How Do I Get Genital Herpes
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be transferred from person to person through sexual and some non-sexual contact. Its more likely for individuals to spread or contract herpes during an outbreak when blisters are present, but herpes can still spread even when symptoms arent present. Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. Transmission can occur from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore and may not know that he or she is infected.
HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but it more commonly causes infections of the mouth and lips, so-called fever blisters. You can, for instance, get herpes from kissing someone. HSV-1 infection of the genitals can be caused by oral-genital or genital-genital contact with a person who has HSV-1 infection. Genital HSV-1 outbreaks recur less regularly than genital HSV-2 outbreaks.
What Happens During A Herpes Test
If you have blisters or sores, your doctor or nurse will gently take a sample of fluid from the sores with a swab and test it.
If you dont have any sores, talk with your doctor or nurse about whether a blood test for herpes makes sense for you. But herpes tests aren’t normally recommended unless you do have symptoms.
The idea of getting tested may seem scary, but try to chill out. STD testing is a regular part of being a responsible adult and taking care of your health. And herpes tests are quick and usually painless.
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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What Is A Genital Herpes Outbreak Like
Everyones experience during an outbreak is different. For some, the pain may be mild. For others, it may be more intense. Generally, though, the first outbreaks are the most painful as well as the most frequent. With time, outbreaks tend to be less painful and less frequent. Outbreaks after the first are called recurrentoutbreaks.
Genital And Oral Herpes Testing
- Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2
- Qualitative PCR
- Herpes Simplex Virus Culture
- Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1- and Type 2-Specific Antibodies
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How Much Do At
Most insurance companies do not cover herpes testing, either at-home or in-person. At-home tests cost an average of around $120 to $130, although some companies offer a discount for people who subscribe to regular testing. If your insurance does cover herpes testing, consider using one of the companies that bill insurance. This may be able to reduce your cost significantly. In some instances, you may be able to get reimbursed by your insurance company for testing.
Why The Test Is Performed
The test is done to find out whether a person has ever been infected with oral or genital herpes. It looks for antibodies to herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 . An antibody is a substance made by the bodys immune system when it detects harmful substances such as the herpes virus. This test does not detect the virus itself.
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Common Blood Tests And How Long It Takes To Get Results
Some of the more common blood tests a doctor may order include:
- Complete blood count .This test measures the presence of 10 cell types in the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Examples of these results include hematocrit, hemoglobin, red blood cell count, and white blood cell count. CBC results are usually available to your doctor within 24 hours.
- Basic metabolic panel.This test measures common electrolytes in the blood as well as other compounds. Examples include calcium, glucose, sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide, chloride, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine. You may be asked to fast for a certain period of time before having your blood drawn. These results are also typically sent to your doctor within 24 hours.
- Complete metabolic panel. This blood test measures all the factors mentioned in the test above as well as two protein tests, albumin and total protein, as well as four tests of liver function. These include ALP, ALT, AST, and bilirubin. A doctor may order this more comprehensive testing if they wish to understand more about your liver or kidney function. Theyll usually receive your results within one to three days.
- Lipid panel. Lipid panels measure the amount of cholesterol in the body. This includes high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein . Your doctor should receive results from the lab within 24 hours.
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Herpes Blood Test Results Explained
A herpes blood test is not considered to be a general screening test because false positive results are a possibility. Genital herpes is a fairly common sexually transmitted disease, so if youre concerned about an infection of the HSV-1 or HSV2 virus, it is important to discuss your sexual history with your doctor to determine if this blood test is right for you.
There are a lot of questions about the herpes blood test, so this guide is intended to help everyone understand why the recommendations for testing are designed as they are today.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Genital Herpes
Most people infected with HSV-2 are not aware of their infection. However, the signs and symptoms of herpes during an initial outbreak can be quite pronounced. The first outbreak usually occurs within two weeks after the virus is transmitted, but the sores will also typically heal within two-to-four weeks. Other signs and symptoms during the primary episode may include a second crop of sores, and flu-like symptoms, such as fever and swollen glands. However, most individuals with HSV-2 infection never have sores, or they have very mild signs that they do not even notice or that they mistake for insect bites or other skin conditions like ingrown hairs or acne.
People who have one genital herpes outbreak can expect to have several more within a year. Over time, these outbreaks usually decrease in frequency. It is possible for a person to only become aware of the first episode years after the infection is acquired.
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How Common Is Genital Herpes
Results of a nationally representative study show that genital herpes infection is common in the United States. Nationwide, at least 45 million people ages 12 and older or one out of five adolescents and adults have genital herpes. Over the past decade, the percentage of Americans with HSV-1 has decreased, however that also means people are more susceptible to contracting genitals herpes from HSV-1.
Genital HSV-2 infection is more common in women than in men . This is because male-to-female transmission is more likely than female-to-male transmission.
When Is It Ordered
HSV PCR testing or herpes culture may be ordered when you have signs and symptoms of a herpes infection, such as a blister or blisters on or around your eye, mouth, genitals or rectum.
