Maybe your partner (or ex) has just told you he/she has herpes. Or maybe you’ve recently noticed sores on your mouth or genitals. In any case, now might be a good time to get tested for herpes. Many people don’t realize that when they ask to be tested for all STDs, typically the doctor will test you for everything BUT herpes. Why is that? It seems pretty silly to me, especially given the large number of people who apparently carry the disease but do not know it, and the fact that those are the people who are probably most often spreading the disease. My guess is that the test is expensive, and when it comes to health care in the US, the bottom line of a corporation is almost always more important than the well-being of a citizen. Or maybe it’s because for a long time there was no test that determined which type of herpes one had.
Because the majority of people in the US have at least been exposed to herpes type...
I'm convinced my Herpes has a mind of its
own. The nasty little guy always seems
to know when I have an important deadline, get a new job, and of course, meet a
potential lover. And even when none of
the above is happening, the jerk just decides to pop his head out and give me a
hard time about once every two weeks.
Yes, I'm one of the *lucky* ones who have recurring, sometimes constant,
outbreaks. We are the portion of the
Herpes-carrying population who deal with the disease on a regular basis. (Oh to be a carrier sans outbreaks!) It affects our daily lives and yet we are
quieted by social norms...suffering silently.
You can't very well go to work and tell your boss: "Gee, my
genitals are really on fire today, I think I'm gonna stand during the
meeting." We are cheated of
sympathy that other disease-carriers get, yet the emotional and physical
suffering is deep. If you're reading
this then chances are you have Herpes as well...
Understanding Herpes Testing
The most important fact to know in terms of Herpes testing is that
blood testing with an IgG test is the BEST test for diagnosing the disease.
first see the doctor for a suspicious genital ulcer, your health care provider
may ask a lot of really personal and embarrassing questions. Know
that having an accurate sexual history as well as a description of your
symptoms is very important as your health care provider evaluates you. Be honest.
medical history and physical examination alone can not diagnose herpes.
I've seen a
lot of genital herpes, but it's easy to be fooled. I've had patients who had lesions in unusual
places or didn't have a typical story that I mistook for abscesses - only after
they failed antibiotics did I do the culture and verify that it was
On the other hand, I've seen some very typical appearing ulcers on the genitals
that turned out NOT to be herpes.
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