What Can I Do About Genital Herpes
So heres the good news: herpes is rarely a serious health issue. Although there can be a negative stigma associated with those who have an outbreak and the blistering sores may change sexual habits, a majority of those infected have no symptoms at all.
If you do request a herpes blood test, ask if your doctor is going to be performing a type-specific test. These blood tests tend to be more reliable.
Should the blood test come back as positive, how your treatment plan develops will depend on other health conditions that may be affecting you. Suppressive therapies and other medication may be ordered, but in some patients, careful watching and waiting may be the best solution. If suppressive therapies are ordered, this will mean taking a drug every day that youll have to pay for.
Genital herpes can be detected with a herpes blood test. If no symptoms are being experienced, your doctor may wish to hold off on testing to avoid a false positive. And, if youre concerned about your sexual health for any reason, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.
When Do You Need A Herpes Antibodies Test
Herpes antibodies tests are not recommended when your doctor wants to diagnose an active infection. The best tests, in this case, are to collect a sample from you and attempt to culture the virus or test for the presence of its genome using a technique called polymerase chain reaction .
Should an active infection be detected with a PCR test, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications to help prevent outbreaks or shorten their severity. When outbreaks occur when you are on these medications, theyÃ¢re typically shorter and create fewer lesions than when you arenÃ¢t taking them.
Common antiviral medications include acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir.
Your doctor may recommend an antibody test in addition to these other tests for an active infection. But it is more likely that they will recommend this test for another reason, including if:
- You have recurring symptoms but active test results are negative.
- You believe you were recently exposed but donÃ¢t yet have symptoms.
- YouÃ¢re pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
- You have HIV or have a high risk of encountering HIV.
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.
Also Check: Is Herpes Type 2 Curable
Herpes Home Test Vs Herpes Lab Testing
While our herpes test requires a visit to a lab, our testing process is private and no information is shared with your health insurance company or your personal doctor without your consent. That being said, some people would prefer to get a home herpes test . While there are some herpes test kits available on the market, current data suggests that they may not be as accurate as the FDA-approved herpes blood testing labs that we use and are trusted by doctors and medical providers across the country.
In order to prevent exposure to herpes, one must avoid any oral or sexual contact with an infected person. While condoms might help during sexual activity, they are by no means foolproof in preventing transmission of the herpes virus. Once infected, there is no cure for herpes. During periods of active symptoms like blisters, specific antiviral medications can sometimes reduce the duration of the symptoms and intensity of any associated pain.
The CDC estimates that 776,000 people get new herpes infections each year and that 15.7% of people between the ages of 14 and 49 have an HSV-2 infection. For anyone concerned about a herpes exposure or for people in a new relationship, herpes lab testing is a helpful way to determine your status with simple, affordable blood testing.
- A doctor’s lab order*
- A PDF copy of your test results
- Responsive customer service
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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Useful Methods Include Testing An Actual Lesion
Keep in mind that thereâs no such thing as âsafeâ sex, only safer sex, which means using protection and being open and honest with your partner. âIt can definitely happen,â Friedman says of the chances of transmitting the virus to a partner without a visible outbreak. âIts called asymptotic shedding there are studies showing that the rates of transmission of HSV-2 are the same for symptomatic and asymptomatic.â He adds that this is why using protection during sexual contact is so important, regardless of what blood tests say. Unfortunately, you can never ensure your risk of transmission will be zero, whether or not you know you have herpes, but using a condom or dental dam will get you closer to it.
Like Hutcherson, Friedman also doesnât recommend blood tests for herpes in the absence of symptoms. âThe tests that are useful involve sampling the actual blister or cold sore,â he says, which can involve smearing scrapes of skin cells from the sore onto a slide, targeting the infected cells. As with some of the blood tests, though, this sampling test still wonât tell you what type of herpes virus is present. A viral culture, on the other hand, will tell you which virus you have, though it takes some time to come back. âDirect fluorescent antibody is by far the best,â Friedman says, âas you can get a result in a matter of hours which can be as useful as a culture.â Not all hospitals have access to this method, however.
Best For Fast Results
- Type of Sample: Blood test
- Results: Online results in 1 to 2 days
STD Check has more than 4,500 testing sites nationwide. You can choose an individual test like HSV-1 or HSV-2 for $45 each. You can also order a 10-test panel, which includes the most common STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
The company is known for its fast test results, which are sent to your online account in 1 to 2 days.
Once you complete your order online, you can select a local testing center based on your ZIP code. According to the company, in-person tests only take 5 minutes.
Your test and results will be completely confidential. If your test results are positive, a physician can answer questions about your diagnosis.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Herpes Inside The Mouth
Recommended Reading: Can Herpes Make You Sick
How We Protect Your Privacy
The 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act guarantees your right to medical privacy and protects your health information from unsolicited access, fraud and abuse. STDcheck.com abides by this law, which also gives you the right to decide who can access your health information.
STDcheck.com will not solicit you by phone or mail. All communication will be conducted via email from Analyte Health and charges on your debit or credit card statement will appear as ANALYTE HEALTH.
Medically Reviewed by J. Frank Marting JR., MD on Jun 18, 2019.
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Fast, Private & AffordableOur panels are carefully designed by our physicians to provide you with completepeace of mind.
Herpes 1 Igg Abs Blood Test
This Test is used to screen for exposure to Herpes type 1 only. It looks for IgG antibodies which typically begin to develop around 4 weeks after exposure. In some cases, these antibodies may take up to 12 weeks to be detectable. The Herpes 1 IgG Abs test is highly accurate in screening for Herpes as it looks for antibodies which will last for the life of the infected person.
