Herpes 2 (HSV-2)

What is herpes 2?

Herpes 2 (Genital Herpes) is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Herpes 2 can be caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) or Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) but most genital herpes are caused by HSV-2. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 776,000 Americans are infected with the herpes 2 virus annually. 16.2% or 1 in 6 individuals aged 14-49 years have genital herpes infections making it one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the country.

How do you test for herpes 2?

STDcheck.com uses the CDC recommended and FDA-approved type specific herpes 2 blood test. When you arrive at our testing center, our technicians will draw a small amount of blood and you are done. Our herpes 2 test can differentiate between herpes 1 and herpes 2 and looks for antibodies to the herpes 2 in the blood.

How is herpes 2 transmitted?

Herpes 2 (Genital Herpes) is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Herpes 2 virus is transmitted through sexual intercourse. Having oral, vaginal or anal sex with someone infected with the herpes virus exposes you to the infection. Most people infected with herpes 2 do not show symptoms or experience very mild symptoms that are usually confused for other skin conditions. Transmission can occur even when no symptoms are visible.

How soon can I get tested for herpes 2 after exposure?

Although it is possible to test for herpes 2 virus three weeks after exposure, our doctors recommend testing 4-6 weeks after exposure to allow antibodies to develop in your system.

What do I need to do to prepare for a herpes 2 test?

There is nothing for you to do to prepare for the herpes 2 test. No fasting is required. Our testing center just needs a small sample of blood for herpes 2 test.

How we test for Genital Herpes (HSV-2)

We use an FDA-approved type-specific genital herpes test that searches for antibodies to the virus and can differentiate between HSV-1 (oral herpes) and HSV-2 (genital herpes). The test uses a blood sample, so there is no uncomfortable swabbing or undressing.

All laboratory testing, including STD tests, accuracy rates are measured in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Our FDA-approved herpes type 2 test has a sensitivity rate of 97% and a specificity of 98%.

Genital Herpes (HSV-2) Testing

Does this genital herpes test use blood or urine?

We use a blood test called the enzyme-linked immunonsorbent assay (ELISA) test, which looks for antibodies to the herpes virus.

What do I need to do to prepare for the test?

No fasting or preparation is necessary for the HSV-2 test.

When is the right time to test for genital herpes?

There is no right time to get tested for genital herpes, since everybody creates antibodies at different rates. Although it is possible to detect herpes-2 as early as 3 weeks after exposure, it is recommended to wait 4-6 weeks after being exposed. If you test negative, it is advisable to test again in three months to confirm the initial test results.

What will the test results say?

If your results are negative, there are no signs of genital herpes. If positive, genital herpes was found. Although ELISA tests are reliable, “false positives” are possible due to the low occurrence of the HSV-2 virus in some populations.

Test results for herpes fall within a numeric range. If your test returns a value of 0.91 or below you are negative. A value of 1.09 or above is a positive. See additional test results and what they mean at our STD Test Results Sample page.

Can genital herpes be cured or treated?

Genital herpes is not curable but can be treated and managed. Current antiviral medications can prevent symptoms, shorten the duration of outbreaks, and reduce the likelihood of transmitting the genital herpes virus.

Who needs genital herpes test?

According to the CDC, HSV-2 infection is more common among women because the infection is more easily transmitted from men to women. Women who have had recent encounters with someone who is infected with genital herpes (HSV-2) should get tested. Infections can be transmitted through contact with genital or oral secretions, lesions, and mucosal surfaces.

When Is The Right Time To Test For Genital Herpes?

Now is the best time to get the genital herpes test. Know your sexual health status today.

Genital herpes often displays mild symptoms that may go unnoticed or be confused for another skin condition. For the most accurate results, it is recommended to wait 4-6 weeks after exposure to test for genital herpes. A follow-up test after 3 months post-exposure is advisable to confirm earlier test results. Although rare, serious complications of genital herpes include blindness, inflammation of the brain, and aseptic meningitis. If you have had a recent encounter with someone whose STD status you do not know, get tested today.

Also if you have not been tested for other STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV-1, HIV-2, hepatitis A, B and C, or herpes-1 in the last year, our doctors recommend taking the all-inclusive STD 10-test Panel to ensure that you are completely STD free.

We also offer a chlamydia-gonorrhea test panel. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are known as co-existing infections, meaning that having one infection may put you at risk of having the other.

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