How to Test For Herpes
Herpes is an STD that affects one in six Americans, so if you're sexually active it's important to know how to test for herpes. If you test positive for herpes, there are treatments available to control the symptoms, and there are also steps you can take to protect your partner from getting infected with the herpes virus.
- Educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of herpes. If you have symptoms, such as tingling, painful sores that break open, you may be infected with herpes. It can be helpful to see a doctor for testing as soon as you have an outbreak because it is easier for a doctor to test when the sores are active.
- Make an appointment at a clinic or your doctor's office. Testing for herpes must be completed in a medical facility by trained medical staff. There is no self-testing or home-testing kit currently available to test for herpes.
- Give a blood sample at your doctor's office. Your doctor will use a blood test to determine if you are positive for the herpes virus. The doctor may also swab any open sores for a sample of fluid that is discharging from the sores.
- Contact your doctor's office for results. The results for blood tests for herpes and other STDs will typically be returned within three to five days. Your doctor's office will arrange a follow-up appointment to review the results and any additional concerns.
- If you test positive for herpes, you should discuss treatment options with your doctor. There are many medications available to treat the symptoms of herpes. It's also important to protect yourself and your partner from further infections, so you should discuss safer-sex practices with your medical provider.
Educate yourself on the symptoms, testing and treatment for herpes and other STDs by reviewing educational materials, and always practice safe sex.