Herpes PCR testing may be ordered when you have signs and symptoms of encephalitis that a healthcare practitioner suspects may be caused by a virus. Examples of these signs and symptoms include:
Prenatal and newborn testing
- A pregnant woman who has been diagnosed with herpes may be monitored regularly prior to delivery to detect a reactivation of her infection.
- A baby born to a mother who has active lesions during delivery may be tested before symptoms appear to assess whether the baby was exposed to HSV during delivery.
- A mother and newborn may be tested for HSV soon after delivery when a baby shows signs of HSV infection, such as meningitis or skin lesions that could be caused by the herpes virus.
HSV antibody testing may be done when your healthcare practitioner wants to determine if you have been exposed to HSV in the past.
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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.
How Does The At
At-home herpes tests take advantage of the fact that blood tests for herpes are widely available through commercial lab-testing sites. The vast majority of at-home herpes tests use the same tests that would be ordered at the doctors office, provided by the same laboratories. However, instead of going to a doctor, the tests are ordered online. This can be a good option for people who are uncomfortable discussing sexual behavior with their doctor or whose doctor is not willing to test for herpes.
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What Is The Herpes Blood Test
A blood test is another way to test for herpes. It works by checking for antibodies in the body. There are currently a few types of antibody tests for this condition, the most common being IgG and IgM. The best part about a blood test is that it can be used whether or not a person is experiencing symptoms.
However, blood tests that show antibodies are not always recommended. One drawback is that it can take time for herpes simplex antibodies to show up in the blood . This means that someone who was recently exposed might test negatively despite actually having herpes. It also cant tell a person how recently they were exposed or who might have given them the virus.
Furthermore, many people have been exposed to oral herpes in their lifetimes. This means they could test positively for herpes using an antibodies test, as their bodies have mounted an immune response to the virus before. However, the presence of HSV-1 antibodies does not necessarily mean that the person has had an outbreak herpes. A positive HSV-1 antibodies test result also does not indicate whether or not someone might have a genital or an oral infection.
All in all, herpes antibody blood tests might not be the most reliable form of testing for this condition. It is important to first discuss your sexual history and any symptoms with a licensed healthcare provider to determine if this type of test would be right for you.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have An Std
Your doctor will provide medication and therapy if your test tests positive. It is essential to know that it is not possible to cure all STDs. The antibiotic will generally clear the infection if the STD is bacterial or parasite and avoid complications. Many STDs can be successfully treated when detected early.
Consult one of our doctors in person or video chat with a Brooklyn area doctor for advice on the treatment of your STD.
Start care immediately, take the full course of medicine, and follow the advice of your doctor.
- Do not breastfeed an infant or use breast milk to feed a child.
- Any sexual activity should be with a single uninfected partner. And find out if they have any other partners.
- Delay having sex for as long as you can. The younger you are, the more likely you are to get an STD when you start having sex.
- Use a condom any time you have sex. They cant fully prevent an STD, but they decrease the chances.
- Notify and allow all prospective sexual partners to undergo medical assessments.
- Stop sexual intercourse while on STD treatment.
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Better Sexual Health In Indianapolis In
In between races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or visits to the state historical museum , you also want to get tested regularly for all of the sexually transmitted diseases. There are clinics in Indianapolis, but theyâre not always convenient. Instead, call, schedule an appointment for confidential testing for all STDs. Youâll spend less than 30 minutes in the lab, and then you can watch the race.
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Best For Quick Results: Stdcheck
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.
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What We Cannot Test For
Currently, there is no blood test available in Nova Scotia to detect human papillomavirus .Pap tests screen for cervical cell changes that can be caused by strains of HPV. Therefore, if someone has abnormal Pap test results, it is a good indication that they are carrying a strain of HPV. Currently, in Nova Scotia, we do not offer testing to detect early cell changes in the anus/rectum or throat caused by HPV.HPV can be diagnosed visually , but clients need to have a symptom in order to be diagnosed by a doctor. Anyone who ever notices any unusual lumps, bumps, blisters, etc. on their genitals should call their family doctor or our clinic to arrange an appointment as soon as possible.If someone has symptoms of herpes simplex virus , such as genital blisters or a cold sore, we can swab it and send the sample to the lab for confirmation. However, there is no blood test available in Nova Scotia to detect HSV. In other words, if you do not have any symptoms, we are unable to do any testing that would allow us to tell you whether or not you are carrying the virus.
You Really Need To Know
STD testing is one of those important life responsibilities, like taxes or car insurance. We are glad you are here, taking a responsible step toward helping yourself and potentially protecting other people. Getting tested for an STD doesnt have to be difficult. There are plenty of local STD testing centers standing by to help you take control of your health and empower you to live your life to the fullest.
Speak to a health care professional if there are any issues.
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What Should I Do If My Test Results Are Positive
Many at-home services have independent physicians or nurses reach out to people with positive test results. Theyll discuss your results with you and suggest a plan of action, possibly including medication.
If your results are positive, its important to let any recent sexual partners know so they can also get tested.
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.
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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.