How long should i wait before taking a herpes blood test?

 

Dear Doctor,

I have been exposed to my girlfriend who has genital herpes and now i develop rash on my penis. I have visited a clinic and they diagnosed me this rashes as fungal infection. My question is, how many weeks after my 1st outbreak should i wait to make sure i build up enough antibodies to test for blood test for Herpes test kit?

Jake

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Dear Jake,

Quite many doctors incorrectly diagnose herpes as jock itch, or fungal infection, ingrown hairs, frictions, or even yeast infection. For herpes, it will takes about 12-16 weeks after your first exposure to herpes in order to give the virus antibody enough time to show up in your blood stream.

If you take a blood test now, and the result is positive, then it is high possibility that you were already infected with the HSV2 virus BEFORE your encounter with this last person.

Statistics show that @ 20% of all US adults and 1 in every 4 women have the HSV-2 virus, and over 50% carry the HSV-1 virus (either orally or genitally), but most of them DON’T EVEN KNOW IT. This is because most people have mild, infrequent or even NO symptoms. And most doctors don’t routinely give blood tests for herpes even when they are testing you for other STD’s – unless you SPECIFICALLY request a herpes blood test. So most people have never been tested for herpes! Some people who become infected with herpes don’t have their first outbreak until YEARS after they were first infected. So unless you had a negative herpes blood test prior to having sex with this last person, you’ll never really know if you got herpes from HER, or someone else BEFORE her. It is possible to spread herpes even when there are no symptoms. Just think – one in every four of your previous sexual partners had genital herpes and probably didn’t know it! Safe Sex is always the best policy.

 

Herpes Blood Test Kit

Blood tests can be used when a person has no visible symptoms but has concerns about having herpes. Blood tests do not actually detect the virus; instead, they look for antibodies (the body’s immune response) in the blood.

IgM vs. IgG

When an individual contracts herpes, the immune system responds by developing antibodies to fight the virus: IgG and IgM. Blood tests can look for and detect these antibodies, as the virus itself is not in blood.

**IgG appears soon after infection and stays in the blood for life.

**IgM is actually the first antibody that appears after infection, but it may disappear thereafter.

IgM tests are not recommended because of three serious problems:

1. Many assume that if a test discovers IgM, they have recently acquired herpes. However, research shows that IgM can reappear in blood tests in up to a third of people during recurrences, while it will be negative in up to half of persons who recently acquired herpes but have culture-document first episodes. Therefore, IgM tests can lead to deceptive test results, as well as false assumptions about how and when a person actually acquired HSV. For this reason, we do not recommend using blood tests as a way to determine how long a person has had herpes. Unfortunately, most people who are diagnosed will not be able to determine how long they have had the infection.

2. In addition, IgM tests cannot accurately distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies, and thus very easily provide a false positive result for HSV-2. This is important in that most of the adult population in the U.S. already has antibodies to HSV-1, the primary cause of oral herpes. A person who only has HSV-1 may receive a false positive for HSV-2.

3. IgM tests sometimes cross-react with other viruses in the same family, such as varicella zoster virus (VZV) which causes chickenpox or cytomegalovirus (CMV) which causes mono, meaning that positive results may be misleading.

The accurate herpes blood tests detect IgG antibodies. Unlike IgM, IgG antibodies can be accurately broken down to either HSV-1 or HSV-2. A recent study corroborates this finding: labs that used non-gG-based tests for herpes had high false-positive rates for HSV-2 antibodies (14-88% saying the blood sample was positive for HSV-2) in samples that were actually only positive for HSV-1 antibodies. But 100% of the labs using gG-based tests accurately reported that the blood sample was negative for HSV-2 .

The challenge here is that the time it takes for IgG antibodies to reach detectable levels can vary from person to person. For one person, it could take just a few weeks, while it could take a few months for another. So even with the accurate tests, a person could receive a false negative if the test is taken too soon after contracting the virus. For the most accurate test result, it is recommended to wait 12 – 16 weeks from the last possible date of exposure before getting an accurate, type-specific blood test in order to allow enough time for antibodies to reach detectable levels.

Types of Drugs for Oral Herpes

Oral Herpes is cause by herpes simplex virus. Is an infection of the lips, mouth or gums. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). You will be able to detect this small, painful blisters also known as cold sores or fever blisters. Other name for oral herpes is herpes labialis. The earlier you detect yourself, the faster you will be able to get rid of it. Herpes Blood test is called Herpes lgM test, it can give you results as early as a week of exposure. It’s a blood test and results are fast.

