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Herpes Type 1 Test (HSV-1)

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About Our Herpes Type 1 Test (HSV-1)

This HerpeSelect® test detects specific antibodies that fight the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).

The recommended window period for the HerpeSelect® Herpes Type 1 Test is:

  • 4-6 weeks post potential exposure.

The herpes simplex virus type 1 is a common incurable sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can be transmitted from infected bodily fluids such as saliva, vaginal fluid, semen, blister or sore fluid or even skin-to-skin contact. HSV-1 typically causes oral herpes; however, both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be affect the mouth or genital area. Oral herpes can also be transmitted during kissing and sharing drinks and utensils.

This herpes blood test detects HSV-1 by looking for Immunoglobulin G (IgG), the most abundant type of antibody (a protein your body produces to protect itself in reaction to an infection). If you have HSV-1 orally and/or genitally, the HerpeSelect® Herpes Type 1 test will detect the antibodies in your blood sample. Unlike swabbing, this test is able to detect herpes whether you are or are not experiencing symptoms. The IgG antibodies for HSV-1 are specific to HSV-1 so if you are looking to test for both strains of the herpes simplex virus, we offer the HerpeSelect® Herpes Type 1 and Type 2 Tests.

How do I get tested for HSV-1?

After providing your blood sample at your lab of choice, the HerpeSelect® test is used to confirm or rule out possible herpes simplex type 1 virus infection.

How accurate is the HerpeSelect® Herpes Type 1 blood test?

This test is 97-99% accurate if tested between 4-6 weeks post exposure and will remain 99% accurate after 6 weeks.

Most people develop detectable antibodies within the recommended window period after their potential exposure, but everyone reacts differently to a viral infection. It can take people between 2 weeks and 6 months after infection to develop enough antibodies to be detected. Retesting can ensure your results are as accurate as possible.

How long does it take herpes to show?

This depends on the individual. People with herpes can experience outbreaks within 2 to 12 days of infection; however, many people may not experience symptoms, depending on how their body reacts to the viral infection.

The HSV-1 virus goes through dormant phases before reactivating. Herpes can be spread even when asymptomatic, as cells that contain the virus are dropped from the skin during a process called shedding.

HSV-1 symptoms can include:

  • Sores and blisters on the lips or in the mouth
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Body aches

How do you treat herpes type 1?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes and the infection is life-long. However, outbreaks usually taper off the longer an individual carries the virus and outbreaks can stop occurring entirely. Antiviral medication can help manage symptoms by reducing the length and severity of outbreaks. Since risk of transmission is higher when there is an active outbreak, knowing your status and receiving medication can help reduce the risk of giving your partner(s) herpes.

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