Herpes is a viral infection spread by skin to skin contact, including during sexual activity. Herpes 1 is the weaker, more common form of the Herpes virus. It is estimated that 80% of the adult population in the United States have Herpes 1. Herpes 1 is often associated with Oral Herpes or cold sores. However, both Herpes 1 and 2 are spread through skin to skin contact. It is possible to spread either form of the virus to the oral or genital area depending on the type of contact which results in infection. The most common symptom of Herpes is periodic outbreaks of sores or blisters around the infected area. However, it is not unusual for Herpes to display no symptoms for years at a time. Herpes can be spread even if the infected person is not experiencing an outbreak which is known as asymptomatic shedding. Chronic Herpes infections can cause damage to the nervous system and increase the likelihood of contracting other STDs including HIV.
The Herpes 1 IgG Abs test typically sees results in 1-3 business days.
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What Type Of Tests Do You Need To Screen For Different Stds
There isnt one universal test for all STDs, as they attack the body in unique ways. Here are the specific tests you should expect when getting tested for each particular STD.
- HIV: specific antigen/antibody blood test
- chlamydia : blood, swab, or urine tests
- gonorrhea : blood, swab, or urine tests
- syphilis: blood tests
Dont Miss: What Triggers Herpes Outbreak Genital
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing
Several different tests are used to detect HIV, including lab testing, the rapid antibody screening test, the rapid antigen/antibody test and a self-test that uses oral fluid.
Lab testing requires blood to be drawn from your vein. Your blood is then analyzed in a lab to detect either the genetic material of the virus, or specific HIV antigens and antibodies.
It usually takes several days to receive the results from an HIV lab test.
If youre tested for HIV with a rapid antibody screening test, or with a rapid antigen/antibody test, your results will typically be ready in under 30 minutes.
If you test yourself for HIV using an oral fluid antibody self-test such as the OraQuick® In-Home HIV Test, youll receive results within 20 minutes.
Right now, there are no tests that can accurately detect HIV immediately after infection. If youre worried that you may have been exposed to HIV, its important to seek medical help immediately and, if possible, use post-exposure prophylaxis .
In order to undergo testing for HIV, youll need to wait for the window period to pass.
The window period varies depending on the type of HIV test:
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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.
Why Do I Need To Undergo An Hsv Igm Test
The following conditions are some of the most common reasons for the test. To figure out the exact reason behind the formation of painful blisters or sores around the lips or in the genital area. To check if the sexual partner of a person with genital herpes is also infected by the same. To check for neonatal herpes in new-borns, whose mothers are infected with genital herpes. The doctor will check the physical symptoms of the infection and order for the test. Some of the common symptoms are mentioned below. The occurrence of blistering sores in the mouth or on the genitals Any pain during urination. An itching or burning sensation around the affected area. These symptoms can be accompanied by other general symptoms like fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, tiredness and lack of appetite. In some cases, HSV can also affect the eyes and can cause symptoms like eye pain, discharge, and a gritty feeling in the eye. A few people have an increased risk of infection from the virus as mentioned below. People with recurrent genital sores or atypical symptoms who have negative results on HSV culture. People who have a sex partner who has been diagnosed with genital herpes. People who have been tested positive for other sexually transmitted diseases. Individuals diagnosed with an HIV infection.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Herpes Blisters
Are Test Results Accurate
Tests that identify evidence of HSV infections are routine and commonly used medical tests. The ability of a test to accurately diagnose or rule out HSV infection depends on the test used for analysis and the stage of a patients infection.
The Tzanck smear and viral culture are less able to accurately identify patients who have an HSV infection than other tests. PCR testing and antibody testing are more sensitive, which means that they miss fewer cases of infection.
Blood tests that detect antibodies to HSV can distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 but not the site of infection. This means that blood tests cannot tell whether a patient has a genital or oral herpes infection.
Although these tests are valuable for identifying HSV infection, no test is perfect. When learning of test results, patients should talk to their doctor about the type of test conducted, the reliability of test results, and if additional tests are necessary to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.
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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The Bottom Line: Tests For Herpes Are More Worry Than Theyre Worth
If you do have symptoms, dont fret: If you know your status, youre at an advantage in that you can talk with your doctor and find an antiviral drug that works for you. Medication can curtail the severity of your symptoms, as well as the number of outbreaks you get. Additionally, taking an antiviral daily will greatly reduce your chances of transmitting the virus to someone else. In case you missed it, theres also a very promising new drug for herpes on the horizon, which researchers say could be the most effective one yet.
Take it straight from the pros and dont put yourself through the stress of a herpes blood test if you dont need to. And, whether you have symptoms or not, know that youre not alone if you are herpes-positive.
Read more stories on herpes facts and myths:
Why The Test Is Performed
The test is done to find out whether a person has ever been infected with oral orgenital herpes. It looks for antibodies to herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 . An antibody is a substance made by the bodyâs immune system when it detects harmful substances such as the herpes virus. This test does not detect the virus itself.
Also Check: What To Use For Herpes
Testing For Other Stds
Sonora Quest Laboratories offers testing for a complete range of common sexually transmitted diseases. Choose from screenings for specific STDs or order a comprehensive STD Screen, which tests for all common STDs in one test.
*Certain patient test results are required by Arizona Administrative Code to be reported to the Arizona Department of Health Services for public health reasons.
*It is solely your responsibility to promptly discuss all laboratory test results with a physician. Neither Sonora Quest Laboratories nor its Medical Director will provide interpretation, counseling, consulting, or care recommendations on the basis of any laboratory results provided to you.
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