Our herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 (IgG) type-specific antibody testing looks at the blood for antibodies to both types of the herpes virus through the use of an immunoassay. If enough antibodies are detected, then the tester is positive for the corresponding virus. Even without signs of an outbreak, our FDA-cleared herpes type 1 & 2 testing will be 97%-99% accurate between 4-6 weeks post exposure. It will remain 99% accurate after 6 weeks.
It’s important to understand that while HSV-2 is often referred to as genital herpes, and HSV-1 is commonly known as oral herpes, both can be located on either region of the body. A positive result for HSV-1 does not always mean a person has oral herpes, nor does a positive result for HSV-2 mean someone has genital herpes.
Finding a lab is as simple as entering your zip code and selecting the lab that is most convenient for you. You pay online and can get tested as early as that same day.
HSV-1 is often transmitted through kissing, sexual contact, oral secretions, sharing personal objects like toothbrushes, and direct contact with herpes sores. HSV-2 is seldom spread in ways other than sex and direct contact with genitals of someone who is herpes-positive. Those who have herpes often do not display symptoms at first. It can take weeks, months, or even years before symptoms appear, which aids the virus in spreading.
Though it’s important to always practice safe sex, herpes can occasionally be transmitted even when using protection. This is why it’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about their status, to be aware of the symptoms to look out for and to understand that herpes can be contracted even when no symptoms are present.
The herpes type 1 and 2 (IgG) type-specific antibody test requires a blood sample to be taken. This type of testing is the most accurate and reliable option available.
No preparation is necessary prior to testing, including fasting or appointments.
If you’re experiencing symptoms, get tested immediately! If you’re not experiencing symptoms, our clinicians recommend waiting at least four weeks after potential exposure to the herpes virus before getting tested to ensure higher accuracy.
The concentration of herpes antibodies in your blood determines if your results are positive, negative, or indeterminate.
A negative result indicates there were not enough herpes antibodies in a blood sample for you to be considered positive for herpes. A positive result indicates that a significant amount of antibodies for either one or both strains of herpes were found in your blood. It is possible to test positive for both types of herpes at the same time.
Those who test negative should consider retesting in 3 months, to confirm a negative diagnosis.
Herpes cannot be cured, regardless of type. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, it is possible to manage them through the use of antiviral drugs. These drugs do not rid the body of the virus, but they can help control outbreaks, reduce the intensity of symptoms, and they reduce your chances of transmitting the virus to others.
It’s important to note that most herpes-positive individuals live perfectly normal and happy lives, without the virus causing much disruption. Herpes is extremely common; the World Health Organization states that as much 67 percent of the world population has HSV, this percentage may be even higher, as most healthcare professionals do not check for the virus unless it is requested.
If you have recently had oral sex or intercourse with a new partner whose STD status you do not know, now is a great time to get tested for herpes type 1 and herpes type 2. The presence of an STD increases your likelihood of acquiring another. If you believe you may have herpes, it is wise to test for other STDs.
Our clinicians recommend testing for all STDs at least once per year regardless if you currently have an STD or not. Our all-inclusive 10-test panel searches for both types of herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV 1&2 (4th gen), hepatitis A, B, and C to ensure you are free of these most common STDs.
For answers to your questions about testing for herpes type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes type 2 (HSV-2), call our Care Advisors at 1-800-456-2323
Medically Reviewed by J. Frank Martin JR., MD on June 18, 2019
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