Herpes, Symptoms, Tests, and Testing
Herpes is a dreaded disease that many people are scared about. While AIDS is the most frightening sexually-transmitted disease, herpes has rapidly become an equally-horrifying scourge to people who are very promiscuous. Alarmingly, there are sixty-five million Americans afflicted by this disease and more will contract this in their lifetime. Worse, fifteen-million more herpes cases will happen yearly because of unprotected sex. However, those with herpes symptoms will find that their cases are different from others. Many of those infected do not have the symptoms that others have.
People who have herpes may not have symptoms at all, so specialists may signify that these are signs of asymptomatic herpes. One who experiences the first onslaught of herpes symptoms will find that it is different from the initial outbreak. Since the body was unprepared for the herpes infection many people felt agonizing pain that was very troublesome. The result is that they have to endure two days of agony at the least, to twenty days at the most from the first sign of infection.
Surprisingly, for some victims, the herpes symptoms are very mild that they hardly manifest themselves. However, in other cases, one will see that his or genital area are filled cold sores and blisters and later peel off before healing. Furthermore, in severe cases, there is a stinging, crawling and itching sensation on the skin, and lymph nodes that are swollen out of proportion. Additionally, that person will feel very sick as if afflicted by a flu, have aching muscles, feel feverish, will notice liquid coming out from the genitals, and a painful lower back
Herpes symptoms in women include discharge from their vagina and painful urination. In some cases, there are women who may develop meningitis during the first attack of the virus. Still in other cases, there are females who find urinating excruciating because of blisters and the contagion itself. Many female sufferers will experience ominous herpes symptoms before the sores appear. They will feel pain in the genital area that has been contaminated long before the blisters show themselves. This is a very dangerous time because those who are afflicted are highly virulent even if they are devoid of herpes sores.
After the initial outbreak, those with genital herpes would have to endure four or five more episodes of the disease within twelve months. As time goes by, flare-ups of the disease decline considerably. By now, a victim is now acquainted of the “initial infection” long after he got infected. Herpes symptoms that were caused by genital herpes are fortunately not considered as urgent emergencies that require medical attention, but treating the disease after the first few days of the onslaught of herpes is a sound precautionary measure.
It is a great tragedy that millions of people had sexual intercourse with other partners without them tested for herpes. For this reason, STD tests are a must to avoid becoming another statistic of sexually-transmitted diseases. The herpes simplex virus (HSV) can only be detected by a herpes test. The nasty (HSV) is very tiny, but the damage that it can do to a person’s body is very horrendous. Small and agonizing blisters manifest on the skin or the linings going to the mouth, throat, and vagina. It only takes one time to be contaminated by herpes for painful sores to appear, but in most cases the sufferer will experience more flare-ups.
Fortunately, for the millions afflicted with herpes simplex virus, there are medical facilities that are ready to take care of them especially if they want to have a herpes test. When one goes there, the staff has already made it convenient for that would-be patient by filling out his or her information. The front desk staff only needs to be informed by the patient that his or her samples need to be collected. After verifying with the laboratory of the availability of the samples, the front desk staff will lead the patient to a room located in the back to get them. All in all, the patient will undergo the procedure in just fifteen to twenty minutes.
If one is gravely concerned with his health that person must consult with a health specialist, who in turn will ask the patient and listen carefully regarding his or her concerns. This is a sensitive issue, but as part of a herpes test, the patient must give out delicate details about herpes symptoms, blisters, rashes, itching, burning sensations, feeling sick, swollen lymph nodes and many more. The patient also must disclose information about his sexual partner/partners, how the sexual act was done (whether it was oral, anal or vaginal), so that the female or male specialist will know if that person is a high risk case. Moreover, the doctor may need to see the genitals and see the extent of the infection or check if there are other health issues.
A correct herpes test can only be carried out by a knowledgeable physician or medic even by just listening to a sufferer or by looking at the affected part of the patient’s body. Normally though, the specialist will conduct a herpes test in the laboratory to affirm the findings. The expert can inform the patient if he or she has HSV-1 which comes in the form of cold sores or otherwise known as fever blisters that can also be found in the lips. The sufferer can also be told that virus probably was brought about through kissing an infected person or using contaminated utensils. Moreover, it is possible for one to have sores in his genitals due to HSV-1, not to mention HSV type-2.
Speaking of HSV-2, this other virus can also infect babies with herpes, especially if they came out from their mothers’ vaginas that are infected with the disease. Unlike HSV-1, HSV-2 can be spread by promiscuous behavior of two consenting people. This virus can even spawn mouth sores as well. A simplex herpes virus can become highly infectious if it afflicts other parts of the body, like the brain or eyes. To confirm this, a health specialist can take wet cotton and wipe it to any peculiar blister, sore or rash that inflames the skin.
The cotton sample is taken to the laboratory to check the presence of the two kinds of herpes simplex virus. A herpes test of any blister or sore that came out positive confirms the presence of the HSV-1 or HSV-2 and the disease is indeed herpes, which is dire news for the one afflicted.
The dangerous thing about herpes is that there are no apparent signs, yet people have to consult with experts if the virus is present in their bodies. Thus, a blood test is necessary for one to see if the herpes simplex virus has indeed infected him or her. Non-exposure to the virus means antibodies will not be made by the immune system. However, it will immediately create antibodies to combat HSV upon exposure and remain in the blood for life.
A positive result should be a cause for alarm for anyone because it means he or she has become a carrier of the virus. The tests will indicate if either a person was infected by the HSV-1 or HSV-2 virus very recently or weeks before. There are other ways to detect the virus like the Tzank and PCR tests. The former involves placing a sample from a sore on a slide and staining it with a dye. Infected cells will not look similar with normal ones. Presently, this test has been shelved for more advanced ones like PCR and culture testing due to its less than accurate results.
