Although it’s an STD, herpes virus is transmitted in many ways other than sexual activity. One can contract the infection through sexual contact, sharing drinking glasses, exchanging kisses and making contact with the fluid from the blisters.
And once it enters the body. It remains there for a lifetime. Many people have the STD, yet indicate no visible signs. It’s only through a herpes test that you can tell for certain if you are a already a victim.
But who should go for the test?
Unlike other sexually transmitted infection like gonorrhea and syphilis, herpes has no cure. It is therefore wise to keep off anything that puts you at risk of contracting the disease. Below are three instances when testing for the infection is extremely useful;
- When your partner has the infection
If one partner has the virus, then it’s highly likely the second party has the infection too. Usually, the diagnosis of a spouse with an STD brings about many questions. Unfaithfulness, the financial strain, and the public image become a major issue to ponder about. A herpes test helps to eliminate any worry about having the disease or not.
If the results turn negative, then take the necessary precautions and avoid contracting the disease.
- Getting into a new relationship
Many factors lead to the collapse of a relationship and the beginning of a fresh dating. But before you invest into a new relationship, it’s better to dig deeper into your new date’s sexual history. That involves going for a comprehensive sexually transmitted infection tests.
- You recently had unprotected sex
Engaging in unprotected sex puts one at risk of contracting many infections. Thus such unsafe sex should be avoided. After such incidences, worries crops into the mind. It’s only going for a test that clears or confirms the doubts.
- Showing symptoms of the disease
Not everyone has a clear understanding of the herpes simplex virus. So going for test will confirm if the painful blisters around the mouth or genital region is indeed the infection. If the virus is confirmed, the doctor will then brief you on how to live with the infection. In addition he will give you the right treatment to contain the outbreak.
- Expectant Mothers
Expectant women stand the chance of transmitting the infection to the newborns. The risks increase if the delivery concurs with an outbreak or happens before she builds immunity to the disease.
Thus an expectant mother who suspects of having herpes labialis or her husband should go for the test. The screening will pave way for the right medication and safe delivery.
Herpes Testing Options
A diagnosis to test can be carried out with or without an outbreak, thus giving the following testing options:
NAAT involves taking a swab from the blisters then performing DNA tests on the sample collected. The most common method under this is the polymerase chain reaction, PCR test. A PCR test is highly preferred owing to its accuracy and also specifying the type of virus that has caused the infection.
- Blood Tests
A blood test is mostly used when there aren’t any visible signs of the infection. Instead of detecting the virus, blood test checks for the body’s immune response to the virus. The test for the antibodies can thus be either IgG or IgM.
Although IgM antibodies are the first to show up in the blood following an infection, they might soon disappear. Hence the IgG is the better option since once released; they permanently stay in the bloodstream and even specify the type of herpes simplex virus infection found.
Nevertheless, IgG antibodies may up to four months to reach a noticeable level.
The test involves scraping the bottom layer of the lesion blister and examining it under a microscope. Although it checks for cold sores, it causes slight pain.
Don’t nurse fears of having the herpes virus, go for a test. Are you just entering into a new relationship? Don’t walk into the affair blindly have a clear understanding of your partner’s sexual history. Preferably a few weeks form the suspected date of receiving the infection is best. If you turn positive, sign up for treatment and management.