Category Archives: Herpes Testing

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Diagnosing Your Herpes Strain

You may be closer to contracting herpes than you probably realize. Annually, worldwide statistics records more new cases of herpes. In the US alone, 1 out of 4 or 67 million people are thought to have been diagnosed with the sexually transmitted disease herpes.

Sometimes, it takes more than warts or blisters to manifest before you are sure that you have the disease. Diagnosing your herpes strain is far easier now than before. If you have just engaged in sexual activities with multiple partners or your partner has just been tested positive for herpes, seek medical advice as soon as possible. Doctors will conduct physical exam and interview you for history. However, herpes sometimes does not manifest with its usual symptoms and it varies from people to people. If you suspect that you have herpes, laboratory tests and procedures will be done for proper diagnosis.

Studies show how the two strains of herpes — herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2) are almost identical under the microscope. Both have 50% similarities in their DNA. The two infect any surfaces of the body including the mucosal lining. The virus establishes itself in the genitals or in the mouth before being latently expressed in the nervous system. Seventy-five percent of people with either HSV1 or HSV2 will not manifest symptoms. However, it is possible that despite the absence of physical symptoms, the virus can progress on the person it affects.

The two differ in some aspects. One which is most drastic is the site of the manifestation of the symptoms. The HSV1 strain usually manifests itself in the trigeminal ganglion. These nerve cells are most commonly found near your ears. The outbreak will be found on the facial area or specifically on the mouth. On the other hand, the HSV2 mostly affects the sacral ganglion. The sacral ganglion is a group of nerves that are found on the lower spine. Hence, the manifestations of the symptoms usually occur on the lower part of the body particularly the genitals.

Diagnosing your herpes strain requires sample from the sore. From this, culture, PCR, FA, or serum analysis can be done to determine herpes. The latter is used in order to know whether herpes is available in the blood stream as well as if the patient exhibits immune response to the virus. If such procedures are undertaken, the medical practitioner can then conclusively tell you whether you have the disease and prescribe appropriate medications.

Diagnosing your herpes strain will be different depending on your circumstances. Some healthcare providers will opt to make use of one method versus another. These methods vary in efficacy, time of actually determining the virus, or in cost.

Discover The Ways To Get Tested For Herpes For Accurate Diagnosis

There are varied ways to get tested for herpes for accurate diagnosis of your condition. Some of these tests are costly; others are inexpensive; and there are also tests that can be done with strict confidentiality if you worry about being embarrassed.

The Importance of Undergoing an Accurate Herpes Test

Accurate testing of herpes is a must for people who suspect they have the virus. Too often, there are people who have the virus but are not accurately diagnosed and so they continue to carry and spread the virus to others.
On the other end, those who have been misdiagnosed to have it when they don’t suffer the consequence and may even live a miserable sexual life plus the embarrassment attached to the condition.

You have to realize that there are several ways to get tested for herpes to ensure accurate diagnosis. You see, herpes virus can be asymptomatic especially in women or its symptoms can be a lot similar like other diseases such as vaginitis.

The Various Ways to Test Herpes

Getting tested for herpes can come in various ways. It can be in the form of laboratory tests such as viral culture, blood testing, and antigen testing. Before you undergo any of these testing methods, your physician may subject you to initial testing such as:

For Men
Visual and thorough examination of the penis, rectum, scrotum, skin lesions or blisters, or urethra discharge.

For Women
Pelvic examination including cervix and vaginal inspection. Inspection of the labia, vulva and anus for signs of infection. When the signs and symptoms found in the initial tests indicate of a possible herpes infection, you are subjected to any of the three ways to get tested for herpes mentioned previously.

What These Tests Can Do

Viral culture testing can identify the existence of the virus in the lesion, and whether the herpes infection is brought by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 is the virus that spreads through oral sex affecting the mouth and exhibiting cold sores and fever blisters, while HSV-2 affects the genital area and is communicated through sexual intercourse.

Blood tests, on the other hand, indentify herpes through the antibodies present in the blood. If there are antibodies found in the blood, there is an underlying herpes virus in the system. Blood testing can be performed even when you are not showing any herpes symptom or sign, although it cannot distinguish the two types of herpes.

Antigen tests are similar to viral culture in the sense that it looks for the herpes virus in the lesion although this type of testing is done less frequently. It detects the herpes virus by the existence of the antigens or virus fragments stimulating the immune system’s response. They cost less than the viral culture tests but they require better samples and can hardly differentiate the two types of herpes virus.

With the varied ways to get tested for herpes, you should make it a point to get an accurate diagnosis especially when you are at high risks for this disease or you are already showing the signs and symptoms of the disease. Early detection can enable you to handle the disease most effectively.

If you feel embarrassed having yourself tested in clinics or laboratories, you can search online for confidential ways to get tested for herpes. These methods will allow you to test the disease at your home and send the results to a laboratory for the proper diagnosis.

Where Can I Get Tested For Herpes Simplex?

If you think you have herpes simplex but you aren’t sure of it, you might consider getting yourself tested. There are a variety of health care clinics out there that can do this, or you can see if your family physician is certified to administer these tests. Although, quite often, your doctor will refer you to a specialized lab. There are three different types of tests out there for herpes, and each one can be beneficial in its own way. Here we will look at these different kinds of tests to determine which one may be best for you. As always though, remember to talk to your doctor to really figure out your best options.

The first testing you may endure is called a viral culture. For this type of test to be administered, you must already have a breakout of herpes somewhere on your body. During the test, a doctor will “culture” a sample of the infected area and use it to determine if herpes is present. The problem with this type of testing is that it is limited to outbreaks only. If you have a dormant case of herpes, a viral culture will not be able to determine that. The culture may also not be able to detect herpes even if it is present, depending on how much of the viruses are left on the skin.

You may also get a blood test to determine if you have herpes or not. A blood test can be administered at any time during the course of herpes, even if you do not have a breakout at the time. The problem that comes with this test is that it cannot detect what type of herpes you have, and it is not effective if you have just recently contracted the problem. Blood tests focus on the antibodies in your bloodstream, so if the herpes has not hit your antibodies yet, the test will result in a false negative.

The third common testing method for herpes is antigen testing. Antigen testing is not used very often because it is less sensitive than viral culture and cannot be administered without lesions present. This type of testing also fails to determine what kind of herpes you have, but the results of the tests do come out faster with this method. Antigen tests are also less expensive than viral cultures, which is why some people still choose to get them. Talk to your doctor about any problems you may be having and get yourself tested as soon as possible.

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.