On the other hand, a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test will look for bits of HSV’s DNA. Though the test is authentic, it is somewhat burdensome to gather samples. Fortunately, an innovative way to detecting it is by collecting urine and saliva from suspected carriers. Lately, a specialist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Africa made some progress with this test while conducting a safe-sex study. However, the said test has not been introduced to the populace. In a nutshell, blood tests are needed to detect the herpes virus and find the antibodies to combat the contagion.
Between viral culture tests and antibody tests, the latter is far more precise in looking for a cause of a particular ulcer or sore. The former is good, but it is limited in scope because it cannot make a distinction between the past herpes infection and current contamination. Another thing to consider is that antibodies are not immediately produced and they will take time to evolve after a patient was initially infected. Moreover, even if one was currently infected by the virus, the antibody would not yield positive results. In any event, several blood tests can differentiate the HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses.
Before one undergoes herpes testing, it is a blessing that there are three-thousand STD Testing facilities around the country, and they are located in a patient’s nearest locality. Everything will be well-taken care of. The only things required from a suspected carrier is a fast urine test and blood being drawn out from his or her body. For those who want peace of mind and want their situation to be discreet, they can get the results the next day through a simple phone call, or can request the staff to send the results through fax or email.
When one is infected by either the HSV-1 or HSV-2 virus, a sufferer can call a STD testing facility to speak to one of the very competent staff and explain his dire predicament, so that person can assess the risk factors and recommend herpes testing to the would-be patient. Although, STD is a discomforting thing to discuss, the one afflicted by the herpes virus can be assured that the compassionate staff will present possible remedies and alternatives to alleviate his or her plight in the form of an STD Testing kit. This will give that person peace of mind amidst the uncertainties that he or she may face.
Currently, there has been progress with herpes testing and there is faster detection of the type 2 herpes simplex virus. To illustrate this point, the POCkit test derived from www.diagnology.com has become the node to test for the presence of this virus. What it does is that it will effectively find antibodies to fight the type 2 herpes simplex virus, and it will only become positive if there are enough levels of antibodies present in the blood. It may take ninety days though to produce positive results after the virus contaminates a person’s blood.
It is easy to use the POCkit test. A patient can bring the kit to an available specialist who will use it for the former, and the price is inexpensive. This kit is essential for herpes sufferers because it finds an antibody to combat a certain viral protein. On the other hand, the Western Blot blood test is more efficient and much better. Moreover, the Western Blot almost has 100% efficiency in differentiating type 1 and type 2 antibodies which are used to fight the herpes simplex virus. A patient can have peace of mind whether the herpes test yield a negative or positive reading. The Western Blot is a very accurate herpes testing method.
Since the herpes simplex virus can ravage a victim many times over, the Western Blot tests are designed to look for antibodies that will combat various oral or genital herpes infections. The tests clearly show that type HSV type 1 is present in a human’s body if the lesion that was examined was found to have the genital herpes virus. On the other hand, the Western Blot tests will be rendered inconclusive if a lesion is not related to genital herpes virus and the latter cannot be isolated from the former as well.
If this is the case, the Western Blot test will be send to another facility to conduct further tests and wait for an important turnaround time. The blood samples have to be strictly guarded from harm and not be exposed to the elements while it is being transferred to another laboratory.
Still another test in detecting the herpes simplex virus is the CAPTIA HSV IgG Type Specific ELISAs that can also encounter antitoxins that can be used against the HSV-1 and/or HSV-2 viruses. Like the other tests, the CAPTIA HSV IgG Type Specific ELISAs will draw blood from a suspected carrier and the samples will be sent to health care provider who will reveal the results in due time. This special test may help in the discovery of herpes, but its drawback is that it cannot detect the two types of herpes simplex viruses.
Herpes testing can be very taxing especially if the two types of HSV can infect many people, yet cannot be distinguished from each other. For patients who have no track record of HSV flare-ups, CAPTIA HSV IgG Type Specific ELISAs may be beneficial.
Herpes testing painstakingly is used as a basis to detect the different strains of the herpes virus, and the antibodies that are subsequently discovered are a promising remedy for a significant percentage of the populace that are suffering from this horrible disease. These tests have extremely high standards and significant in detecting the HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses. The POCkit test has 92% efficiency, while the Western blot test is 99% accurate in finding the HSV-2 herpes virus.
People who acquire this terrible disease fear the stigma that goes along with it, aside from the prospect of being ostracized by people. They need not worry though because if they chose an STD Testing Panel that can be trusted, it would somehow lessen their feelings of isolation. The staff of that STD facility will do every means necessary to assist those who are afflicted by herpes. They will answer medical queries and provide a specialist to treat them for life if situation asks for it. Counseling would also be an integral part of the process because this life-changing moment will definitely affect a sufferer’s state of mind. The STD facility will check samples and if there are positive results, they will give medical assistance for those who need it.
Sexually-transmitted-disease is something that many people dread, so they have to remain monogamous if possible. For those who were exposed to the virus, STD testing is a necessity and their trusted STD facility will give them the best, least expensive options on how to treat their malady. Best of all, sufferers can have comfort with the thought that the staff will not make them feel embarrassed with their situation and give them the utmost care that they deserve. STD Testing also allows people to be insured and it is possible to reimburse them as well. The staff will provide the necessary receipts and forms for patients who may need them. This would only be possible for those who got negative results. Nevertheless, whether the herpes results yield negative or positive results, it would remain confidential.