Benefits And Downsides Of At
To decide if at-home genital and oral herpes testing is right for you, its important to remember that this form of testing has both benefits and downsides.
Benefits of at-home genital and oral herpes testing include:
- Transparent pricing: Costs can add up quickly when patients have testing performed in a doctors office or other medical facility. At-home testing offers transparent pricing that allows patients to rest assured that they understand the total price of genital and oral herpes testing.
- Privacy: At-home testing is private and convenient. Patients can order an at-home genital and oral herpes test kit when they want without having to make an appointment at a medical office or clinic.
- Easy to use: Testing for antibodies to HSV at home is a straightforward and simple process: order your test kit online, collect a small sample of blood from a simple finger prick using supplies contained in the test kit, and return your sample to the laboratory. Unlike testing performed by a doctor, theres no waiting room or blood draw from your arm.
The downsides of at-home genital and oral herpes testing include:
As you consider the benefits and downsides of at-home genital and oral herpes testing, it may be helpful to talk with a doctor or other health professional about testing for HSV in your specific case. It is especially important to talk with a doctor if you have active symptoms of a herpes infection.
What Is Oral Herpes
Oral herpes is primarily caused by HSV-1, although it is also possible to have an HSV-2 infection around the mouth.
A person with an oral herpes outbreak may first feel itching, burning, or tingling around the mouth, lips, or tongue. Later, cold sores or small blisters may develop in these areas or anywhere on the skin.
Roughly four to six days after these cold sores start leaking, they start healing by forming a crust. Outbreaks of oral herpes can last for two to three weeks, which can be shorter than the two to six weeks of a genital herpes outbreak.
People who develop symptoms of herpes may first experience tingling, itching, or burning, then notice sores or blisters forming around the mouth or genitals.
Symptoms tend to develop 220 days after exposure to the virus.
Warnings For Other Groups
For pregnant women: This drug is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:
Talk to your doctor if youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.
For women who are breastfeeding: This drug may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.
For seniors: The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
For children: This drug has not been studied for use in treatment or prevention of herpes simplex virus infection in newborn babies. The following are other age limitations for use of this drug:
All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:
- the severity of your condition
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
Read Also: Can Herpes Virus Cause Nerve Pain
What Is Herpes And What Is The Difference Between The Types Of Herpes
Herpes is a virus thats in the same family as shingles or chickenpox.
Both strains are treated by a provider in the same way based on where the infection is, not what strain of herpes you have, says Watkins.
Something Ive come to realize is that people who have HSV-1which typically causes cold soresthey almost are like, Well, I have HSV-1 so, its okay, says Emily DePasse, sexologist and herpes awareness activist. Its like theres this good and bad herpes, which is not the case. There is no bad or good herpesjust herpes.
When To See A Doctor
Because a person might not have symptoms even if they have herpes, it can be difficult to know when to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Planned Parenthood recommends that a person see a healthcare professional as soon as they notice sores on or around their genitals. Other STIs, such as syphilis, can have similar symptoms but require different treatment. The American Sexual Health Association also recommends seeing a doctor to get a culture of any lesion or cold sore a person notices.
People may wish to take an at-home STI test before seeing a doctor. However, at-home tests should not replace professional diagnosis and treatment.
- applying aloe vera gel to sores
- applying petroleum jelly to the affected areas
- wearing loose clothing to avoid irritation
- refraining from sexual activity, even with protection, until symptoms have gone
- applying a cream or lotion to the urethra before urinating, such as one that contains lidocaine
Some people find that using ice packs help. However, never apply ice directly to the skin wrap it in a cloth first.
Also Check: What Medication To Take For Genital Herpes
Medical Definition Of Herpes
- Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
Reviewed on 6/3/2021
Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesviruses, especially herpes simplex types 1 and 2.
Herpes simplex type 1, also known as human herpesvirus 1 , causes cold sores and fever blisters in the mouth and around it.
Herpes simplex type 2, also known as human herpesvirus 1 , causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease . Genital herpes is characterized by sores in the genital area.
Both herpes simplex types 1 and 2 are capable of causing systemic disease including encephalitis in someone who is immunodeficient.
The treatment of most infections with herpes simplex infections is by topical or oral anti-viral medication, although intravenous therapy is required to treat infections of the brain .
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What is the best treatment for me?
- Are there any side effects to my treatment?
- Is it safe to have unprotected sex if I dont have any sores?
- Can I give myself genital herpes if I also have oral herpes?
- Can I give someone else herpes even if Im not having an outbreak?
- What is the best way to prevent herpes outbreaks?
- Can I live a normal life with herpes?
- Am I at risk of developing any other diseases?
- Are there any support groups in my area?
- If I give my baby herpes, what is the treatment?
You May Like: How Does Herpes Look On Lips
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.
Donât Miss: Anti Itch Cream For Genital Herpes
Do Symptoms Differ Depending On Location
Youll most likely notice similar blisters and prodromal symptoms, no matter what type of the virus you have or where it shows up. The two different types of HSV .
The only major difference, of course, is where you experience symptoms:
- If HSV affects your genitals, you might notice pain or burning during urination.
- If HSV affects your mouth, you might have difficulty eating spicy or acidic foods while you have open sores.
Theres also a slight difference in where oral blisters appear, depending on whether theyre primary or recurrent. During the first episode, blisters may appear on your mouth and lips, but during later episodes, theyre more likely to
You May Like: What Is The Test For Herpes
Genital Herpes Cdc Fact Sheet
Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease that any sexually active person can get. Most people with the virus dont have symptoms. Even without signs of the disease, herpes can still be spread to sex partners.
