A Deeper Look at the Herpes Test

by Rachel on November 3, 2010

Herpes Simplex Virus, or simply just Herpes, is one of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that could never have symptoms. An individual may have the infection without him knowing. It is simpler to diagnose the Herpes Simplex Virus if the symptoms are still present.When getting tested for Herpes, tests usually are based on two groups: Sensitivity and Specificity. Sensitivity is the word for the likelihood of properly diagnosing herpes. Specificity is the likelihood that the patient may not have herpes, determining when the test taken is correctly.Herpes symptoms usually comes out as sores, or chancre, close to the vagina, within the penis, around the anus and the groin region. Outbreaks generally show up with more than one blisters that break open to become sores.  Whenever these sores and blisters break out, they are very painful and causes much discomfort to the infected person. Lesions have a tendency to be more extensive and persist longer than in individuals who have healthy immune systems. When these outward signs of infection exist, the method of Viral Culture sample of the infected tissue is used.A patient may ask for herpes culture or HSV DNA testing when blisters exist. Herpes culture and HSV DNA testing are the main ways of testing. However when no symptoms of the disease are present, when there are no blisters or when they have already healed, blood testing is required. During outbreaks, health care providers will look at the sores and see if they are common of a herpes outbreak. They’ll swab the sores for the sample. Swab tests isn’t always precise and has high risk.HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) testing is not only used to detect presence of herpes in those who have genital sores. Testing are also used to people who have encephalitis and newborns infants suspected of having neonatal herpes, a serious ailment in which the disease is caught from the mother in the course of childbirth. Childbirth infection is deadly for it can compromise the immune system of the kid.Though not as sensitive as culture and DNA testing, another test called HSV antibody tests can be used to help diagnose severe HSV infection. Convalescent blood samples are usually gathered. Antibody tests may be used to screen particular populations such as sexually active people, organ transplant recipient, and those with HIV or AIDS.A patient may request from any of the three test (culture, DNA testing and Antibody testing) when he or she has encephalitis that’s thought to be caused by a virus, when a pregnant woman is transmitted with the disease, when he or she is being screened for a previous exposure to herpes, or simply when a current infection is suspected.Positive results from herpes simplex virus culture and HSV DNA test may indicate either an active Herpes Type 1 or Herpes Type 2 infection. When the tests are negative, results will indicate the herpes virus wasn’t isolated but does not definitely rule out the presence of the illness.In mixture with HPV or human papilloma virus, Herpes risks the patient to develop cervical cancer. When symptoms of Herpes are not taken care of well, Herpes can make individuals susceptible to HIV infection. It may make HIV-infected individuals more infectious too because of the blisters and lesions.Infected individuals can go to a STD clinic if they want confidentiality. A health care expert will take care of the test needed. Herpes is permanent and incureable. But with proper care, one can reduce the pain from the sores and blisters.

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