How Accurate Is The Herpes Blood Test After 6 Weeks

How Accurate Is The Herpes Blood Test After 6 Weeks ?

Herpes is a group of viruses that cause painful blisters and sores. Herpes simplex causes cold sores around the mouth and also on the genitals.

Herpes zoster causes chicken pox and shingles. Genital herpes is usually spread from person to person through sexual contact. It can spread from one part of the body to another part by contact. It can also pass on from a mother to her new born baby at the time of birth.

Once the virus has entered the body, the individual will go through different stages of infection. In the first phase a group of small painful blisters will be found in the affected part of the body. Fever and flu like symptoms can be experienced. The first phase will last a couple of weeks. In the second phase the virus travels from the skin to the nerves near the spine. In the third phase the virus starts multiplying in the nerves. It gets in to body fluids.

There are two types of herpes simplex virus (HSV), HSV type 1 and HSV type 2. Both can cause genital herpes but mostly it is HSV type 2. HSV type 1 commonly causes oral herpes.  The blood test for herpes is basically a test for antibodies. When the virus causes infection in the body, the body immune system produces antibodies.

The blood test is not meant for detecting the virus. It also cannot tell which part of the body is affected by the virus. After a person is infected by the virus, it takes 6 to 8 weeks for the blood test to detect the antibodies. If a person has a positive result for type 1 in the blood test, that means he has been infected with HSV type 1 in the past. Positive result for type 2 in the blood test also means that he has been infected by HSV type 2 in the past.

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How Accurate Is The Herpes Blood Test After 6 Weeks