Information On Genital Herpes Testing

Submitted by Nic on October 17, 2012

Genital herpes testing is necessary if you think you are infected with this viral infection. Genital herpes is caused by two viruses:-

  • Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2)
  • Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)

Most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2. This type of genital herpes can be spread through the mouth or genitals. HSV-1 causes herpes infection that infects the mouth and lips. It is commonly known as fever blisters or cold sores. This kind of genital herpes can spread through the mouth to the genitals during oral sex. Do contact your health care provider for genital herpes testing if you feel that you are suffering from this infection. Genital herpes testing is very important as if you test positive, you can begin treatment right away. Genital herpes testing accuracy is essential as well. Some people have lived for years thinking they were infected with the virus as it was diagnosed on the basis of their symptoms and not a test. It also causes immense emotional stress to an individual who thinks he/she is infected with the virus.

There are different tests for genital herpes testing. These include:-

  • Blood test: A simple blood test can also diagnose the presence of HSV antibodies in an infected person. However, this test is not accurate because it can only tell if the person has been exposed to the virus or not. A false negative result from a blood test is possible if you have been infected recently. False positive tests results are possible too and re testing may be required in this case.
  • Cell culture: In this type of genital herpes testing, a sample is taken from a sore to look for the herpes simplex virus in it. Viruses in the sample are then allowed to multiply so that they are easily seen from under a microscope. This kind of test is appropriate only if the sores are already present on the patient’s body.
  • Direct Fluorescent Antibody test: A solution containing HSV antibodies and fluorescent is added to the sample. If the virus is present in the sample, the antibodies stick to it and glow when viewed under a special microscope. This test is good in only diagnosing whether a person has been exposed to HSV. This test cannot diagnose a specific herpes outbreak.
  • Genital herpes testing in men can be done by either testing a swab taken from herpes sore or done on genital secretions.

Genital herpes home testing is also possible with a genital herpes testing kit. However, it is advisable to visit a doctor for this instead of testing yourself.

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