InformationWhat is Herpes?
Herpes is an STD caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that causes inflammation, blisters, and sores on the genitals, anus, and mouth.
What are the most common symptoms?
The initial symptoms for genital herpes is usually pain or itching. For women, blisters appear on the cervix, labia, vulva, or vagina. For men, blisters can occur at the tip of penis, foreskin, or on the shaft. Lesions can also appear on the mouth or anus for both men and women. The blisters may be painless at first; however they will eventually rupture and develop into painful sores, with redness and a yellow oozing center.
How long does it take to develop symptoms?
Initial symptoms usually begin a few days to a few weeks after exposure to an infected individual.
How do people get Herpes?
Herpes can be transmitted through sex, oral sex, anal sex, kissing, and hand-to-body contact. Keep in mind that it is possible to spread the virus even if no sores or blisters are present. Additionally, it is possible that a pregnant woman can transmit the disease to her unborn baby.
TestingWhat is a Herpes Test?
A Herpes Test will require either a blood sample to be taken.
Do you offer a Home Test for Herpes?
Currently, we do not offer a Home Test option for Herpes.
Is testing accurate?
Our contracted laboratory uses the same type of STD tests that you would receive at many doctor’s offices and hospitals. However, there is always a remote chance of a false positive or a false negative result.
A false positive result means the test shows the infection to be present when the person does not have the infection.
A false negative result means the test shows no sign of infection when the person does have an infection. False negative results can happen if the test is done within the window period (period of time between the day you are infected and when a test can find the infection in your body). The window period for Herpes is usually 3 weeks to 3 months.
TreatmentIs Herpes curable or treatable?
Herpes is not curable. It can only be suppressed and is a lifelong viral infection. Symptoms are generally managed using antiviral medications with outbreaks having a tendency to decrease with time.
PreventionHow can Herpes be prevented?
The most effective way to reduce the risk of contracting/transmitting Herpes is to use latex condoms consistently and correctly during sexual activities. Sexual intercourse should also be avoided if a partner has an active outbreak of Herpes. This is when the virus is most easily transmitted and includes the time when a person has the first signs of an outbreak such as tingling and/or burning in the genitals through the time when the sores are healed. However, it is still possible to spread the virus even if no sores or blisters are present. Getting tested and treated early is the best way to prevent the transmission of Herpes.