Basic Fact Sheet | Detailed Version
Basic fact sheets are presented in plain language for individuals with general questions about sexually transmitted diseases. The content here can be syndicated .
Recommended Reading: What To Take For Herpes Outbreak
Dosage For Genital Herpes
- First episode: 1 g, taken twice per day for 10 days. This drug works best if its started within 48 hours of when the first symptom appears.
- Repeating episodes: 500 mg, taken twice per day for 3 days. Treatment should be started when the first symptom appears.
- For preventing flare-ups in people with a normal immune system: 500 mg to 1 g, taken once per day.
- For preventing flare-ups in people with HIV: 500 mg, taken twice per day.
- For reducing the risk of transmission to a sexual partner: 500 mg, taken once per day.
This drug has not been studied for the treatment of genital herpes in children younger than 18 years.
The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
Read Also: Can Antibiotics Cause Herpes Outbreak
Signs And Symptoms Of Herpes
Oral herpes is an infection in the mouth, caused by HSV-1 . Symptoms often include cold sores or fever blisters, but you can have oral herpes without any symptoms.
The herpes simplex virus can be dormant until an active outbreak occurs. The initial infection typically has the worst symptoms, ranging from flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes to headaches. Sores may occur in and around the lips and mouth. Recurring infections are usually milder, and may include redness, itching, or swelling. Painful, fluid-filled blisters can occur and are highly contagious. These blisters often turn into sores , which will then scab over and typically heal in a few days.
Symptoms of genital herpes range from none to more severe manifestations . The majority of genital HSV infections are mild, with little to no symptoms following the initial outbreak. For people who do experience symptoms, the usual course begins with genital inflammation, where the skin may itch or burn. Blister-like sores may appear. The sores may open, scab over, and heal.
Other indirect symptoms that can occur during an active herpes virus infection include fever, headaches, muscle aches, and a burning sensation during urination.
If you think you may have a herpes infection, home testing could be a convenient option for you. If youÃÂ¢re wondering how to get tested for herpes at home, thereÃÂ¢s good news: testing for HSV-2 is easy with the Everlywell female STD Test or male STD Test.
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.
You May Like: Can You Spread Herpes If Its Dormant
Hsv 1/2 Test Results Interpretation
Positive IgG antibodies against Virus herpes 1 means the body is immune to this virus or the immunity still build up, the same for IgG antiherpes antibodies means an old infection that the body has built defense against.Positive IgM anti-herpes antibodies Virus 1 and 2 means the body just started the immunity response against the herpes virus, while beginning of the virus infection may be occurred several weeks ago.In the acute stage of herpes infection skin lesions with characteristic blisters occur by HSV-1 or genitalia sores which associated with STD infections. Severe manifestations, such as an HSV-associated encephalitis or herpes corneae are rare. Herpes simplex virus infects the neurons of the dorsal root ganglia, where it causes lifelong latent infection. The virus is often reactivated, leading to recurrent symptoms.Which Ab. test can detect herpes virus earlier?In the acute stage of infection direct detection of the virus from the vesicles content via PCR is indicated. In addition, detection of IgM antibodies against HSV is important to confirm acute primary infection. However, not all patients produce IgM antibodies in the acute phase of infection besides, IgM antibodies may also be detectable in cases of recurrent or persistent infection.What is the most accurate specific test against herpes virus types other than PCR test?What is against HSV-1 glycoprotein G or HSV-2 glycoprotein G ?Classic ELISA Antibody Blood Test
Is There A Link Between Genital Herpes And Hiv
It is easier for a person with genital herpes to get or transmit HIV infection.
If a person with a herpes infection is genitally exposed to HIV, their risk of acquiring HIV is than someone without genital herpes. This is because genital herpes can cause breaks in the skin and make a person more vulnerable to HIV infection.
A person with HIV and genital herpes is more likely to transmit HIV to sex partners.
Don’t Miss: Does L Lysine Help With Herpes
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 .
Read Also: What Are Some Signs Of Herpes
How Painful Is Herpes Simplex
Some people experience very mild genital herpes symptoms or no symptoms at all. Frequently, people infected with the virus dont even know they have it. However, when it causes symptoms, it can be described as extremely painful. This is especially true for the first outbreak, which is often the worst. Outbreaks are described as aches or pains in or around the genital area or burning, pain, or difficulty urinating. Some people experience discharge from the or .
Oral herpes lesions usually cause tingling and burning just prior to the breakout of the blisters. The blisters themselves can also be painful.
Recommended Reading: What Medication Treats Genital Herpes
You May Like: Why Do I Keep Having Herpes Breakouts
Herpes And Aids: The Spiritual Significance Of Sexual Diseases
I remember a time when I had never heard of herpes or HIV/AIDS. Most people over the age of 30 can remember such a time. Those days are over. As a spiritual being who sees that we manifest what we need to heal, in our bodies and in our world, Ive looked at the emergence of these two diseases in particular, for higher meaning. They would not be so prevalent in our world if there were not something very out of balance with a lot of us, when it comes to expressing sexually.
The feminist movement did not bridge the gap between males and females, but widened it further, as women chose a militant, basically male approach to freedom. Women fought for equal rights and conquered an unfair system, at least on paper, but it is still an uneasy peace. Where is The Mother in all this warring? Did we agree to become men? Feminism certainly did little to heal the inner chasm between individual men and women but focused on position and power. Thats not to say it wasnt necessary , it just wasnt the end of the process.
When we truly heal the female within every man and the male within every woman, we may find ourselves making different sexual choices. I see a resurgence in heterosexual relationships , as well as an increase in completely Non-Sexual marriages. As we accelerate, and heal our first chakra issues, we will require less and less physical stimulation. Spiritual partnerships will be more important than relationships based on physical sexuality.