Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

Anonymous on October 21, 2011

I’m not sure where to get herpes test. Do I have to go to my doctor?

I don’t really want to go to my doctor to get screened for herpes...are there other options for where to get a herpes test?

answered by Lisa Oldson, MD on October 21, 2011

That’s a great question, and I’m happy to provide information about your options for herpes testing. For starters, the answer to your question depends on whether you’re currently experiencing a herpes outbreak.

During an outbreak that may be caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), it’s best to visit your doctor or other healthcare provider for a visual examination and a swab test (when a small sample is taken directly from an open sore, blister or bump). From there, your healthcare provider will be able to determine whether the outbreak is indeed caused by herpes...or another condition. 

If you don’t currently have an active (visible) outbreak, but you’re concerned that you might have herpes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the Herpes Simplex Virus Type-Specific HSV-1/2 IgG blood test. This test screens for both types of the herpes simplex virus, including HSV-1 (which commonly causes oral herpes) and HSV-2 (which is typically associated with genital herpes). 

Where can you get a herpes test? When it comes to getting tested for herpes ⎼ whether a swab test or the HSV 1/2 IgG test ⎼ there are several options available to you. You can get tested for herpes at your regular doctor’s office, at a local clinic, or through an online herpes testing service. 

You can learn more about online herpes testing and when to get tested for herpes on our website. 

Related info:

Lisa Oldson, MD

Dr. Oldson is Medical Director of the Analyte Physicians Group. She is on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as Clinical Instructor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Her areas of expertise include STDs (with a particular clinical emphasis on herpes), women's health, preventive medicine, diabetes, obesity and weight management, and mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Oldson was educated at Rush Medical College and completed her residency at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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