Most people don’t know they are infected with herpes virus. Because after the first infection, the virus goes dormant meaning it goes to sleep mode. Sometimes, it wakes up (reactivates itself), then you’ll notice your lips blisters. These cold sores comes and goes and the only way to stop it is to know your herpes status and get medication from your doctor.

Herpes virus type 2 (HSV-2) most often causes genital herpes. However, sometimes HSV-2 is spread to the mouth during oral sex, causing oral herpes.

Herpes viruses spread easily. You can catch this virus if you:

  • Have close personal contact with someone who is infected
  • Touch something that is infected with the herpes virus, such as infected razors, towels, dishes, and other shared items

Parents may spread the virus to their children during regular daily activities.

Symptoms

Some people get mouth ulcers when they first come into contact with HSV-1 virus. Others have no symptoms. Most of the time, symptoms usually occur in children between 1 and 5 years old.

Symptoms may be mild or severe. They often appear within 1 to 3 weeks after you come into contact with the virus. They may last up to 3 weeks.

Warning symptoms include:

  • Itching of the lips or skin around the mouth
  • Burning near the lips or mouth area
  • Tingling near the lips or mouth area

Before blisters appear, you may have:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Swollen glands
  • Painful swallowing

Blisters or a rash may form on your:

  • Gums
  • Lips
  • Mouth
  • Throat

Many blisters are called an “outbreak.” You may have:

  • Red blisters that break open and leak
  • Small blisters filled with clear yellowish fluid
  • Several smaller blisters that grow together into a large blister
  • A blister that gets yellow and crusty as it heals, eventually turning into pink skin

Symptoms may be triggered by:

  • Menstruation or hormone changes
  • Being out in the sun
  • Fever
  • Stress
  • Low immune

If the symptoms return later, they are often less severe.

DRUGS FOR HERPES LABIALIS (ORAL HERPES)

Top companies drug manufacturer for Herpes are:
GSK
Novartis
Teva
Mylan
Cadila
Apotex
Daewoong Pharmaceutical
Livzon
Luoxin
Med shine
Bayer (Campho Phenique)
Blistex
Kelun Group
Hikma
Haiwang
Carmex
Cipher

Types of Drugs Name for Oral Herpes include:
Valacyclovir
Aciclovir
Famciclovir
Docosanol
Other

Methods of Application of Herpes Drugs include:
External Use
Oral
Injection

Details of Herpes Drugs types:
Daily oral acyclovir or valacyclovir may help prevent herpes simplex labialis
Valacyclovir reduces both healing time and duration of pain,
Famciclovir reduces both in one dosage form but not another, and
Acyclovir reduces only pain duration

Several topical medications (acyclovir,penciclovir, docosanol) modestly decrease healing time and pain duration—typically by less than a day—and require multiple doses per day.

 

How Soon Can I Get Tested for STDs After Unprotected Sex for HIV (HIV Antibody Test Method)?

How Long Should I Wait?
1-3 Months
herpes_exposure
gt-cal-1-3-months
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for HIV (Antibody) is 25 days to 2 months. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

It is advised to retest to confirm your result. Seek treatment immediately if you test positive for HIV.

The Right Time to Test for STDs

The timing for when to get STD tested varies depending on the sexually transmitted disease because the incubation time in everyone’s system varies.

How Soon Can I Get Tested for STDs After Unprotected Sex for Syphilis?

How Long Should I Wait?
3-6 Weeks
herpes_exposure
gt-cal-3-6-weeks
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for Syphilis is 3 to 6 weeks. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

Get tested again 2 weeks after treatment to ensure that you are clear of the Treponema pallidum bacteria.

The Right Time to Test for STDs

The timing for when to get STD tested varies depending on the sexually transmitted disease because the incubation time in everyone’s system varies.

How Soon Can I Get Tested for STDs After Unprotected Sex for Herpes?

Genital Herpes

How Long Should I Wait?
4-6 Weeks
herpes_exposure
gt-cal-3-6-weeks
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for Genital Herpes is 4 to 6 weeks. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

No, HSV-2 remains in your system for life. If you test negative, retest after 3 months to confirm the initial result.

The Right Time to Test for STDs

The timing for when to get STD tested varies depending on the sexually transmitted disease because the incubation time in everyone’s system varies.