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Question about herpes blood test

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My doctor told me the only way to find out if i have herpes is to swab a sore, but I've read everywhere that it can also be detected with a bloodtest. I've also read different things about whether a bloodtest can detect the difference between HSV-1 and HSV-2. So now I'm pretty confused if it can tell me if I have HSV-1 or HSV-2 or possibly both?

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Blood tests are effective and a PCR can tell the difference between the two. The caveat is that you need to wait at least 4 months post-exposure for an accurate result. A Western Blot is the best, but it is best used for a confirmation test if an inconclusive IGG/IGM, or PCR test has been received. Speaking of, stay away from the IGG. I've heard of lots of false positives on that one.

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Adrial had a great blog here about testing:




Yes - there ARE blood tests (sadly they *should* be done whenever you ask for a STD test but they are not). The regular blood test looks for Antibodies (IgG tests) in the blood. If you take it too early after exposure though you can get a false negative. And by what I read on here, a lot of people have inconclusive tests even though they have all the symptoms....maybe their bodies are just slow to build up the antibodies. THe "Gold Standard" of the options for IgG tesing is the Western Blot test that @yadira mentioned... but it takes about 3 weeks to come back. There is one that tests for recent exposure (IgM) but it's considered useless by most health care professionals.


There is another blood test called the PCR test - it checks for DNA. Supposedly VERY accurate but I'm not sure how much it's used. It all depends on whether your local clinic works with the testing lab and whether your Dr is up to date....sounds like yours is not..if you are working with a Family Doctor then I really , REALLY suggest you go to your OBGYN, Planned Parenthood, or an STD testing site. They will be up to date with the latest info.


Swabs not only confirm the diagnosis, they tell you where it is. This is important if you had a blood test first and didn't know, for instance, where your HSV1 was playing because you never had an outbreak (more common than you know!) Or if you have a first OB and its too soon for bloodwork... Swabs are considered the "definite diagnosis" as it's a culture of the virus itself and you know for sure both that you are positive AND which one it is AND where it is residing.




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