How to Test for Herpes?


Sexually transmitted diseases are very much common in our society. Although, people feel embarrass to discuss about them, but negligence is not the solution. Knowing your STD status is crucial for your own health and others. The silent carrier of the disease is spreading the infection making it stronger than ever. For the sake of us all, it is important to know if you have any STD. Herpes is one of the STD that remains quiet in the body for long and the carrier continues to infect one person after another.

All About Herpes and Herpes Testing

In these unique times it seems everything sacred has become profane, and conversely, the vulgar has been elevated to the sacrosanct. Strangely, through the millennia human sexuality has fit into both of these categories, from the highly esteemed vestal “virgins” of ancient Greece and Sumeria, to the under-dressed Hollywood starlet of today. Sadly, often sexuality leads to more than just pleasure or condemnation, as is the case with STD’s, Sexually Transmitted Diseases. One of the more notorious and feared of these STD’s is herpes.

What is Herpes?

Also known as HSV, Herpes simplex virus has two strains that affect the body: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Herpes viruses can lead to oral or genital herpes. They mainly infect mucous membrane and skin of the patient. Around 80% population of America carries one herpes strain. There are two types of herpes infections:

  • Oral Herpes: It leads to fever blisters or cold sores that affect the area near mouth, especially lips. Most common causative agent of oral herpes is HSV-1 strain, but the other one can be the culprit as well in some cases merely 20 percent.
  • Genital Herpes: Around 45 million people in USA have genital herpes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. HSV-2 leads to genital herpes mostly. But, HSV-1 could be the causative agent of herpes occurred due to oral sex.

Check this video for more information on Herpes testing:

Credits:American Sexual Health Association.

What Are the Symptoms of Herpes?

Often the symptoms manifest in such a mild manner that a person is unaware of even having this contagion. It is for this reason that this disease has spread so greatly over the nation and the world. At other times the symptoms may be a mere redness, irritation, or itching and therefore mistaken for jock itch, yeast infection, or skin problems easily amenable to cure.

However, at its worst, the disease can result in painful sores, cuts, oozing or other forms of discharge, burning during urination, aches & pains of the genital region, and even headache, flu type symptoms, and swollen glands. Further, other areas that may be affected besides the vagina and penis include the anus, scrotum, vulva, thighs, and buttocks.

Initial symptoms of HSV-1 and HSV-2 are very much alike; but it isn’t necessary that symptoms appear always. The infection starts with the flu like symptoms that lead to body ache, fever and swollen lymph nodes. Oral herpes starts with the cold sores around or in your mouth. In the outbreak of genital herpes, symptoms like painful urination, itching and blisters around genitals, and burning sensation are common. Lesions or sores could also be present at upper thighs and anal region.

A feature to this disease worthy of note is that the symptoms may only occur for 4 or 5 days per month and not be visible or felt for another twenty-five days or so. It is for this reason that herpes is not treated with the same respect and level of seriousness as other health problems. Often those affected by this dilemma do not even realize that they have been infected for months or even years, and so infect their sexual partners unaware of the true situation.

The appearance of Herpes symptoms is called as outbreak. The virus can silently reside in your body without showing any sign for years.

How Do You Get Herpes?

Either strain 1 or 2, you can get both of the herpes viruses through anal, vaginal or oral sex.

  • Oral Herpes: Kissing, sharing utensils or drinks, or contraction with any kind of bodily fluid of the infected person can lead you to oral herpes.
  • Genital Herpes: Saliva, semen, sore or blister fluid, vaginal discharge, or any kind of bodily fluid of the infected person can make you infected as well. Even when your partner doesn’t show the symptoms of herpes but carries the virus, the disease could be transmitted.

How to Cure Herpes?

Herpes is not life-threatening, however. While it may bring discomfort, even pain, the greatest problems generated are social and emotional. For better or worse, those suffering from this hardship are not alone. It is estimated that there are fifty million people throughout the United States with genital herpes. Despite the fact that so many have this health problem, it is still a matter of social stigma. While there is no outright cure for this hardship, nowadays those afflicted with have learned to adapt to their situation in numerous ways.

The sad news is oral and genital herpes have no cure. But the good news is, there are some treatment options available. The best thing you can do is to avoid physical contact with the herpes patient to remain safe.  Acyclovir, Famciclovir, and Valacyclovir are the most commonly used antiviral medicines for herpes.

There are workshops, support groups, even dating services directly aimed at helping people with this problem. For this reason, people suffering from this problem lead happy, healthy lives. Further, there are medications that, while not utterly eliminating the virus from the body, are able to contain the symptoms, thus alleviating the majority of the problems that this malady brings with it.

How to Test for Herpes?

You can get tested for Herpes by two ways. Either go to the doctor and say you want to get tested for it or you can order the test online and save yourself from spending huge bulk of money and embarrassment.

How Do I Get Tested for Herpes 1 and 2?

Herpes 1 and Herpes 2 both are detectable through blood test, but for that you need to wait for a while after being exposed to the virus. When the virus attacks the body, certain antibodies are developed in the response. The Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test can detect antibodies for both strains.

Antibodies for HSV-1 develop after 2 to 6 weeks of exposure. On the other hand, it requires 3-6 weeks to develop antibodies for HSV-2. It is recommended to wait for at least 2 months before going for the herpes test. Antibodies don’t develop early so if you take the test in a week or so, you will get the negative result for sure.

Where to Get Tested for Herpes?

Now it is very easy to get tested for herpes. You can book the test online, and get your results on email. We have made the list of the best places where you can have the Herpes test without any trouble.

STDCheck allows you to know your Herpes status. They offer ELISA test for herpes that can easily detect the difference of strain. It can tell you whether you have HSV-1 or HSV-2. They keep your results 100% confidential. They have more than 4,500 testing centers nationwide.

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With more than 10 years of experience, STD Test Express offers type specific blood test for herpes 1 and 2. They have around 2500 testing centers that you can visit. Your tests are available within 3 days or less.

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Plushcare offers fast and secure STD testing. Select your nearest lab and the test that you want to go for. You don’t need an appointment, just visit their center, give your blood sample and get your results online.

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Personalabs tests your herpes status via blood test. It checks your blood for antibodies. They have more than 2,400 labs in the country. You can easily order for your test online.

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Where Can I Get at Home Herpes Test Kit?

Genital Herpes Home Test

Genital Herpes is the second most common STD. myLabBox.com offers Genital Herpes Home Test. You can buy online and test at home with their STD Test kit.

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Finally, the rate of Herpes carriers is very high in our society. Without herpes testing and knowledge of the disease, more and more people have been getting the infection on daily basis. It is the need of time that everyone, who is sexually active, should get tested for the herpes viruses.

(How to Test for Herpes?)

Category: STD Testing Guide

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