Herpes Blood Test


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Herpes Blood Test

It is estimated that about a fourth of adults in America have genital herpes but many of them are not even aware of it. Herpes is highly contagious and the virus that causes it can spread readily. While there are people infected with the disease who may not suffer from any effects, the fact remains that it is communicable and more stringent actions have to be performed to prevent it or at least manage it. One way to do this is by undergoing tests that will detect the presence of the virus. A common procedure is the herpes blood test. Find out how it works and if it is the right procedure for you:

Understanding Herpes
Herpes simplex is a viral disease that leads to the appearance of blisters or sores in the areas of the mouth or genitals. Genital herpes is one of the most common diseases that are transmitted sexually. It is frequently caused by the HSV-2 or Type 2 virus. Oral herpes, on the other hand, can often be blamed on the HSV-1 or Type 1 virus, although it may also be caused by a Type 2 infection in a few cases. Viral transmission occurs through direct contact with the saliva, mucus membranes, open sores and blisters on the skin of an infected individual. While not curable, the disease can be managed and even prevented.

Herpes Testing
The herpes blood test is just one of several tests that can be used to detect the presence of the virus in the body. A blood sample is drawn from the patient and tested for HSV antibodies. Any individual who had been exposed to the disease often produces antibodies - the body's response to any form of infection. If these antibodies show up in the blood and possible exposure can be confirmed, it is highly probable that the patient has the disease.

It is also possible for false results to appear. A false-negative result, for example, can happen if the patient either does not have an infection or has only been newly infected. Antibodies only appear on blood tests several weeks after the initial infection. If this is the case, the patient may want to be re-tested after a few weeks to be sure.

Another possible result is the false-positive, which can happen on individuals who may test positive but actually have a low risk of being exposed based on their lifestyle and habits. If this is the case, getting the test again will be helpful for confirming the true results.

What if I Test Positive for Herpes?
If you do have the disease, there are treatments you can undergo to help you control the outbreak, minimize the risk of transmitting the disease and avoid complications that may be detrimental to health. Herpes can be treated using anti-viral drugs that come in the form of oral pills and topical creams. There are also other safety and hygienic measures that the doctor can recommend and that should be followed carefully in order to keep you healthy and improve your quality of life.

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Common Herpes Symptoms:

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