Is a Blood Test Effective for Testing Herpes?

If you think you have symptoms for herpes, the first thing you need to do is contact your doctor, or setup an appointment at a medical clinic and get tested. It’s imperative that you receive a proper, correct diganosis right away, so that you can begin management. There are several different tests out there to determine if a person has herpes or not, and some of them are more effective than others. If you fear that you may have contracted herpes, a blood test is the most common and effective way to determine whether you do. There are benefits and drawbacks to this method, however, and most of them will be discussed below.

The way that a blood test works with herpes is by taking a look at the antibodies in your blood. If cases of herpes are found in the antibodies, a doctor can tell for sure that you have the virus. Antibodies are the components of your immune system that help ward off different infections. Herpes is one of them. If the antibodies show a presence of herpes, then doctor’s can deduce that your body is no longer fighting off that particular infection. The result of course is a positive diagnosis for herpes in whatever form you have it.

The problem with blood tests is that they only work with the presence of herpes infected antibodies. If you have recently been infected, you may not even have the herpes in your system. This means that any tests you take will show up negative, but in a few weeks time you could actually have a breakout of some sort. Personally, my initial blood test was negative, although I was already showing minor physical symptoms. It wasn’t until after I had my initial outbreak, I was tested once again, where the result came up as positive. At that point, however, since I had an outbreak, I already knew the outcome. Also, depending on what type of blood test you have, certain types may not be able to pinpoint which kind of herpes you have, so you will have to go through additional testing to find out if it’s HSV-1 or HSV-2. In that regards, the blood test will at least give you a general diagnosis, so you will at least know that a problem is present.

The good thing about herpes blood tests is that they can detect signs of herpes even before any breakouts occur. A lot of people suffer from herpes without even knowing it because the virus is dormant in their system. With a simple blood test, doctors can determine if you do or don’t have herpes when you look perfectly healthy. There are type-specific blood tests out there that are most beneficial for people who already know they have herpes. Talk to your doctor if you want to begin testing so he or she can figure out if a blood test is right for you.

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