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Are there tests to determine whether you have herpes 1 or 2?

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Practicing since : 1985
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Is there a test to determine whether you have herpes 1 or 2? I have been diagnosed with type 2 (no test, just visual), am 54 years old and have been married for 30 years. Neither of us has had sex outside of marriage. I (we are) very confused and upset. Thank you.
Posted Tue, 25 Mar 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Cori Baill 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Visual diagnosis not good enough. Detailed Answer: Hi, Exactly to avoid the confusion you and your spouse feel, visual diagnosis is worthless. And so is blood work as 1 in 5 adults are positive. Most don't have symptoms. The lesion itself must be swabbed and tested. Then if positive, it still does not mean infidelity. Recurrences usually occur in the same spot on the lips or genitals, lasts 7-10 days and involve one or a small crop of blisters. Before the blisters occur skin may tingle, burn or feel heavy. The blisters don't run together, and gradually scab and heal. This is the only time you are contagious. Episodes can be weeks months or years apart. Medicine shortens and prevents outbreaks. First infections are much larger areas, more blisters and longer acting. Shingles can look like herpres, doesn't usually reccur and can affect larger areas, and not just genitals or mouth. Type 1 herpes usually is oral and 2 is genital but not always. And an oral fever blister can infect genitals of a partner or yourself and so a genital outbreak can be transferred to the mouth. Sex is not the only way for infection to occur. Next time there is a lesion (if ever) insist on a swab, avoid blood tests as they are misleading. and continue to have confidence in your partner. Regards,
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Follow-up: Are there tests to determine whether you have herpes 1 or 2? 2 hours later
Thank you for your answer. I will wait for the next outbreak and then see my OB/GYN. I will ask her to perform a swab test. Just fyi, my dermatologist who diagnosed me, prescribed Valtrex and it made me pretty sick. (Headache, nausea.) She prescribed Valcyclovir ointment instead. I'll try to get over the stigma and just deal with the issue, whatever it is. My husband is calmly accepting and just says "either of us could have brought this into the marriage without knowing it". Thanks again for your answer! XXXX
Answered by Dr. Cori Baill 2 hours later
Brief Answer: He's got it right Detailed Answer: Acyclovir is not aaa strong as valtrex. i It is taken more often but you may tolerate it better. Husband has the right attitude. Even if you are positive, so is 1/5 of all adults you meet.
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