even when people know they have herpes, studies show that the knowledge doesnÃ¢t necessarily change their behavior. Meaning, if they were going to have unprotected sex anyway, knowing they have herpes wonÃ¢t stop them.
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The Different Types Of Herpes
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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Is A Blood Test For Genital Herpes Included When I Ask To Be Tested For Everything Why Does Cdc Recommend Testing For Other Stds But Not Herpes
Herpes blood tests may or may not be included. Your doctor chooses STD tests based on your sexual behaviors , as well as how common the infection is in the area that you live in. This is why you should have an open and honest discussion with your doctor about your sex practices and history. When you go in for STD testing, it is important to ask your doctor which infections you are and are not being tested for, and why.
STD tests are usually done for infections that have serious outcomes if they are not treated. For example, finding and treating curable STDs like chlamydia can stop them from causing serious complications like infertility in women. Genital herpes does not usually result in serious outcomes in healthy, non-pregnant adults. More often, the stigma and shame from a genital herpes infection can be more troubling to someone who is infected than the disease itself. If you are worried about genital herpes, you should talk with your doctor about whether you should be tested.
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