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What results should I expect from a herpes test?

ANSWER

Genital herpes is a viral infection you can get from having sex with someone who already has it. If you get a “positive” result from a diagnostic test, it likely means you either have genital herpes or have been exposed to the virus.

A “negative” result usually means one of two things. Either:

or:

  • You don’t have genital herpes.
  • You got the virus so recently that your body hasn’t yet begun to fight it. You may need more tests.

From: Herpes Test: What You Should Know WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CDC: “Genital Herpes -- CDC Fact Sheet.”

Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions -- Genital Herpes.”

Center for Young Women’s Health: “Herpes.”

Lab Tests Online: “Herpes Testing.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Screening for Genital Herpes Simplex: Brief Update for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.”

American Sexual Health Association: “Herpes Blood Test Reference Guide.”

Reviewed by Louise Chang on August 04, 2018

SOURCES:

CDC: “Genital Herpes -- CDC Fact Sheet.”

Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions -- Genital Herpes.”

Center for Young Women’s Health: “Herpes.”

Lab Tests Online: “Herpes Testing.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Screening for Genital Herpes Simplex: Brief Update for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.”

American Sexual Health Association: “Herpes Blood Test Reference Guide.”

Reviewed by Louise Chang on August 04, 2018

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What happens during a viral culture test for herpes?

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