Apr 22, 2008
So you think you might have herpes - what do you do? Well the best thing to do is go be seen by your provider within 24-48 hours of the start of symptoms. Why? Well nothing replaces a good exam and basic testing for starters. Also viral lesion cultures are frequently false negative - in fact on average 70% of them are! Getting the culture done within a day or two of the start of symptoms increases your chances of having an accurate culture done. If you can get a pcr culture done of the lesion(s) for herpes even better! It's more likely to pick up on herpes than a regular viral lesion culture is. Once you get back from your appointment - THEN come to the board and ask questions and get support while waiting for your results to come back :) You'll find we frequently suggest on the boards testing for yeast and bacterial infections too. Both can trigger herpes infections and both can mimick herpes symptoms so ruling them out no matter what your gender is a good idea. Studies have shown that about 2/3's of females have something besides just herpes going on with their first herpes ob so you might as well get seen and tested and take care of it all at the same time.
Another thing to consider is to ask for a baseline herpes igg blood test at your appointment - especially if your provider suspects herpes is the cause of your symptoms. Most folks assume that if it's the first time they've noticed symptoms that it has to be a newly acquired infection for them but the research backs that about 1/2 of all presumed new infections really are just the first recognized recurrence. Getting a blood test as well as a lesion culture and typing might help you and your partner figure out who had it first so it's well worth doing.