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Herpes Type 1 & 2 (Oral & Genital)
Herpes is a common virus infection that affects one in 8 Australian adults.
Although blood tests for herpes are available, they are too inaccurate to be useful. For this reason, SmartHealth does not offer testing for Herpes 1 and 2.
The best way of making a diagnosis of genital or oral herpes is to see a doctor when symptoms are present. A specimen will be taken and sent to a laboratory for accurate analysis.
If you believe you have symptoms of herpes you should book an appointment with a doctor or sexual health clinic for diagnosis and treatment.
What are the Symptoms?
Many people who have genital herpes are not aware they have the infection because they may not have any symptoms, however others may find the first episode of herpes can cause considerable pain and distress.
Herpes infection symptoms can include:
- multiple painful ulcers
- difficulty passing urine
- muscular aches
How is it Spread?
The herpes virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact and can be transmitted during vaginal, oral or anal contact or sex. The infection can occur anywhere on the mouth, nose, around the groin or pubic area, and in or around the anus.
The virus can be spread when there is an episode (when there is a sore, blister, ulcer or skin split) or between episodes (when there is no sore, blister, ulcer or skin split present). This is called viral shedding. During viral shedding those infected may not show symptoms, but nevertheless can spread the virus through genital skin-to-skin contact or from the mouth or face to genital skin.