There are some persons who depend on outward signs to determine whether or not they have herpes; however, infected persons do not always show symptoms, and herpes shedding can still occur, which causes the virus to be transferred from person to person. You can check to see if you have herpes by doing a cell culture test, or by doing a herpes blood test.
The herpes simplex blood test is the most common type of herpes testing, especially when there are no outwards signs of the disease. Blood will be drawn from you, and then it will be tested to see if there are any herpes antibodies present. Herpes blood test accuracy is very high for long term; however, if you or your partner were recently exposed to the virus, the test may produce false negative results. It can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months for the herpes antibodies to be shown in your system; as such, your doctor may recommend that you take a swab sample in addition to the herpes blood test.
As stated earlier, if you or your partner were recently exposed to the virus, you may end up with false negatives; furthermore, a majority of blood tests for herpes do not test specifically for HSV-1 or HSV- 2. HSV-1 is responsible for oral herpes, while HSV-2 is responsible for genital herpes. There are type specific blood tests that you can take to determine whether you have contracted HSV-1, or whether you have contracted HSV-2.
The Western Blot Test is a herpes blood test that is type specific, which is being performed by a majority of labs. The Western Blot Test is also used for testing for Lyme disease and HIV. It is said that this specific test 300% more accurate than cell culture testing. It is recommended that if you show no outward signs, you should wait at least 2 weeks after exposure to have this test done. This type of herpes testing is not available in home testing.
If you are looking for an immediate herpes blood test, you can use the Point of Care Kit. Although these tests are quite effective in testing for herpes, they are not type specific. Just as with the Western Blot Test, if you show no outward symptoms, you should wait 2 weeks before performing the test. However, the Point of Care Kit is less expensive than the Western Blot Test.
Once you have a positive herpes blood test, you should consult with your doctor so that treatment can be started immediately.