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Is there a test for genital herpes?

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Yes. A doctor can take a sample from what appears to be a herpes sore and send it to a lab to be examined. You can also get a blood test that looks for antibodies to the virus that your immune system made when you were infected. HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes, almost always infects the genitals, so if you have those antibodies you probably have genital herpes.

A blood test that shows antibodies to HSV-1, the virus that causes cold sores, could mean genital or oral herpes. That's because oral herpes, typically caused by HSV-1, can be spread to the genitals during oral sex.

SOURCES:  Fleming, et al., New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 16, 1997; vol 337. American Social Health Association. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia. CDC. WebMD Medical News: "Herpes Virus Linked to Cervical Cancer."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 09, 2018

SOURCES:  Fleming, et al., New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 16, 1997; vol 337. American Social Health Association. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia. CDC. WebMD Medical News: "Herpes Virus Linked to Cervical Cancer."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 09, 2018

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