Herpes Testing Options: Distinguishing between Different Kinds of Herpes

November 7, 2011

There are over 80 different types of herpes known today. If you think you may have contracted one of them, it’s necessary to get tested, and if the test is positive, to determine what type of herpes you have.

It can take up to 12 weeks for someone who has been exposed to herpes to have any symptoms. In some people the symptoms come and go, and in others they never surface at all. Because of this, it’s a good idea to get tested before you begin a sexual relationship. And if you start to exhibit possible symptoms at any time, you should get tested right away to ensure that they are active long enough to be diagnosed.

The most common form of herpes is genital herpes, and it is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV in existence:

  1. HSV-1: affects the majority of the population (about 80%) and most often shows up on the lips as cold sores.
  2. HSV-2: usually found in the area of the genitals and can include symptoms such as blisters, sores, small bumps, painful urination, fluid discharge and flu-like symptoms.

Although there are only two main types of HSV, there are many different herpes testing options.  It can be difficult to distinguish between the two types, and different tests are capable of providing different kinds of information.

Some of the herpes testing options on the market can detect the virus whether symptoms are present or not. Certain herpes tests can only detect either HSV-1 or 2, but the most accurate and specific ones can detect both – and distinguish between them. Some tests can determine an acute infection and be used in the instance of recent exposure, while others are type-specific and used to detect the virus is cases of remote exposure.

Although there is extensive information to consider and a plethora of options to take, the most important thing to remember is that herpes testing should not just be an option, but rather a necessity for anyone starting a sexual relationship. Knowledge is power, and it’s extremely important to arm yourself with as much as possible when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases.

If you think you may need to be tested for herpes, or if you’d like more information about the different kinds of tests that are available, visit the complete list of Request A Test herpes testing options.