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Herpes Home Test, Everything You Need To Know

Herpes is an amazingly common sexually transmitted infection, but did you know that you can protect yourself from it with myLAB Box’s herpes home test?

The Facts: Herpes Simplex Virus

The Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is a sexually transmitted infection that is categorized by two types of viruses: herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1, or oral herpes) and herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2, or genital herpes).

Both types of herpes have spread like wildfire throughout the United States in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, genital herpes is actually the third most common STI. In fact, it is estimated that one out of every six people between the ages of 14 and 49 have contracted genital herpes.

This massive infection rate is largely due to the way that herpes is spread. The virus is carried in fluids found in easily breakable herpes sores. Having direct contact with those fluids can cause you to contract the infection. It is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a person who has the disease.

The Stealthy Symptoms of Herpes

Having herpes doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll immediately be seeing telltale signs. In fact, it’s possible that you won’t show any visible symptoms at all.[1][2] The symptoms that do show up are often mild enough to be completely unrecognized as the infection. In short, many people who have herpes may not even know it.  Then it is that much easier to pass it on to someone else.

For oral herpes, or HSV-1, the carrier may see common “fever sores” or “cold sores” around his or her mouth. Now you’re probably thinking about everyone you’ve ever met who has complained of a cold sore. Maybe you get cold sores yourself. That is how rampant herpes has become!

An infected person with genital herpes, or HSV-2, may have blisters and bumps around the genitals or rectum. These blisters can break and result in painful sores. During the very first outbreak, you may also display flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches or swollen glands.

What’s more, both versions of HSV can be passed to partners whether or not the carrier is showing symptoms. Knowing the status of your own sexual health, as well as that of your sexual partners, is the best way to stay safe. Testing is the only way to be able to know “what is HSV” and what is not.

If visible, here are some of the more common signs of an HSV-2 infection:

Vaginal or Pelvic Infection:

    • Discomfort similar to a yeast, bacterial or bladder infection
    • Sores in or around the vagina, vulva or urethra
    • Bleeding between periods
    • Pain while urinating
  • Headaches, body aches or flu-like symptoms

Penile Infection:

    • Sores on or around the penis
    • Pain while urinating
    • Swelling or discomfort in the groin nodes
  • Headaches, body aches or flu-like symptoms

Remember, both oral and genital herpes can be spread even if sores are not present.[3] Most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2, but if you participate in oral sex, keep in mind that the oral variety of HSV can still cause genital herpes. So it pays to test regularly and be honest with your partners.

Is There a Cure For Herpes?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for either type of herpes. Once you are infected, you are usually a carrier for life.

It’s not all bad news, though! Herpes symptoms can be treated and relieved with the proper medication. These can lower the frequency of your outbreaks and relieve the pain that comes with the symptoms. These treatments can also shorten the amount of time that each outbreak lasts. Some can even make it less likely for the HSV infection to be passed on to your partner.

Take a Herpes Home Test from myLAB Box

Getting tested is the only way to know whether or not you have herpes. Knowing your status and taking control of your own sexual health is quite simply the best way to guard against the transmission of this infection. Encouraging your partner to also get tested is the only way to be sure that you don’t contract it from others.

You can order a herpes home test from myLAB Box. These tests can be taken any time, any place, and offer lab-certified results that can be checked discreetly online. Regular testing is the best protection. Because safe really is sexy.

Reviewed by Luis Ferdinand M. Papa, MD, MHA


  1. [1] Study found that only 45% of persons diagnosed with genital herpes had symptoms.

    Cowan F M, Johnson A M, Ashley R, Corey L, Mindel A. Antibody to herpes simplex virus type 2 as serological marker of sexual lifestyle in populations. British Medical Journal. 1994.

  2. [2] Study concluded that almost 40% of new genital herpes infections and two out of three new oral herpes infections are symptomatic.

    Andria G.M. Langenberg, M.D., Lawrence Corey, M.D., et al. A Prospective Study of New Infections with Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2. New England Journal of Medicine. 1999.

  3. [3] Study found that asymptomatic carriers of genital herpes are shedding the virus in genital fluid 10.2% of the time in a given month. Symptomatic carriers shed at a rate of 20.1%.

    Tronstein E, Johnston C, Huang M, et al. Genital Shedding of Herpes Simplex Virus Among Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Persons With HSV-2 Infection. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2011.

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