Better2Know tests can test for herpes using three different methods. Your Better2Know doctor will help you decide which one of these methods is the best for you. All our tests differentiate between Herpes Type I (Herpes Simplex I – HSVI) and Herpes Type II (Herpes Simples II – HSVII). Usually type I is found as cold sores around the mouth, and type II are cold sores around the genitals, but oral sex can mean that either type can be found in either place.
Urine testing for herpes
Urine testing is recommended for determining whether any symptoms you currently have are indeed herpes. It is the standard test in our platinum screen and home sample collection service, and is also available on its own. The test takes a small sample of urine and uses a technique called PCR (Polymerised Chain Reaction) that multiplies the genetic material of any virus found in the urine so that its presence can be detected even if there are very few in the sample. You need to have symptoms at the time of testing (to find out whether these symptoms are herpes) and the results take five days from when the sample is received in the laboratory.
Blood testing for herpes
The Better2Know herpes blood test is an IgG test which looks to see whether you have had a herpes infection in the past (and whether it is type I or type II). If you have been exposed to herpes, typically you will have an outbreak within 4 to 6 weeks, although this can vary significantly. Therefore this is an appropriate test after an incubation period of 4 to 6 weeks. Sometimes herpes outbreaks can be very mild and you may not know you have had one. You do not need to have symptoms and if you do, then this is not the right test for you and you should choose one of the other methods. The results take just two days from when the sample is received in the laboratory. This test is available on a standalone basis only.
Swab for herpes
The final testing method Better2Know uses is a swab. This will take a swab of an area where you currently have symptoms (typically blisters, red spots or cold sores) to find out whether these are an outbreak of herpes. This test is the standard test for herpes in our blemish screen, but is also available on its own. Like the urine test, you need to have symptoms, and the testing method is again a PCR method to multiply any genetic material found on the swab and testing to see if herpes is present. This test takes five days to run once the sample is received in the laboratory.
Better2Know provides you the choice of all three herpes testing methods at all of its nationwide STD testing clinics. One testing method is standard, if you require more than one please let the booking team know when you book and they will be happy to help you.