Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2008 TBM, Community Member, asks

Q: will a blood test show genital herpes even without showing the symptoms

My GP has just diagnosed me with genital herpes but I didn't have a blood test. If I have a blood test even if my symptoms have faded and disappeared will it still show positive for the virus, so I can be sure thats what it is.

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Answers (2)
Chelsea, Community Member
9/27/08 5:24am

If they didn't do a blood test, then they did a viral culture (which is basically a scraping of the sore). The viral culture test is 100% accurate (i just asked my doctor this yesterday). I was diagnossed November 2007 and have been in denial about it. I wanted to get re-tesed yesterday, but my doctor informed me that the blood test is very inaccurate. With the blood test they're only looking for "signs" and if you're not having active symptoms, it is very hard to find. With a culture, they look at the sample under a microscope in a lab... it's like looking for a herd of elephants. Pretty hard not to see. If you did in fact have a viral culture done, you definetly have herpes. I'm very sorry. Just remember, your life isn't over! You're not doomed to grow old alone. I have found out that there are PLENTY of people with herpes and PLENTY of people that don't but they don't judge. I am currently dating someone who knows about my condition and it doesn't bother him. I hope I was helpful for you. If you need anyone to talk to, I check this site everyday. Feel free to view my profile and email me (0:

Jeannie May, Community Member
10/26/08 4:48am

How did your doctor diagnose herpes?


Did s/he take a swab test? A swab test of your symptoms (usually blisters) will indicate if they are caused by the herpes virus, however, false negatives and positives are possible with swab tests.


A blood test looks for antibodies - if you have only just acquired the virus it is possible that you would not have built up enough antibodies yet so you would require re-testing in 3-6 months to be certain.


Often doctors do not bother with a blood test at all since approx 80% of people have oral herpes (usually caused by HSV-1) so odds are that for most people a blood test would show positive for HSV-1.


Note: Blood tests cannot indicate or confirm that you have genital herpes, only that you have herpes and which type. A swab test of the actual blisters/symptoms will tell if they are caused by herpes.


Jeannie May

Herpes Awareness Campaigner & Peer Support Provider

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By TBM, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/03/12, First Published: 09/26/08