According to the American Sexual Health Association, more than half of American adults are diagnosed and living with herpes infection. Herpes is very common among adults because the virus can be transmitted even when the symptoms are not experienced. Also, the symptoms do not show up at an earlier stage of infection. So we highly recommend every sexually active person get tested for herpes infection at least once or twice a year. In this article, we also chart the cost of a Herpes test near you.
The article below covers all the important topics of herpes infection like herpes std testing cost, types, symptoms, treatment, prevention, and how to get tested for herpes infection sitting at home.
- Herpes STD test cost
- What is herpes?
- How is herpes transmitted?
- Types of herpes infection
- What are the symptoms and signs of herpes?
- How is the herpes infection diagnosed?
- Is there any preparation required before the test?
- How to treat herpes infection?
- What are the complications of having a herpes infection?
- How to prevent herpes infection?
- Provider Locations
For our readers who would like to know more about the herpes STD testing cost beforehand, we begin with that section.
How much does Herpes STD testing cost?
Herpes STD testing costs range between $45 and $119 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. The cost of herpes STD testing also depends on the choice of your specific herpes testing (oral herpes test, genital herpes test, Herpes simplex virus 1 and Herpes simplex virus 2) or testing for herpes infection as a package (Herpes 1 and 2 test, etc.)
No prior appointment is required. Order your test online and visit the lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days.
The following table shows the Herpes test cost at 3 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
(Home Test Kit)
Herpes STD testing
Herpes STD testing can be done in either of the following two methods based on the symptoms experienced.
1. Herpes screening antibody test: This test looks for the antibodies that fight against the specific herpes virus in the body when you do not experience the symptoms and suspect the possibility of potential exposure. The test result has a positive or negative outcome. In some cases, the screening test results may be inaccurate, so we recommend retesting after 2-3 months of the herpes STD testing to confirm the diagnosis.
2. Herpes culture test: When the symptoms of herpes infection are shown, your physician will order a viral culture test to look for the viral activity.
Herpes STD testing cost with insurance
Many health insurance policies in the U.S. do not cover the herpes screening antibody test cost. They might cover only the cost of the viral culture. However, this coverage also depends on your insurance plan.
Our herpes STD testing providers offer herpes screening blood tests and do not accept any health insurance. But, if the insurance company accepts to reimburse the cost, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is herpes?
Herpes is a common and highly contagious sexually transmitted disease caused by two different viruses called Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV 1) and Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV 2). Herpes cannot be cured but the symptoms can be relieved with some medications. It can cause severe health issues if it is not diagnosed and treated at the right time. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can easily enter the body of the people infected with the herpes simplex virus.
Herpes simplex virus is spread through unprotected vaginal or anal sex, oral sex with the infected person, sharing unwashed sex toys, and genital contact with herpes infected person. It can also be passed on from the infected person to another even when the infected person does not notice or experience any symptoms. Pregnant women with herpes infection can spread the infection to the baby at birth. Herpes virus can also be contracted through casual interactions like eating in the same utensils, kissing, and sharing the lip balm.
Herpes infection is highly contagious when the sores are wide open as the fluids of these sores can easily spread the virus to another person.
Types of Herpes Infection
There are two types of herpes infection classified based on the part of the body that is infected with the herpes virus. They are clearly explained below.
1) Oral herpes
When the herpes simplex virus 1 or herpes simplex virus 2 affects in and around the mouth, lips, gums, tongue, throat, and sometimes eyes, it is called oral herpes. HSV can also affect the eyes causing eye pain and discharge from the eye. This condition is called herpes keratitis. The common symptoms of oral herpes are sores and blisters in and around the mouth. These sores are sometimes called cold sores and fever blisters.
Oral herpes is also called herpes labialis.
2) Genital herpes
When either of the herpes viruses affects the genital areas like the vulva (outer part of the vagina), vagina, cervix, anus, penis and inner thighs, and scrotum, it is called genital herpes. Genital herpes is very common and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every 1 in 6 people in the U.S. who fall under the age group of 14 to 49 are infected with genital herpes. The common symptoms of genital herpes are pain during urination, sores, and itching in the genital areas.
Generally, herpes simplex virus 1 causes oral herpes, and herpes simplex virus 2 causes genital herpes. But it’s also quite possible that either of the viruses can affect either of the areas.
What are the symptoms and signs of herpes?
Most people do not show any symptoms for months or years after the initial exposure. Those people who experience the symptoms in the initial period will notice within 4 to 12 days of exposure. The symptoms of herpes infection might be recurring for some people. The following are the most common symptoms caused by herpes simplex virus 1 and 2.
Signs of herpes STD
- Blisters and sores in the mouth and genital areas
- Vaginal discharge
- Pain and itching in the genitals
- Pain during urination
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Red blisters on the skin
- Lack of appetite
- Burning or tingling around the genitals
How is the herpes infection diagnosed?
If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms or if you suspect the possibility of having a herpes infection, then get tested for herpes immediately as it is highly contagious. Your physician will order a herpes antibody test if you do not experience any symptoms and when you do, he/she will order a herpes viral culture test.
1. Herpes antibody test
This test is done using a blood sample. The collected sample is sent to the lab for analysis. Self-collection of blood samples at home is also possible with herpes std home testing kits offered by some labs across all the cities in the United States.
2. Herpes viral culture test
This test is done using the sample collected by a brushing swab on the sore. This sample is placed on the slide and is grown in the lab to look for viral activity.
The right time to test for herpes
If you experience the symptoms, get tested immediately. If you do not experience any symptoms, we recommend waiting for at least 4 weeks after the potential exposure to ensure more accurate results.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
The herpes test requires only a blood sample or a sample collected using the swab from the sore. No fasting or any other special preparation is required before the herpes test.
How to treat herpes infection?
There is no cure found for herpes infection to date. Treatment can be done only to reduce the severity of symptoms and to lower the risk of transmission. Sometimes, the sores can be healed even without treatment. The following are some of the medications recommended by the physician to reduce the severity of symptoms and lower the risk of transmission.
- Zovirax (acyclovir)
- Famvir (famciclovir)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir)
When you experience severe and frequent outbreaks of the sores, your physician may recommend some oral medications like applying a cream to lower the frequency of outbreaks.
What are the complications of having a herpes infection?
People infected with herpes simplex virus will have the virus for the rest of their lives. Even though the virus is inactive in the body, certain stimuli result in the outbreak. Some of them are
- Fever or illness
- Menstrual periods
- Exposure to sun
The following people are at a higher risk of getting herpes infection.
- Having multiple sex partners
- Having unprotected sex at a younger age
- Infected with other sexually transmitted diseases
- Having a weakened immune system
- Females (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of herpes virus in the U.S. was higher among females than males in the year 2016.)
How to prevent herpes infection?
There is no vaccine to prevent herpes infection. The following are some of the best ways to prevent infection.
- Protected or safe sex
- Limiting the number of sex partners
- Routine Herpes STD testing
- It is very important to inform your recent sex partners to get tested for herpes.
If you have herpes cold sores, follow the ways mentioned below to avoid the spread of the virus.
- Avoid direct physical contact with other persons.
- Don’t share any of the personal things that can pass on the virus such as plates, towels, lip balm, and clothing.
- Avoid oral sex, kissing, or any type of sexual activity until the sores are healed.
Herpes STD testing can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. either by visiting the lab or by shopping the herpes std home test kit. To know the herpes STD test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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