If you are showing any symptoms of herpes, or if you think that you have come into contact with someone that has the virus, you should take a herpes test as soon as possible, to find or whether or not you have contracted the virus. By getting tested for herpes, you will be able to know for sure if you have the disease, so that you can take the next step to get treated for it.
If you wish not to go to a lab to get your test done, you can have a licensed medical professional give you a home herpes test. There are five primary ways in which you can determine if you have herpes. A herpes test should include detection of the virus, its type and also its location. You can assess the risks for transmitting the disease by knowing the location and the type of the virus. The five diagnostic measures that are involved in herpes testing are:
1.Clinical Examination – A clinical examination will include a physical examination and your medical history. Your doctor will most likely ask you about your sexual practices and your sexual partners. You will also be asked about the symptoms that you are experiencing, and a timeline will be constructed to determine when exactly you contracted the disease.
2.Viral Culture – The most common type of herpes test is the viral culture. The test is most effective when there is active viral shedding from the herpes sores that you have. With viral culture testing, a doctor will be able to determine the location of the infection and whether you have HSV-1 or HSV-2.
3.Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) – This test can also tell the difference between HSV-1 and HSV-2. It is more sensitive than viral testing, as the herpes testing accuracy is very high. It also requires active viral shedding in order to be completed.
4.Non-Type Specific Blood Tests – This type of herpes test includes ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay). This test is able to identify the location of the infection, but it cannot differentiate between the two types of the herpes virus. You may also be required to do other blood tests that are able to detect IgG and IgM antibodies.
5.Type-Specific Blood Tests – These tests do not require active viral shedding; however, they include a specific type of ELISA, Western Blot and Immunoblot Test.
It is important to note that an oral herpes test includes the five ways listed above. Ensure that you get tested for herpes as soon as you suspect that you have contracted the virus, so that you have a better chance of treating the disease.