Genital herpes is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Many people who are infected with genital herpes aren’t aware that they are carriers, so getting tested and treated is important when it comes to overall sexual health. Learn more about how this sexually transmitted disease is tested for and treated below.1

The test to confirm genital herpes is a blood test. The test detects antibodies of either HSV-1 or HSV-2. If a lesion or sore is present, it’s advised to take a sample for the most conclusive results. HSV-1 more frequently is the cause of oral herpes, but sometimes can be sometimes be found in the genital area.

A blood test will distinguish whether or not herpes type 1 or herpes type 2 is present. Anyone who has been exposed to the disease, has had multiple partners, unprotected sex or is vulnerable to other STDs due to an HIV infection should be tested for genital herpes.1

Herpes Treatment

Genital herpes currently has no cure, but there are a variety of medicines on the market that can reduce the occurrence of outbreaks and lessen the severity of the symptoms. These FDA-approved drug therapies include acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir, according to the World Health Organization.2 Taking suppressive drugs each day also helps to minimize the chance of the virus being spread between partners.1

Rarely, genital herpes can be passed from mother to child during childbirth, causing a serious and life-threatening condition in the child.

Herpes Overview

Genital herpes is characterized by sores or ulcers on the genital area that can be transmitted sexually from one partner to another. It is an infection of the mucous membranes. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus, which has two varieties. Herpes Simplex 1 is commonly attributed to oral herpes, or common cold sores. HSV-1 is very common and can be treated by over-the-counter (OTC) treatments. Herpes Simplex 2 is the virus that most commonly causes the genital sores associated with genital herpes. HSV is an incurable disease and those infected are at risk for recurring outbreaks over the course of their lifetime. These outbreaks and daily discomfort can be brought under control quite effectively by antiviral drug therapies.

According to the CDC, until an outbreak of herpes occurs, the STI presents without any symptoms.This leaves up to 87.4% of people infected unaware that they have the disease.1 Getting tested after an unsafe sexual encounter, if you’ve never been tested before or if you’ve been with multiple partners is a proactive way to approach this disease which can have painful outbreaks. There is a stigma involved with genital herpes, but we’re here to help you with detecting the STD as soon as possible so you can be treated and experience far fewer outbreaks. There are an estimated 500 million people affected worldwide by the herpes simplex virus, making it one of the most common STIs.2

Find the right tests

Choose the specific tests that are right for you or select a full STD test panel

Choose a location

Get tested at home, work, a lab, or another convenient location near you

Fast online results

You’ll be notified of your results usually within three business days or less

Doctor follow-up

Our medical team is on-call to discuss your diagnosis and recommend further care

Herpes Symptoms

As discussed, prior to an outbreak, genital herpes presents as asymptomatic in the majority of cases. Men and women exhibit symptoms differently, since the disease affects the genital area. However, there are a number of symptoms that affect both genders.

Symptoms in Both Men and Women:

  • Sores on the mouth, anus and/or buttocks
  • Small bumps or blisters on the genitals
  • Genital ulcers that bleed or rupture
  • Genital-area itching or pain

Symptoms in Women:

  • Sores on the vulva, vagina or cervix

Symptoms in Men:

  • Sores on the penis, urethra, scrotum or thighs

Call a physician as soon as possible if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with genital herpes or if you have recently been exposed to a carrier of the STI. If for any reason you are concerned you might have a sexually transmitted disease, contact your physician as soon as possible to discuss.

If you experience an onset of acute, severe intermittent or persistent lower abdominal or pelvic pain, call 911, visit the emergency room or an urgent care facility immediately.

1 Genital Herpes – CDC Fact Sheet – Detailed
2 World Health Organization – Herpes simplex virus
3 2014 CDC STD Surveillance Report
4 Mayo Clinic – Genital Herpes Symptoms

Your privacy is our priority

Your health information is protected by strict federal and state privacy laws, and we use industry standard practices to ensure the security of that information. Get Tested Now

Website Security works to make your testing experience as discreet as possible. Our site employs the HL7 interface in transferring information from our domains to the labs we work with. HL7 is the healthcare industry safety security standard for ensuring the privacy of all documents transferred on the web.

Email Privacy

You’ll never receive an email with a loud headline announcing “Your STD Test”. You won’t even see our website name in the “From” column. Our email communications are timely and informative, but intentionally discreet.

Discreet Billing

As another safe-guard to your privacy, our website name will not appear on your billing statement. Neither will the names of any tests you receive.

Private Results

Your results involve a two-step process that is another safe-guard to your privacy. You’ll be notified that your results are available by an email from our partner website, which will not include your results. After you log in, you will then be directed to your secure test results.

Confidential, Private and Affordable STD Testing

Order a full STD screening panel now for just $198.
Individual STD tests starting at just $24.