Monday, September 19, 2022

When Can I Test For Herpes

Best For Quick Results: Stdcheck

Understanding Herpes Testing

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

What Do The Results Mean

Your HSV test results will be given as negative, also called normal, or positive, also called abnormal.

Negative/Normal. The herpes virus was not found. You may still have an HSV infection if your results were normal. It may mean the sample didn’t have enough of the virus to be detected. If you still have symptoms of herpes, you may need to get tested again.

Positive/Abnormal. HSV was found in your sample. It may mean you have an active infection , or were infected in the past .

If you tested positive for HSV, talk to your health care provider. While there is no cure for herpes, it hardly ever causes serious health problems. Some people may only have one outbreak of sores their whole lives, while others break out more often. If you want to reduce the severity and number of your outbreaks, your provider may prescribe a medicine that can help.

Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.

Which Symptoms Mean I Should Get Checked

Get tested for herpes if you have:

  • an outbreak of blisters, sores or lesions around the genital area
  • pain around the genital area
  • pain or discomfort when urinating

As soon as you begin to see blisters around your genitals, you can try home testing or visit a clinic. Do this before the blisters begin to scab over and heal for the most accurate results. If you have no symptoms or suspect a false negative result, a blood test can be done. This will only show if you have ever been exposed to HSV and if you may have outbreaks in the future.

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Why Genital Herpes Comes Back

Genital herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, it stays in your body.

It will not spread in your body to cause blisters elsewhere. It stays in a nearby nerve and causes blisters in the same area.

If you can, avoid things that trigger your symptoms.

Triggers can include:

  • surgery on your genital area
  • a weakened immune system for example, from having chemotherapy for cancer

Myth #: A Blood Test Is The Best Way To Know If You Have Herpes

Herpes IgG Test: Uses, Side Effects, Procedure, Results

Blood tests are not always accurate and testing for herpes can be tricky. It can take two weeks to six months after being exposed to herpes before it is detected in the blood. To make matters more complicated, if you are low risk for herpes and asymptomatic, it increases your risk of a false positive result. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against routine testing for herpes unless you or your partner have symptoms. The most accurate test is when you are able to take a swab sample from a new herpes lesion, but often times the diagnosis is made by a clinician based on your history and report of symptoms.

Because the blood test can be expensive and inaccurate, it is not typically included in a sexually transmitted disease evaluation unless you ask your provider for it specifically.

In short, if you dont have symptoms, you dont necessarily need a blood test. If you do experience an outbreak, a skin swab not a blood test is your best bet for confirmation.

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Myth: I Cant Have Kids If I Have Herpes

When my patients find out they have herpes, they often ask me, Oh my god, can I still have children?’ shares Dr. Rosser. The answer? Absolutely. Herpes doesnt affect your fertility in any way and there are plenty of safe delivery options to ensure the virus isnt transferred to your baby, she says. Still, genital herpes can increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, or in rare cases, a potentially dangerous infection in newborns if the mother is experiencing symptoms at the time of birth.

How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Show Up

The human immunodeficiency virus is a sexual infection that can lead to AIDS. In the United States, one out of four infected individuals is a woman. More than one million American live with this infection. The most common signs of HIV are body rashes, fever, sore throat and severe headaches. Weight loss is also common, along with enlarged yeast infections and flaky skins.

HIV Incubation Period: the incubation period of HIV is between two to four weeks after being exposed to the virus. Thats when symptoms like the flu start appearing and can last for many weeks.

HIV Window Period: window periods can differ between a virus to testing technique and another. An HIV antibody test would need a period of 30 to 90 days to show a correct result.

Read Also: Where Can You Go To Get Tested For Herpes

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 youâre wondering how to get tested for herpes at home, thereâs good news: testing for HSV-2 is easy with the Everlywell female STD Test or male STD Test.

A Quick Look At The 6 Best At

Oral Herpes and Genital Herpes. Symptoms and Treatment. Herpes Simplex Virus

MNT chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria where possible:

  • Laboratories: Where possible, MNT will choose companies that process test samples in labs. This means they follow state and federal regulations.
  • Budget: MNT chooses at-home tests that suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Privacy: MNT includes companies that offer robust and transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
  • Test result speed: MNT selects companies that inform customers when they will receive their test results and whether they will receive them via email, app, or phone.
  • Further support: MNT will indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Recommended Reading: What Can You Do To Treat Herpes

How Accurate Are Blood Tests For Herpes

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, nearly every person in the United States about 85% of the population will be infected with herpes by the time they reach their sixties. If youve ever had one of those annoying cold sores on your tongue, youve already experienced an HSV outbreak. For most people, the herpes simplex virus will never present any lasting or major symptoms but for people who become infected with genital herpes, a common STI which causes painful sores and flu-like symptoms, the virus is a serious medical issue which needs to be managed with antiviral medication. Of course, in order for herpes to be managed effectively, it needs to be diagnosed first but just how accurate are our current testing methods? In this article, our Baltimore clinical malpractice attorneys will explain how herpes is diagnosed, which tests are most accurate, and what to do if you or your partner was the victim of a herpes misdiagnosis.

