The herpes simplex virus is a common virus that causes painful blisters that break open into lesions, may cause symptoms similar to viral meningitis and is highly contagious. It is one of the most common viral infections and exists as HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 causes blisters or “cold sores” around the oral cavity and HSV-2 causes blisters primarily in the genital area. Both types are transferable to both areas of the body. The virus is spread through physical contact with open lesions but can also be spread when no lesions are visible. HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted disease.
Symptoms of Genital Herpes are often non-existent or so mild they’re not recognized as symptoms which is why 90% of those infected are not aware that they have the virus. Both viruses remain in the body for life and may cause recurring lesion outbreaks. Shedding of the virus also makes it contagious even without an outbreak. Pregnant women should be monitored near the time of birth because the virus can be passed onto newborn infants causing viral meningitis and blindness.
This test uses IgG technology to screen for antibodies of HSV-2.
Why Do I Need It?
If you think that you or your partner has been exposed to either HSV-1 or HSV-2 you should be tested. Medications can help with painful symptoms and if you are aware that you have the virus, you can protect your partner.
This is a blood test, no fasting required.
Understanding Genital Herpes Test Results
A positive result does not tell you when or where you acquired the virus, just that you did at some point. If you test positive for oral herpes and negative for genital herpes, that doesn’t mean you can’t have outbreaks in the genital region (or thighs, lower back or buttocks). You could be carrying oral herpes in the mouth, genitals, or both. Recurrent sores around the mouth are usually HSV-1 and recurrent sores in the genital area are more likely HSV-2 but that’s not always the case. If you only test positive for type 2, that could have been an oral infection. It’s not unusual for someone exposed to the virus to have their first outbreak months or even years later.
A positive IgG also doesn’t tell you where you have the virus