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Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
At times a special test termed a "differential serology" or blood test may be offered in an attempt to confirm the presence and type of herpes infection present. Older blood tests available are unable to distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections – these tests have been available for years and are only useful when negative. We now have at our disposition newer blood tests that are able to identify and differentiate between the two types of herpes. After an initial infection or primary infection it may take several weeks for the antibodies produced by your body in reaction to herpes to appear. The timing of such tests are important - speak with your doctor. Test results may be erroneous at times; false-negative and false-positive tests do occur, albeit infrequently.
Who should get tested for herpes?
Keep in mind that standard STI tests do not include herpes, and screening for the herpes virus is not yet routinely recommended. However, if you’re concerned that you might be infected and would like to have the herpes blood test, you can talk to your doctor.
People who experience symptoms that could be related to genital herpes should be tested. If you have no symptoms but have reason to be concerned, such as pregnant women whose partner is infected, or anyone whose current or past partner is infected, you should also consider getting tested.