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Genital Herpes: Genital Herpes Testing

Testing Of Genital Herpes

The experienced eyes of a doctor can diagnose genital herpes. Most of the doctors recognize the disease with clinical examination.

To confirm the presence of genital herpes, tests need to be conducted. The common tests that are done to find out the presence of herpes are as below.

Viral culture for genital herpes testing
The popular test to confirm the presence of herpes is culture test. In culture test, a small sample of fluid or cells is taken from the suspected sore with a swab. This sample is sent for testing. Sometimes, the results may show negative but the person may be having herpes. This test is therefore repeated after some time.

The test reports of rapid viral test can take 2 to 3 days while that of standard culture may take up to two weeks.

Herpes virus antigen detection test
In this test, cells taken from the sore are viewed under a microscope. The presence of herpes antigens confirms the presence of herpes infection. If you have caught the infection recently, this test may not give correct results as body produces antigens after some days of getting infected. The results of this test are reported in a day.

PCR for genital herpes testing
This test is done on cells or sores. In this test, the DNA of herpes virus is detected. This test can distinguish between the two types of viruses- HSV1 and HSV2. PCR results are reported within three days.

Blood test for genital herpes testing
In blood test, blood is drawn either by a needle or with a pinprick. This blood is tested for the presence of herpes virus. Some blood tests can distinguish between HSV1 and HSV2. A blood test can only tell you about the presence of virus in your body. It cannot tell you if you have an active breakout.

Most often blood is tested for the presence of antibodies of herpes virus. Your doctor will tell you about the reliability of a particular blood test because many kinds of blood tests can be conducted. Antibody test results are reported within two days.

When you are getting tested for herpes, you may wish to discuss with your doctor about the reliability of the tests.

Article updated on: May 26, 2008

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