In This Article
In This Article
There are 572,000 new cases of genital herpes in the U.S. every year.1 It’s caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
Your symptoms will depend on the herpes simplex virus type that infected you:
Sexually active people between the ages of 14 and 49 have the highest risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This is why getting tested is crucial.
We asked Dr. Rizza Mira why it’s important to take a herpes test. As a general practitioner, she has a good grasp of chronic conditions like herpes.
“About 80% of herpes infections are asymptomatic and show no symptoms,” says Rizza Mira, M.D. This is why getting tested is crucial.
You don’t have to see a doctor to test for common STDs. You can take a herpes test at home.
Some people get skin outbreaks after a herpes infection. It can look like other skin conditions, so you might miss out on them.
According to Dr. Mira, you can unknowingly infect other people if you have asymptomatic herpes. She adds that immunocompromised people who get infected with herpes suffer “significant morbidity” or may find it difficult to recover.
When the virus becomes dormant, your signs may disappear. You’ll only get breakouts again when the virus reactivates.
Herpes symptoms may be generalized and non-specific. So you may be infected and unknowingly transmit it to your sexual partners.
At-home herpes tests can check for an active HSV infection. If you think you have herpes but are too embarrassed to visit a doctor, you can take this test at home.
You should get tested for herpes because symptoms aren't always evident or sometimes look like other conditions. So if you've been sexually active, it's smart to get tested to be sure.
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At-home STD tests usually perform blood tests and collect a finger prick blood sample. Everything you need to collect blood is present in the test kits.
When you open your package, you’ll find:
Once you receive your herpes test kit, you can follow these steps:
Open your herpes test box and read the instruction manual. Each pack contains a unique identification code.
Log in to the testing website and register your kit with the activation code. On the sample collection bag, you may be asked to write your:
It’s best to collect your blood samples in the morning, so you can send it back to the lab on the same day. Here’s a guide for the finger prick blood test:
After you’re done with the blood test, you can send it back to the lab:
Be sure to send your sample the same day you collect it. Your test results will be available online in two to five days.
A positive test result suggests you may have an oral herpes infection, a genital herpes infection, or both. At-home herpes testing can also tell you which herpes simplex viruses infected you.
Knowing your HSV status is important for your sexual health. It helps you engage in safer sex practices and allows you to protect yourself and your partners from herpes.
Keep in mind that you can test positive even if you don’t have symptoms.
Yes. It’s possible to get positive test results without an active herpes infection.2 False positive results aren’t common but can be distressing.
Further testing may help your doctor confirm a herpes diagnosis.3 You can take another at-home herpes test or undergo laboratory testing.
At-home health testing companies like LetsGetChecked can provide access to online consultations with medical professionals. They can discuss your test results and explain what they mean.
However, it’s important that you seek medical advice if you:
Your doctor can guide you on the next steps and provide the medications you need to recover.
If your test returns negative, it’s a reminder to practice safe sex. This reduces your exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
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