How Do Std Test Kits Work
Using an STD test kit is simple and usually requires no referrals or prescriptions from your doctor. The process may vary slightly from one company to the next, but one commonality is that they are delivered straight to your door and can be taken from the comfort of your home, eliminating the need to visit a doctor or clinic in person. Heres a general breakdown of what you can expect:
Receiving your kit:
After you order your kit, it will be shipped to you in a discreet package and will include all the instructions, forms, and return information youll need. Most kits will include a barcode that you enter into the site which logs you into your own portal. This is typically where youll receive your results and communicate with staff.
Collecting a sample:
Collecting your sample can be done in minutes, though the squeamish may want some company for assistance or support. The sample needed depends on the test, but the 3 most common sample types are urine, vaginal swab, and finger-prick. The kit will include complete instructions as well as all the materials necessary for collecting and shipping the sample.
Submitting for results:
After youve collected your sample, you need to send it to the lab to be tested. The time it takes to receive your results varies but generally spans 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the company.
Results are typically delivered via a private online portal.
Why Is Taking An At
As we mentioned earlier, having herpes doesnt necessarily mean that youll immediately be seeing telltale signs that its in your body. The symptoms that do show up are often mild enough to be completely unrecognized as the infection. In short, many people who have herpes may not even know it. Then it is that much easier to pass it on to someone else. Thats why its so important to use a herpes test kit to determine whether or not you have this infection.
Whats more, both versions of HSV can be passed to partners whether or not the carrier is showing symptoms. Knowing the status of your own sexual health, as well as that of your sexual partners, is the best way to stay safe.
How To Get Tested
Tests for genital and oral herpes are available at doctors offices, medical clinics, and community-based organizations that offer STD testing. Testing is often ordered by a doctor but may be available over the counter and at community-based organizations without a physicians orders.
You May Like: How To Get Herpes 2
Visual Diagnosis Of Herpes Least Accurate
Visual diagnosis is the least accurate way to determine whether or not you have herpes. The herpes pictures that you might find on the internet are of extremely rare worst cases, and give a false impression of what most people with herpes experience which is usually NOTHING most of the time. For the great majority of people with herpes, their symptoms are so mild or infrequent or not at all that their herpes is never diagnosed!
Can I Take The Test At Home
At-home tests are available to test for evidence of an HSV infection. At-home herpes testing typically detects HSV antibodies in a self-collected blood sample and may require additional follow-up if preliminary results are positive. At-home herpes tests can be obtained online or at a local pharmacy.
Also Check: Why Do I Keep Having Herpes Breakouts
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.
Best For Quick Results: Stdcheck
- Collection method: blood test
- Results: within 12 days
- Follow-up care: consultation with doctor and a written prescription for $95
- Cost:$45 for HSV-1 or HSV-2 only, $79 for both
- Pro: rapid results
- Con: requires a visit to a laboratory
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.
To order a test, a person must enter their ZIP code on the company website to find their nearest testing center. The company claims it has over 4,500 test centers nationwide, making them a convenient option for most people.
A person needs to attend their local test center for a blood test. They should then receive their online results within 12 days. Anyone who receives a positive result is eligible for a phone consultation with a STDcheck doctor. The doctor may prescribe treatments at their discretion.
Don’t Miss: How To Clear Up Herpes
How Long Does It Take For Symptoms Of Herpes To Appear
The primary symptom of a herpes outbreak is sores that resemble blisters, called herpes lesions, on the mouth or genitals.
In addition, people may also experience the following symptoms prior to the outbreak:
- pain and redness, especially around the area the outbreak will occur
- itching and tingling, primarily in the outbreak area
- flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, or swollen lymph nodes
Most of the symptoms that occur before an outbreak indicate that the virus is replicating. Symptoms are usually the worst during the first herpes outbreak.
According to the
Some people with the herpes virus are asymptomatic, which means that they dont experience any physical symptoms of the disease. This doesnt mean that they cant spread the disease, however.
