Herpes is a disease that results from the infection of the body by the Herpes Simplex Virus known medically as HSV. A herpes infection is characterized by the presence of painful sores on the body of the individual. These sores may occur on the skin or on various mucous membranes of the body. It is common for herpes sores to develop around the lips and within the mouth. Genital herpes is a variant of the same condition that presents in the form of sores in the genital region of the body. For men, sores will be found around the penis while for women, sores tend to affect the lining of the vagina. Herpes that affects the mouth and surrounding area is known as HSV-1 or Herpes type 1. Herpes that affects the genital area is known as HSV-2 or Herpes type 2. Both forms of herpes are extremely contagious, especially when there is an outbreak of the virus in the form of sores. When the virus is dormant, the chances of transmission are reduced. Herpes type 2 is a sexually transmittable infection.
The herpes test is used to diagnose an individual with the condition. The presence of the herpes virus is confirmed using a herpes test. There are a few different ways in which a herpes test can be conducted like that of the oral herpes test. The method of testing often depends on the available laboratory equipment or on the choice of the doctor. A herpes test is conducted on an active infection. At this time, the virus is most obviously present in the body. The herpes virus never leaves the body completely. Therefore, tests during a dormant phase may also be positive even if there is no active infection.
The most common genital herpes test is the viral culture test. This type of herpes test uses a sample of fluid from a sore in the genital area. This fluid is allowed to develop in order for testing to be complete. The herpes test using viral culture is not always completely accurate. The same sample may therefore be tested using the herpes antigen test. This test uses microscopic analysis to determine whether the sample has any markers related to the herpes condition.
Based on the herpes test results, the patient's course of treatment will be prescribed. Herpes test for men as well as for women will usually be carried out in the same way. Home herpes tests are discouraged as the severity of the condition cannot be determined thus affecting the treatment. Herpes remains in the body after the outbreak has died down. Therefore, treatment is used to reduce the outbreak rather than cure the condition, something that is not yet possible. It is necessary to speak to your doctor on factors related to the test like the herpes test cost, the side effects, the preparations required and so on.