Herpes can be easily diagnosed when the virus is still active. If the virus goes dormant then there is no way of ﬁnding if you have the herpes virus. You should go ahead and seek immediate medical attention if you witness any of the symptoms that have been mentioned above. If you can diagnose the disease during the initial symptoms then you have a better chance of completely eradicating the virus from your body.
The ﬁrst time that you have herpes, the symptoms are generally easier to diagnose. If you wait for any reason then the symptoms will only become harder to ﬁnd. If you feel that there is even the slightest chance of you having herpes then you should go seek medical attention from a professional. Your doctor usually can diagnose genital herpes based on a physical exam and the results of certain laboratory tests:
- Viral culture. This test involves taking a tissue sample or scraping of the sores for examination in the laboratory.
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. …
- Blood test.
A primary infection is the ﬁrst time that you encounter herpes. If you feel that you have herpes for the ﬁrst time, then you should contact your nearest sex health clinic. These are people who are pretty non-judgmental and they are also really supportive. These are also known as genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics.
A GUM specialist should only do a proper diagnosis. If you go to your GP then he’ll probably recommend that you go to a GUM specialist. Even if the symptoms are obvious, it’s better to go to a person that is experienced and knows what he is doing.
The test for genital herpes is pretty simple and you’ll be asked some basic questions. You’ll be asked if you have experienced such symptoms before or not, this will help the doctor determine if the infection is primary or not. You’ll also be asked if you have ever had a cold sore, to check if you have oral herpes. You‘ll deﬁnitely be questioned about your sexual history and any diseases you may have had, so prepare yourself for such questions.
The doctor will probably examine your sores and blister ﬁrst before doing anything else. If he thinks that you might have herpes then a proper test can be conducted. A swab is used to collect ﬂuid from the blister or sore. A swab is made up of cotton held up by a wire. The swab is then sent to a clinic where it will be tested for the herpes virus— HVS. There are many other tests that are conducted. If the HVS is
not present in the swab then you’ll probably be screened for other S’l‘Ds.
It’s not necessary that just because the results came back negative that you don’t have genital herpes. You may still have the virus except the blisters were not caused because of it. So, the virus can only be identified when there is a recent outbreak that is caused by the virus.
Sexual Health Clinics
Sexual health clinics are really important to diagnose an STD in time. If you go to a sexual health clinic then you will probably be asked to book an appointment. You can also go there without calling ahead because many sexual health clinics work on walk—in basis.
There are some general details that you will have to ﬁll on a form. You don’t have to worry; all of your information would be kept private and will stay between you and your doctor. You’ll have to give your name and contact details. If you want, you can even use a fake name and give fake details. That is up to you and is not illegal.
You don’t have to be embarrassed while you are at the clinic. Sexual health clinics are really supportive and they don’t try to stigmatize STDs. You won’t be judged at all and you don’t have to be scared of anything. You should speak openly about the problem that you are facing and talk to the doctor without any inhibitions. If you hide stuff then it may lead to an inaccurate diagnosis. It doesn’t matter how embarrassing it is, do not hide stuff from the doctors. Tell them everything that is relevant to your problems.
Be open about your sexual history. You will be asked a lot of awkward questions but those are fairly important. You’ll have to tell everything. The number of partners you had, when you last had sex, if you used a condom or not, etc. If you have had an STD in the past then tell that to the doctor. It can help in a better diagnosis.
If you go to the clinic, you’ll be asked to take part in various tests. These tests might not be related to herpes but will help you get a better diagnosis. You might have to give your urine or blood samples for some tests. This is because there are certain symptoms that are common for both herpes and other STDs. It will help the doctor to be thorough and you won’t have to come to the clinic again.
The results are delivered to you in a few weeks. If you test positive, then please don’t worry because herpes is easily treatable and is hardly life threatening. It’s usually very ineffective and the virus becomes dormant after a few years. You can also have a proper discussion with the doctor about the treatment. You can look into the options you have and start treatment.
If you have had any sexual partners in the recent past, then they will also need to come to the clinic in order to be tested. This is just a precautionary measure to make sure that whoever has an STD knows about it. It’ll also help to make sure that this person cannot spread the disease to other people.
You don’t even have to tell your partner about it yourself. The staff at the clinic is who usually deal with these kinds of issues. They will call them on your behalf and if you want to remain anonymous, they will respect your privacy. It’s recommended that you contact your partners yourself and make sure that they get a medical treatment. This will help to stop the spread of the disease and will help them to be immune from the dangers of herpes as well.
The best part about sexual health clinics is that they are free of cost. They are run by the government and hence, you don’t have to pay for anything. If you go to your GP, you might have to pay something for the prescription but at sexual health clinics, you don’t even have to do that. They even help you to get the best treatment that is available without incurring any additional costs. This is an added advantage that comes with sexual health clinics.
The checkups at sexual health clinics and with GUM’s are completely conﬁdential. Nobody will know about it if you go to a sexual health clinic. Even if you are a minor, your parents will not be told at all. If you wish to tell someone then that is your choice but otherwise, nobody will ever know.
The only exception is that if the case is serious, then you may be asked to contact your partner. This is because stopping the spread of STDs is really important. Your partner may not even be aware of the fact that they have an STD. This will help them in receiving treatment as well.
Going to a Specialist
There are special kinds of treatment that are available depending on your situation. If you are pregnant and have herpes then you have to see a specialist about that to make sure that the virus is not transmitted to your unborn child. Herpes is not deadly for adults but for newborn’s it can be catastrophic. If you have a weakened immune system due to any disease you might have experienced before, then you should see a specialist. This way they can make sure that you are treated accordingly.