Anyone who has the herpes virus, whether symptomatic or not, can spread the virus to others.
If you have the herpes virus and your body has produced antibodies, it can be detected on a blood test, even if you have no symptoms. The only time the virus might not be detected on a test is if youve been tested too early.
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.
Also Check: What Foods Help Herpes Outbreaks
Don’t Miss: How Do You Know If You Have Mouth Herpes
Pcr Is The Most Useful Test
Laboratory testing may be useful in cases with less typical clinical presentations, such as in people with suppressed immune systems who may have disseminated herpes zoster . Polymerase chain reaction is the most useful test for confirming cases of suspected zoster sine herpete .
PCR can be used to detect VZV DNA rapidly and sensitively, and is now widely available. The ideal samples are swabs of unroofed vesicular lesions and scabs from crusted lesions you may also detect viral DNA in saliva during acute disease, but salvia samples are less reliable for herpes zoster than they are for varicella. Biopsy samples are also useful test samples in cases of disseminated disease. It is also possible to use PCR to distinguish between wild-type and vaccine strains of VZV.
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.
Read Also: How Can You Get Rid Of Herpes In Mouth
Where Can I Get Tested For Stds / Stis
Your general practitioner, OBGYN, or urgent care clinic can all order STI / STD tests for you. You can also try a local or campus clinic or your local Planned Parenthood location.
Depending on your income, you may even be able to get tests for free. Search here for your local Planned Parenthood and call to find out if you qualify for free testing.
If youre uncomfortable with those options, or dont want STI tests on your insurance, some states allow you to order tests at home.
Same-day testing today: You can also use this site to order tests online and then stop by a lab near you for same-day testing.
Recommended Reading: How To Know You Have Herpes
Herpes Pcr Tests Very Accurate
A PCR test can be done on cells or fluid from an active sore and is more sensitive than typical lab culture tests. PCR finds the genetic material of the HSV virus and can tell the difference between HSV-1 and HSV-2. Although this test may be more expensive than lab cultures, it is definitely more accurate and less likely to result in a false negative or false positive. However, you still need to get tested while you are having an active outbreak, or else the HSV cells may no longer be present on the surface of your skin.
Read Also: Can Herpes Spread All Over The Body
You May Like: How Many Kinds Of Herpes Are There
How To Prevent The Spread Of Herpes
Although herpes is a lifelong virus that cant be cured, it goes through periods of dormancy between outbreaks. This means that while the virus is still present, its not actively replicating.
During this time, you may not experience any signs or symptoms of having the disease even if youve had a previous outbreak before.
However, you can still spread the herpes virus to your sexual partners at any time, even if no sores are present. In addition, although rare, its possible to spread oral herpes to the genital region and vice versa.
For this reason, its extremely important to be mindful of the following preventive measures:
- Tell your partners that you have genital or oral herpes. This allows them to make informed decisions about their own sexual health, and its the responsible thing to do.
- If youre experiencing the signs and symptoms of an upcoming outbreak, avoid all sexual contact. Youre most likely to spread the virus to others during an outbreak.
- Its possible to spread the herpes virus even without an outbreak. If youre worried about spreading the disease to a partner, research shows that antivirals are effective at reducing this possibility.
Having oral or genital herpes doesnt mean that you can no longer have sex. However, its your responsibility to prevent the spread of herpes to your sexual partner.
If you have herpes, you can still take care of your sexual health through open communication and safer sex.
Testing For Herpes Is Not A Routine Part Of Check
Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection which causes painful sores on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. Herpes is very common in the United States: As many as 1 in 6 people between the ages of 14 and 49 has HSV-2. Your doctor may diagnose you by examining you when you have symptoms, but testing can confirm the diagnosis. Though herpes isnt a serious disease, the sores can be painful and you can spread herpes if you have sex while you have sores or blisters. The sores make it easier to transmit HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Read Also: Can Urgent Care Diagnose Herpes
How Much Does The Test Cost
The cost of testing for genital and oral herpes depends on the type of test that is performed, where the test is conducted, and whether you have medical insurance. Testing is often covered by insurance when ordered by a doctor, although you may still be responsible for costs such as copays and deductibles. Through Testing.com, costs for at-home herpes tests start at $89. With lab testing, expect to pay $99.
