Herpes Test

Herpes Test

Herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In fact, according to Medical News Today, it is thought that over half of the United States population has herpes type-1—also known as oral herpes—while around 15.5% have herpes type-2—also known as genital herpes. As such, people should be well-informed about a variety of herpes test to help prevent its spread early on.

What is Herpes?

Herpes is caused by a virus, and is characterized by blisters and sores that appear either in or around the mouth in oral herpes, or in or around the genitals in genital herpes. However, many people with the virus may experience no symptoms at all, and therefore do not know that they have it. However, they can still infect others. Plus, genital herpes can increase the risk of getting infected with HIV.

Other symptoms may include pain, vaginal discharge, itching, tender lymph nodes, pain when urinating, fever and a general feeling of being unwell (malaise). In most cases, the blisters will heal. It is spread through close contact with an infected person, such as through unprotected sex or oral sex. Click here to read more about herpes symptoms.

Herpes may ‘outbreak’ more than once. Recurrent outbreaks tend to be less severe and happen less often as time goes on.

Herpes cannot be cured, but treatments are available to ease symptoms and help prevent its spread.

Herpes Test

One of the first steps someone can take in preventing the spread of herpes is to be aware whether they have it or not. The only way to know for sure is to get tested.

Testing for herpes is usually done in one of two main ways: If blisters are present, a doctor will gently take a fluid sample from them with a swab and test it. If sores are not present, a blood test might be better instead. Blood tests look for evidence of the virus in the blood. The downside to blood tests is that it can take time for the herpes to become detectable in the blood—sometimes up to multiple weeks after initial infection. Herpes tests are not usually recommended unless symptoms are present or if the patient suspects that they have had sexual contact with someone who was infected with herpes. Find out more about blood tests and swab tests for herpes by clicking here.

In addition, pregnant women should consider getting a herpes test in particular, as the virus can be passed on to babies, and can be life-threatening. If you are a pregnant woman with a partner who has herpes, it is very important to get tested. Click here to find out more about herpes test.

To get tested, visit a local doctors office or sexual health clinic. They can help determine which type of herpes test will be right for you.

Featured image: Depositphotos / Shidlovski

Posted on May 5, 2023