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Do I Need a Herpes Test?

Return to herpes articles

If you are sexually active, the answer is most definitely yes. When you consider that 90% of people who have herpes are unaware they are infected, there is a likely chance you could have been exposed to it at some point. If you and your partner are in a committed relationship, you should both be tested.

If your partner has herpes
If you recently found out that your partner has herpes, it’s a good idea to find out whether or not you now have the virus. If you don’t, you can discuss the best options for keeping it that way. If you do, then you can begin treating any outbreaks you may have.

If you have had a partner in the past that had herpes
If your previous partner had herpes you should get tested to prevent the possibility of passing the virus to your new partner. It is possible that even without showing symptoms you could still have herpes. It can be weeks, months or years for an initial outbreak to happen, while others don’t show symptoms at all.

If you have ever noticed lesions or sores
Sometimes herpes lesions are mistaken for pimples, bug bites or other skin conditions. If you have ever had any strange bumps or blisters near your genitals that have not been tested, it’s important to know if it could have been an initial outbreak. Though typically these are the most severe outbreaks, it is not the case for everyone.

If in a physical exam you were told you have herpes but would like to know for sure
If you have been to a doctor that told you (without doing a test) that you most likely have herpes by physically examining the sores, a blood test can verify if it is in fact the virus.

If you are pregnant
If you are pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant, you may want to be tested for herpes. Though the virus will not always be passed to the unborn baby, it is a possibility and may require special care during the pregnancy. If your initial outbreak happens during labor or birth, it is possible for the virus to be spread. This is why doctors will perform a c-section in these cases.