What Types of Herpes Testing are Available?

Q: I just found out that my ex-boyfriend has herpes. I don’t have any herpes symptoms, but I would rather be safe than sorry. I’ve never been tested before – what are some of the available types of herpes testing?

D. Sanders

San Antonio, Texas

A: You are right – it is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to herpes. It is a good sign that you have not shown any symptoms of herpes, but it is not uncommon for people to go months, or even years without showing any signs or symptoms of an infection. The only way to know for certain is to get a test done. About My Health offers several types of testing to screen for herpes. You can opt for a screening for herpes type 1 or a screening for herpes type 2. Type 1 herpes is extremely common, and it is usually responsible for outbreaks in the oral region (cold sores, fever blisters, etc.). Most likely you are concerned about type 2 herpes, which is normally responsible for genital outbreaks. You can also choose an early-exposure type of testing, but this particular choice is more suitable for someone who fears a more recent exposure. In your particular case, since this is an ex-boyfriend and the exposure was probably some time ago, you could probably just opt for a past exposure test. The collection process is simple and private, and results are returned in 2-3 business days.