What are tests to diagnose genital herpes?
Tests used to diagnose or screen for genital herpes include:
- PCR blood test: The PCR blood test can tell if you have genital herpes even if you don’t have symptoms. The PCR test looks for pieces of the virus’s DNA. This is the most common test used to diagnose genital herpes and is very accurate.
- Cell culture: During the exam, your health care provider can take a sample of cells from a sore and look for the herpes simplex virus under a microscope.
Cell culture or PCR test may give a false-negative result if the sores have begun healing or if you are recently infected. False-positive test results are possible, too. If you test positive, but your risk for getting the virus is low, you may need to be tested again.
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