Testing for Herpes
Tell me about the herpes test. Will I need to get swabbed?
No, you will not need to get undressed or swabbed. Instead, you’ll be on your way after just one quick blood draw. Like the branded HerpeSelect test recommended by the CDC, our Herpes test is an accurate, type-specific serology test that distinguishes between Herpes 1 and Herpes 2 antibodies. This Herpes test looks for antibodies that develop in the blood to fight the virus. They can be detected even if no symptoms or outbreaks are present. The window period for antibodies to develop after infection can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months. In the early stage of infection, antibodies may not reach detectable levels, so a "false negative" result is possible. If you feel you are at risk for the virus and may have tested too early, re-testing for confirmation of the diagnosis is recommended after the seroconversion period or 6 weeks after exposure.
What do the test results mean?
HSV-2 Antibodies Present (positive): This means you have a herpes 2 infection, the virus is dormant in your sacral nerves, and you have genital herpes.
HSV-2 Antibodies NOT Present (negative): This means with high accuracy that you do not have genital herpes, unless it was contracted very recently. Recent studies have shown that by 6 weeks after exposure, 70-93% of patients will have positive test results. Once antibodies are made, the test stays positive.
HSV-1 Antibodies Present (positive): This means you have Herpes 1 infection. For most people, Herpes 1 presents in the mouth area. Some people do have genital herpes type 1 which is less likely to cause recurrent outbreaks.
Neither HSV-1 or HSV-2 Antibodies Present (negative): You are not infected with either Herpes type 1 or Herpes type 2. There is a chance that you may have been recently infected, but your body has not produced antibodies yet.