Who gets Genital Herpes?

About one-fifth of all people aged 12 and up in the U.S. are infected with the HSV-2 virus that causes genital herpes, but as many as 90% don't know it. Experts estimate 55% to 75% of adults have oral herpes. Undergoing herpes testing is just plain smart considering the prevalence of this condition.

Get tested for Genital Herpes (HSV-2)

Genital herpes does not generally cause other problems. However, it does increase your risk of contracting other STDs including HIV. Act immediately and get tested today!

Get tested for STDs today

How is Genital Herpes diagnosed?

Genital herpes can be difficult to diagnose, though there are a few different methods:

  • Physical Exam. Your doctor may be able to tell by looking at your sores
  • Swab. If possible, the doctor will swab your sore to study the fluid
  • Blood Test. This is the most certain method of diagnosis - blood is drawn and tested for HSV-1 and HSV-2

What test do you recommend?

HSV Types 1 & 2 - IgG

This test is an antibody test for the Herpes Simplex Virus. This test is type specific, but it is impossible to conclusively state where any particular infection is located on the body, absent of any symptoms. It is also impossible to determine how long the virus has been present in the body.

HSV Types 1 & 2 - IgM

This particular test is not type specific. It can only determine whether or not the antibodies that are typically produced shortly after the initial contact with HSV are present. These antibodies begin to appear approximately one week after the virus is contracted.

What type of sample will be taken?

Herpes testing calls for a blood sample to search for specific antibodies that are type specific to the herpes virus.

Whether you need same day STD testing services to screen for herpes or another condition, we’re here to help.

Mark Riegel, MD

Quick snapshot

Can it be cured?

No. Viruses don't have cures, but symptoms can be controlled with proper treatment.

Type of Infection

Viral. Caused by the herpes simplex virus.

How is it treated?

Antiviral Medicine. Symptoms are treated with antiviral medications (Zovirax, Famvir, or Valtrex), however there is no cure.

Recovery Time

1 month or longer. The symptoms from the initial outbreak can take over 20 days to disappear.

Can I have sex?

Yes. During your initial outbreak, you should refrain from sex until all symptoms are gone.

Can I get re-infected?

Yes. Once you get infected, you will have the virus for life.