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Herpes Tests: Everything You Need to Know About

Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that affects 50 million Americans these days. The infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus or HSV. Once you have contracted the virus, you will have it forever. Normally, herpes may develop symptoms after 4-5 days of being infected. If you get herpes, you may experience sores or blisters on your skin. The most commonly affected areas may include the face and the genital region. Sometimes, the virus remains in the body for months or even years without symptoms. That’s why many people don’t know they contract the disease. Moreover, it’s very hard to determine whether or not you are positive for herpes. In fact, herpes testing is so challenging that doctors say it could put you under pressure. Here’s everything you need to know about herpes tests and how to diagnose herpes.

  1. It’s impossible to get tested if you do not have symptoms.

A herpes test can only be done during a herpes outbreak. That means if you have zero symptoms, your herpes test may give wrong results. According to a doctor, this problem may happen due to the following reasons:

  • There are 2 types of herpes, including oral herpes (HSV1) and genital herpes (HSV2). Oral herpes is more common than genital herpes. However, only one percent of Americans with HSV 1 actually develop the sores.
  • Blood tests for herpes can be unclear because they can’t detect the virus itself. In fact, these tests just examine the level of antibodies against the virus.

So if you don’t have symptoms, herpes testing should not recommended.

Related: Types of Different Herpes Viruses

  1. IgG and IgM are two common blood tests for herpes.

According to doctors, there are two blood tests used to diagnose herpes. These include IgG and IgM.

Although IgM tests have been denounced by CDC, they are still used by some doctors. Besides, the ASHA believed that these tests could definitely provide wrong results. In fact, there are cases where patients have HSV1 but receive positive tests for HSV2. IgM cannot differentiate between the 2 herpes types, leading to false results.

On the other hand, IgG tests are said to provide herpes patients with more accurate results. In fact, these tests can accurately distinguish between the 2 herpes types. For accurate results, IgG tests are recommended 3-4 months after exposure.

Moreover, there are gG-based blood tests which may also help to identify herpes. If you have symptoms like a blister, itching and burning, ask for a herpes test.

Related: 7 Scary Conditions Your Pap smear Doesn’t Test For

Blood tests for herpes

  1. Without any symptoms, a blood test for herpes won’t help you.

Many doctors say that they will not do tests for herpes if their patients have no symptom. At that time, blood tests cannot distinguish between genital herpes and oral herpes. Most of Americans have oral herpes, so they definitely receive positive tests. But the problem is how to know whether it’s an oral herpes or genital herpes. Blood tests can’t help. To have the answer, the doctors will swab an active sore for examination. So, the doctors may not recommend a herpes blood test if you have no symptom.

  1. There are some other useful methods to identify herpes lesions.

Without blood tests, the doctors may still recognize herpes by the flowing ways:

  • Looking at your symptoms;
  • Asking some questions about your sexual history.

First, there are some common herpes symptoms that you should notice. These include:

  • Pimples, or tiny blisters on the skin;
  • Redness and swelling of the skin;
  • A tingling, itching and burning sensation;
  • A flu-like symptom, such as a fever, headache and muscle aches;
  • Pain during sex or urination.

Herpes tests and symptoms

A common way to identify genital herpes is asking about a patient’s sexual history. Herpes is highly contagious. It can be transmitted through sexual contact, such as oral, vaginal and anal sex. If you have herpes and practice unsafe sex, you may spread the virus to your partner. Here are some ways where herpes transmission happens during sex:

  • Have unprotected sex;
  • Have oral sex without using condoms;
  • Have sex with multiple partners;
  • Have sex with someone who has multiple partners;
  • Have sex while you’re having herpes sores;
  • Have sex with someone who has herpes sores.

So, you need to be open and honest with your doctor and your partner.

Related: Safe Sex with Genital Herpes

  1. If you do test positive for herpes, don’t panic.

After herpes diagnosis, many people may feel ashamed, stressed and embarrassed. But over time, they may feel a lot better. That is because the severity of herpes may be lessened as time goes. Moreover, herpes can be treated easily with topical antiviral cream like Prosurx. Study has shown that Prosurx can help get rid of herpes in less than a week. Many people have been using it to relieve symptoms and prevent future outbreaks.

In mild cases, people can apply natural remedies to get relief from herpes. These remedies are lemon balm, tea tree oil, and green tea.

Many doctors also advise patients to have healthy lifestyles to avoid outbreaks.

Related: Can I Live a Normal Life With Herpes?

After herpes test, treat it with cream

Herpes tests can be useless without a herpes outbreak present. But, don’t panic. You can wait several weeks until symptoms occur. Although herpes causes pain and discomfort, you can control it with Prosurx. Also, eat healthy and practice safe sex to reduce the risk of outbreaks.

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