Oral and genital herpes is linked to infections with the herpes simplex viruses. Oral herpes is associated with HSV-1, and lead to the development of cold sores or fever blisters in or around the mouth. Genital herpes can be caused by two viruses, HSV-1 and HSV-2.
According to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) genital herpes is common in the US where 1 in every 6 individuals between the ages of 14 and 49 has genital herpes. Transmission occurs when direct contact is made with an individual with an infection through vaginal, anal or oral sex. Coming into contact with a herpes sore, saliva or genital secretions or skin in the oral or genital area can pass on herpes.
Pregnant women with herpes can transmit the disease to the baby. Neonatal herpes can be lethal. As such pregnant women should be screened for herpes.
Herpes is not treatable. Antiviral medications can be used to prevent outbreaks and to minimize the risk of transmission to partners.
A majority of individuals with genital herpes do not show symptoms or have mild symptoms that can be mistaken for another skin condition. Following are the symptoms of a first herpes “outbreak”.
Herpes lesions appear like small blisters in the affected areas. They can break and leave painful ulcers that last from 2 to 4 weeks. Lesions last longer during the first outbreak. Additional symptoms include fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes and headaches.
Subsequent or recurrent outbreaks produce lesions that are less severe and shorter in duration. You may be able to recognize the onset of recurrence by symptoms such as genital pain, tingling or shooting pain in the legs, hips and buttocks that occur before the eruption of lesions.
Who should get tested?
You should consider getting tested if
- You are sexually active
- You have had unprotected sex
- You are entering a new relationship
- You are experiencing symptoms of an STD
- You have had a partner with an STD infection
If you suspect exposure, pIf you know you have been exposed, know that it may take up to 4 weeks before most STDs can be detected.
HOW IT WORKS
Order your test.
Choose the test that matches your need from our large array of tests. The kit will be delivered to your door step. There is no need to leave the comfort of your home.
Collect your sample.
Register and activate your test. Collect your sample first thing in the morning. Return your sample to our lab as soon as possible, using the prepaid envelope included in the kit.
Your sample will be tested as soon as it arrives in our lab. Your results will be available through our secure online platform in 2 to 3 business days.
Details and FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we usually get. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.
To take a blood sample, use the supplies provided in the kit. Place your sample in the specimen bag provided and mail it back to the lab using the prepaid envelop inside the kit.
Several different diagnostic tests are available for herpes. Our test uses antibodies against HSV-1 and HSV-2 in blood to detect a herpes infection.
There is no current cure for herpes. Antiviral medications can be used to shorten or prevent outbreaks. Daily suppressive therapy can be used to minimize the risk of passing on the infection to sexual partners.
Avoiding vaginal, rectal or oral sex is the only sure-fire way to prevent STDs.
If you are sexually active
Male condoms when used properly, reduces the risk of getting or giving syphilis. However, sores outside of the area covered by the condom can still transmit the disease
Long-term monogamous relationships with a tested partner can also reduce your risk.