How To Get Tested For Herpes
Since most people with genital herpes have few, infrequent or even NO noticeable symptoms most of the time, herpes diagnosis can be almost impossible to do without a herpes blood test or PCR test. However, many doctors are very out-of-date about herpes tests. On this page, well tell you exactly how to get tested for herpes, and which tests are most accurate or least accurate.
Read Also: What Is Valacyclovir Used For Besides Herpes
Read Also: Stages Of Oral Herpes Outbreak
Can Urgent Care Really Help Me With An Std Test
The short answer is, yes! Many people who are looking for routine or precautionary STD tests visit urgent care facilities instead of a private practice or their primary care physician. Urgent care facilities are a great option if you are concerned that you may have contracted an STD and need to see a physician.
Read Also: Does Having Herpes Increase Risk Hiv
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.
When Should I See A Doctor
If you have a primary care doctor who you regularly see, you can share your results with them to provide better insight on 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.
Also Check: Can You Get Disability For Herpes
Genital Herpes Is Common Shouldnt Cdc Recommend Testing For Everyone
CDC recommends herpes testing for people who have genital symptoms to confirm if they have it. Testing allows a healthcare provider to talk with patients about what to expect in the future. This includes talking about medications that help with symptoms. Providers can also tell patients how to lower the risk of transmitting herpes to sex partner.
CDC does not recommend herpes testing for people without symptoms in most situations. This is because of the limits of a herpes blood test and the possibility of a wrong test result. The chances of wrong test results are higher for people who are at low risk of infection.
Blood tests might be useful if:
- You have genital symptoms that could be related to herpes, or
- You have a sex partner with genital herpes, or
- Your provider found signs of herpes, but you still need a test to confirm it.
If you are sexually active, talk openly and honestly with your healthcare provider about what tests are right for you. These tips can help.
Recommended Reading: What Is The First Stage Of Herpes
Does My Healthcare Provider Include A Blood Test For Genital Herpes When They Test Me For Everything
Herpes blood tests may or may not be part of the tests your healthcare provider gives you. They may choose tests based on several factors .
They will also evaluate you for signs or symptoms of herpes to choose which tests to use. This is why its important to talk openly and honestly with your provider during your visit. Ask them which infections they are and are not testing you for and why.
Causes Of Herpes Esophagitis
Herpes Esophagitis can be caused by either the herpes simplex I or the herpes simplex II viruses. It is more commonly caused by the oral herpes variant but it does also show up as simplex II less often.
Oral herpes or HSV-1 is most often passed through infected saliva swapping from individual to individual. It is important to get tested for both strains of HSV and alert any potential sexual partners if you test positive. Oral herpes can be passed from the mouth to the genitals if oral sex is performed during an active outbreak.
Genital herpes can cause herpes esophagitis in cases where an individual performs oral sex on another individual with an active HSV-2 outbreak. Protection like a condom or dental dam can help prevent transmission of HSV-2 so if you suspect you have a HSV-2 infection and are going to engage in sexual intercourse be sure to use proper protection.
Reasons why an immune system might be compromised include:
Also Check: What Medicine To Use For Herpes
What Are The Risks Associated With Herpes
If you have symptoms for Herpes, the use of condoms might not protect your sexual partner from getting the virus from your infected areas that are not covered by the condom. Therefore, it is advised to abstain from sex if you have symptoms.
Neonatal Herpes can occur in rare cases and might lead to lasting neurologic disability or even death of the infant. Pregnant women who get their first viral infection during late pregnancy are at a higher risk of acquiring the disease than those infected prior to pregnancy.
The symptoms and pains associated with recurrence of Herpes might lead to psychological distress, which could negatively affect the quality of life and sexual relationships of infected individuals.
If Herpes is left untreated, there is an increased risk of getting other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.