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Reviewed by Ruthann Cunningham, MD., July 7, 2017
What should I know about the herpes
The test for herpes type 2 is a blood test. The test is called the herpes IgG
test. Herpes type 2 is a lifelong condition that your primary care doctor can
help you manage if needed. If you are positive for HSV-2, our medical team can
connect you with a local provider if you don’t have one.
In the early stage of infection, antibodies may not reach detectable levels, so a
"false negative" result is possible. That’s why we recommend testing 3 weeks after
exposure, then retesting again in 3 months. The herpes virus can be detected even if
no symptoms or outbreaks are present. It usually takes 3 months from the time someone
contracts herpes until the test turns positive.
What do I need to know about taking the test?
The screening for herpes is a blood test, but you do not need to fast. All you need
is a lab order for your visit.
What do my herpes test results mean?
A positive test for herpes 2 means you are infected with that virus. Our doctors
are available for a consult to discuss the next steps in your treatment plan.
What can I can do to lessen or stop herpes outbreaks?
It is easiest to pass the infection from one person to another during an outbreak. An
outbreak is when the herpes sores are visible on the body. While taking a daily antiviral
medication may lower the frequency of outbreaks, it cannot stop an outbreak from occurring
or prevent the transmission of the virus from one partner to another. It is always important
to practice safe sex, no matter what.
If I get tested for herpes, should I get tested for other STDs?
Yes, if you are concerned you might have on STD, our doctor’s recommend getting tested for
all of them. Because many STDs may not show symptoms until long after infected, regular testing
is important for your health and to prevent spreading an STD to your partners.