Herpes tests diagnose herpes simplex STD infection. The herpes simplex virus causes this infection and there are two forms of it: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Herpes tests identify the HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses in blood samples. HSV-1 virus causes herpes simplex type 1, whereas herpes simplex type 2 causes HSV-2 infection and herpes tests are accurately able to diagnose both of them. HSV-1 virus can transmit via sores on the skin. Still, both HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections can transfer to others even in the absence of sores. Herpes tests are necessary for pregnant women as this infection can transfer from a pregnant woman to a newborn child. Labwork360 provides herpes tests in T and mobile phlebotomy services for at-home specimen collection.
Herpes simplex may also have physical symptoms or it can remain asymptomatic. In the absence of physical symptoms, herpes tests are used for diagnosis. The characteristic sign of herpes simplex is blisters at the site of infection.
Herpes infection has treatments but a test is necessary for diagnosing an asymptomatic herpes infection. This virus spreads through contact with these sores. Moreover, this virus can also spread through shared personal care products such as lip balm, drinkware, razors, and eating utensils, however, such cases are rare. According to older estimates, the virus can only last for a few hours or days outside the body. Hence, the most common reason for the spread of this disease is contact with sores or infection sites during the shedding of the virus.
For many individuals, herpes is an asymptomatic infection, which means the virus is present in them without causing an active episode or outbreak of herpes. Others may experience infrequent episodes of fluid-filled, small sores or blisters on the site of infection.
It is important to get herpes blood tests because the herpes virus can remain dormant and does not show any distinct symptoms. Certain conditions may activate a dormant herpes infection and in these situations, healthcare practitioners may prescribe herpes tests for diagnosis. The dormant herpes virus can become active in the following conditions:
Emotional or physical stress
Immunosuppression because of AIDS or medications such as steroids or chemotherapy
Trauma to the affected areas
Herpes tests are also carried out in the absence of symptoms of herpes. Moreover, herpes tests are simple for the patient as they only analyze blood specimens. Blood specimen collection for herpes tests is a simple and low-risk process for the person taking the test. Some individuals only have mild symptoms of herpes simplex or they may have no signs at all. Thus, it is possible that the infected individuals do not know about their infection. However, the signs of this disease can be painful. This is especially the case when it is the first outbreak, as it is frequently the worst.
The symptoms of herpes simplex are one or multiple blisters formed on the site of infection. Tender sores form when these blisters break. Generally, herpes simplex is diagnosable from its physical signs, otherwise, the patient is prescribed herpes tests.
Outbreaks are explained as pains or aches around or in the infected area, pain, burning, or difficulty urinating.
Oral lesions of herpes are called cold sores. These sores cause burning and tingling just before the outbreak of blisters. The blisters can be painful too.
The herpes virus sheds from sores when the infection becomes active, however, it can also shed at other times in the absence of clear symptoms or sores.
Research suggests that shedding takes place on about 10% of the days when the individual has asymptomatic HSV, and on about 20% of the days they experience symptomatic HSV.
Different factors can affect the pace of shedding of the virus, such as:
The type of herpes simplex infection
The duration for which an individual has HSV, as the shedding of virus from sores increases with time. For instance, if the HSV infection persists for about 10 years, the virus sheds less frequently than in recent infections
The health of the immune system. A weak immune system makes viruses shed more frequently
Herpes generally does not cause any severe health problems. Though outbreaks of herpes can be painful and annoying, its first flare-up is generally the worst. For many individuals, outbreaks become less frequent and can also ultimately stop completely.
Herpes simplex is generally recognizable through its physical symptoms. Herpes tests become necessary when the healthcare practitioner cannot find its physical signs as herpes can be an asymptomatic infection. The HSV 1 and 2 tests consist of PCR or DNA tests as well as virus cultures. Labwork360 is a medical diagnostic lab that also provides herpes tests in .
There is not any specific cure for herpes, however, treatment can alleviate the symptoms. Medications used for treating herpes reduce its pain and healing time. Moreover, they decrease the total outbreaks of this infection. Warm baths can relieve the pain due to sores. The signs of herpes are generally treated with Zovirax, Valtrex, and Famvir medications. Though there is not a specific cure for herpes, antiviral and home remedies can help improve the intensity of its symptoms. The frequency of herpes episodes also significantly decreases through the use of antiviral medications.
Treatment of herpes during pregnancy can prevent its transmission to the newborn child, hence, herpes tests are prescribed to pregnant women if they have any symptoms.
HSV infection is very common and according to an estimate by World Health Organisation (WHO), about 67% of the population of the world below 50 years old had one of the forms of HSV-1 in 2016. Moreover, 13% of the individuals between 15 to 49 years of age had HSV-2 in 2016. According to another research, about 90% of adults have HSV-1 antibodies before 50 years of age.
HSV-1 is more common than HSV-2 herpes simplex and these infections can occur to anyone, regardless of age. Moreover, assigned females at birth (AFAB) are more vulnerable to this infection. Studies suggest that HSV occurs in more AFAB individuals than people assigned male at birth. However, this can also mean more AFAB folks are prone to experiencing signs of HSV. Other research suggests that HSV-1 antibodies may provide AFAB individuals some protection against HSV-2 infection. However, many individuals with one infection contract the other form later on. Herpes infection only occurs once as afterward the virus continues to stay in the body in a dormant form.
According to one study, about 1 in every 1000 babies in the USA develop neonatal HSV. Pregnant women who get an HSV infection before pregnancy and experience a recurrent infection have a low risk of transmitting the virus to infants during delivery. However, the risk of transmission of the virus to newborns increases if they contract the virus during pregnancy and especially during late pregnancy. Labwork360 provides herpes tests in Houston , and it is possible to conveniently have these tests by ordering an at-home sample collection/mobile phlebotomy services.
Labwork360 provides all types of medical diagnostic tests and ensures the accuracy of results and the use of standard testing procedures for all types of tests. Get secure, confidential, and accurate herpes tests in Houston at one of Labwork360’s centers for quick diagnosis. Our diagnostic center is fully licensed and we also provide mobile phlebotomy so if you cannot visit the lab to submit samples for testing, you can call us to visit to collect samples for the tests. If you have any queries about diagnostic tests, consult with us on our helpline.
The presence of HSV antibodies in the samples indicates the individual experienced herpes simplex infection at some point in their life. The antibodies may not appear in the herpes tests for a few weeks or up to a month after the infection.
Herpes tests use blood specimens for diagnosing HSV 1 and 2 infections by identifying specific antibodies. Hence, herpes tests are low risk for the person getting the test as the blood draw procedure is painless, and low-risk and it takes only a few minutes.