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How to get tested for Genital Herpes? Genital Herpes Test..

When testing for Genital Herpes you MUST get a proper diagnosis from your doctor, DO NOT SELF DIAGNOSE! Symptoms of Genital herpes can be mistaken for an array of other medical problems.
The information in this website will help you, though you will need to consult a doctor to get confirmation.

As soon as you see any signs and symptoms of genital herpes, its recommended that you get tested. When you go to a doctor, you will need to specifically ask for a genital herpes test.

A regular STD check up will not automatically check for Genital Herpes. This is because unless you have symptoms of genital herpes, doctors will avoid doing the blood test.  

Types of Genital herpes testsBlood TestA blood test will be done upon request to your doctor or when no signs and symptoms of genital herpes are present.
Doctors will avoid doing blood test in a regular STD check up as blood tests are not always accurate. 
This is because the blood test look for herpes antibodies.

If a person is newly infected it can take up to several months before herpes antibodies appear in the body.

When getting a blood test you must remember to ask for a “type specific  herpes test”.

This test will determine if you have been exposed to type 1 HSV-1 or type 2 HSV-2 herpes.
However, it will not be able to tell you in what area you have been infected.

Remember that with the increase in oral sex that HSV-1 is becoming more apparent in the genital area. You will need to look out for signs and symptoms of genital herpes.

Find out more about getting a blood test for genital herpes.

Viral Culture

Another good test to get is a Viral culture (swab) done. You will have to visit the doctor when you have an outbreak and the lesion is at its peak.

This is when the genital herpes outbreak is open and seeping the herpes virus. This gives the most accurate reading WHEN the lesion is letting out the contagious virus.

To obtain a Viral culture, the Doctor will take a sample of the open lesion with a cotton swab and send it to the lab to be analysed.

The lab will examine the skin cells for the sample taken.

Then they will give you a positive or negative genital herpes diagnosis.

Find out more about getting a Viral culture done for genital herpes.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test

A PCR test is possibly the most accurate of all the tests. The reason for this is PCR testing is done on DNA and looks for genetic material of the herpes virus, even the smallest amount can be detected.

The test can be done on blood, spinal fluid and on fluid from a blister. 
And can tell the difference between HSV-1 or HSV-2.

Though this method is most the accurate at diagnosing genital herpes, it isn’t widely used. The test is expensive and isn’t available everywhere.

If you are unable to get a PCR test done, you can still get blood test or a viral culture taken.

Find out more about what a PCR test is..

Don’t Self Diagnose, See your Doctor

What to ask your Doctor?

Before going to your doctor, be well informed and get as much information as possible. Read this website thoroughly. Many people have been wrongly diagnosed, including myself.

Make sure you don’t just take their Visual diagnosis. Ask for the right blood test, PCR test or viral culture if its active in your body.

1. Ask your doctor if they have the PCR test available
2. Or ask for a   “type specific  herpes test“. Only after 12 weeks of suspected infection.
3. If you have an open lesion which you suspect to be genital herpes, ask for a viral culture to be done.

NEVER, NEVER just take the doctors visual diagnosis. My doctor told me I had genital warts. And when I went back to get them burnt off it had mostly cleared up, my doctor said “oh, don’t worry about it then. Its not warts”. I still to this day can’t believe I didn’t get her to check other diseases or took her first opinion.

Be INFORMED, get the right diagnosis

When to get tested

It takes 2 to 12 weeks for your body to develop antibodies to the Herpes virus. So you should wait until it’s been 12 weeks before getting a blood test or a PCR test.

If you get tested before this, you run the risk of getting a incorrect diagnosis.

If you do have symptoms of lesions or blisters, go see your doctor when these lesions are open and at their most sensitive.

The doctor can take a viral culture of the lesion and give you the most accurate diagnosis. 


Get your partner tested

If you think you’re getting signs of genital herpes you need to tell your partner.

We understand that this may be an uncomfortable conversation but its necessary.

Before you had unprotected sex you should have both gotten tested for everything.

If you didn’t then its time to now. 

80% of people with genital herpes don’t even know they have it and pass it onto their partners unknowingly. This could be the case.

So wouldn’t you like to know? 

If your partner doesn’t want to get a test, demand it of them.

Its very rare someone will refuse but in case they do, it shows you what sort of person they are.

Getting testes is affordable and easy to do. 

Accuracy for Genital herpes tests

Genital herpes can be a tricky virus to detect.

So make sure you get the right test at the right time.

If you believe you have been newly infected with genital herpes and you have the appearance of lesions/ blisters, get a viral culture done at the peak of what you suspect to be an outbreak, this means when the skin is open and very sore.

Or a PCR test on the area

Wait 3 months to get blood test done or PCR test on blood as antibodies have yet appeared in the blood. 

With any test, there is a margin for error. Get at least 2 tests done to confirm and be accurate.

Where to get tested for Genital Herpes

There are many places you can go to get tested for genital herpes:

  • Your doctor
  • Gynecologist
  • Youth clinics
  • STD Clinics
  • Online

You should chose which one you feel more comfortable with. Remember that your details are confidential so no one will know.

Cost of getting tested

Depending on what country you live in will depend on the cost. 

American or Canadian:

If you are American or Canadians who want to go to the doctor, it can start anywhere from $160 without insurance. 


For Australians you are a little more lucky, getting an STD test can be free if you have a medicare card or start from $60 for the consultation with a private doctor. 

New Zealand:

In New Zealand, most blood tests are funded by  the District Health Board. 


And the UK has both private and public health care. Private health care can start at 250pound for a genital herpes test.

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