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.

Read Also: How To Prevent Herpes Blisters From Bursting

How Soon After Unprotected Sex Should You Get Tested

  • Gonorrhea: 5 days -2 weeks
  • Chlamydia: 12 weeks
  • HPV: 3 weeks â 2 months
  • Hepatitis: 36 weeks for hepatitis B. 26 weeks for hepatitis C
  • Trichomoniasis: 1-4 weeks
  • 1033 days for a nucleic acid test.
  • 1845 days for an antigen/antibody test.
  • 2390 days for an antibody test

If you are experiencing the symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease, make sure that you go to a doctor and get tested as soon as possible. It is also now possible to screen for sexually transmitted diseases from the comfort of home.

At home STD testing is among one the fastest and most convenient ways to accurately and discreetly screen their sexual health without the need to visit a clinical setting. The trickiest part of the process lies in finding out which at home STD test is the best for you.

So, what at home STD tests can you order from your home right now? Most importantly, what is the best at home STD test? Heres our top picks.

Best Convenient Herpes Test: Mylab Box

STI &  STD Testing Procedure Information for Men and Women

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.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Herpes At Home

How Does Genital Herpes Spread

The herpes virus that causes genital herpes spreads through saliva, semen and vaginal secretions. Its possible to get genital herpes from someone who doesnt have visible symptoms. You can have the infection, not know it and infect someone else.

Research has found it is possible for genital herpes to spread through:

  • Oral sex with someone whos infected.
  • Skin-to-skin contact without ejaculation.
  • Touching open sores, including while breastfeeding.
  • Childbirth by a mother who has an active infection.

You cant get genital herpes from objects like toilet seats. But you could pass genital herpes through shared sex toys.

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Best Affordable Herpes Test: Healthlabs

HealthLabs offers laboratory-based herpes tests. These may be the best option for people who do not have health insurance and those working with small budgets.

Collection method
does not require appointments and accepts walk-ins
Con requires a visit to a laboratory for a healthcare professional to collect the sample

After placing an order, the person receives a laboratory requisition form, which they need to print out and present at a laboratory. The company claims it has 4,500 laboratory locations, and individuals should receive their test results within 23 business days.

HealthLabs has three herpes tests available for purchase:

  • a test for HSV-1, which costs $45
  • a test for HSV-2, which costs $45
  • a test for HSV-1 and HSV-2, which costs $79

People may also order at-home tests for other STIs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV.

offers tests for early detection of herpes
Con requires a visit to a laboratory

To order either herpes test, a person must access the company website and enter their ZIP code to find their nearest testing center.

The company claims it has over 4,000 private test centers across the United States.

After ordering the herpes test, a person can walk into their local center to receive the testing. An appointment is not necessary.

The test procedure involves a simple blood test and urine sample, which typically takes a matter of minutes. A person can expect to receive their online test results within 13 days.

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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.

How To Avoid Genital Herpes

Herpes Simplex

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

Recommended Reading: How Can You Catch Genital Herpes

Herpes Rash On Various Body Parts

Most people with a herpes infection will not develop symptoms or will experience only a mild rash. The first outbreak typically occurs two to 20 days after contracting the virus, and the sores usually last for about seven to 10 days.

A mild herpes rash may appear as a group of pimples or ingrown hairs. A classic herpes outbreak usually involves one or more blisters that start as small red bumps. They then progress to fluid-filled blisters before rupturing and oozing fluid that crusts over. Its common to feel tingling, itching, or burning a day or two before the rash appears.

Touching herpes sores can transfer the virus to your fingers and then any other body part that you touch. If you accidentally touch an open herpes sore, wash your hands right away to prevent spreading it to other areas of your body.

A herpes rash on the body usually begins as a painful, itchy patch of skin. It is often mistaken for a bacterial infection and treated with antibiotics, which do not affect the herpes virus. It then progresses to a typical outbreak, with painful blisters that rupture and crust over.

Also Check: What Can You Do To Treat Herpes

Heres Why Doctors Dont Usually Test For Herpes

Its basically a SELF mantra at this point: Getting tested for sexually transmitted infections is hella important. Is it the most delightful way to spend your time? No. Is it a vital part of looking after your health, sexual and otherwise? Absolutely.

When you go in for routine STI testing, you might realize that your doctor doesnt test you for herpes. Whats that about? As it turns out, testing for herpes isnt as straightforward as testing for something like chlamydia or gonorrhea. Here, doctors explain why herpes isnt usually included on STI panels.

Also Check: At Home Treatment For Genital Herpes

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