Herpes testing can take place near you quickly and easily. Instant Consult allows you to get a referral for a herpes test online with just a video call! You can then take that test to any pathology centre across Australia. The results should be received within 2-3 business days where a member of our support team will call you to schedule a follow up consult with the requesting doctor, where you can discuss the results and any other concerns you may have. If you have not heard from a member of our support team within 3 business days of your test, please call Instant Consult Support on 1300 003 310.

Herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection that can affect both males and females. Whilst not everyone will experience symptoms, those that do may find them distressing and uncomfortable.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of this virus it is advised that you book in for herpes testing as soon as possible in order to relieve the symptoms and get back to enjoying your life.

Symptoms

There are two main types of this virus: genital and anal. The symptoms are generally the same, though their location will vary depending on the region affected. It is also common to experience no symptoms or mild symptoms. Symptoms tend to appear between a few days to a few weeks after initial contact, though they occasionally appear months or years later. The most common symptoms are:

  • Blisters which turn into painful sores
  • Flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes)
  • Itching or tingling
  • Red, cracked or raw skin
  • Pain during urination
  • Headaches
  • Change in bowel habits

If you exhibit any or all of these symptoms, or suspect that you may have this virus, book in for a herpes test with your doctor in order to receive prompt treatment.

The virus is passed through sexual contact, even when the infected person does not display symptoms. The virus enters through the skin and moves along the nerves. It can potentially become dormant and stay in the nerves indefinitely. It may then occasionally become active, travelling back up the nerves to the surface of the skin. The number of outbreaks a person may have depends on the individual.

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Diagnosis

Diagnosing this condition is typically done by your doctor using a physical examination or online herpes test, though if symptoms are obvious you can potentially self-diagnose. If your doctor is unsure about whether you have the virus or another condition they may do extra testing before beginning treatment.

This may involve taking a sample of cultures from the ulcers or blisters or by taking a blood sample. These will be sent to a laboratory for testing in order to identify the cause of the symptoms. Once the cause has been discovered through herpes testing you can then begin treatment.

Treatment

There is no known cure for this virus – once you have the virus it stays with you for life. However, the symptoms can be managed using medication. Medication can help to limit the intensity and the length of an outbreak and can possibly reduce transmission risk.

The main medications used to treat the virus are antivirals. Your doctor may prescribe the long-term use of antiviral medication (called ‘suppressive therapy’), which can help limit the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe intravenous antiviral therapy. This works by injecting the medication into your bloodstream using a needle.

Prevention

It is difficult to stop the spread of the virus if you have it as it can be easily transmitted from one partner to the next. Though using condoms is always advised as they reduce the spread of STIs, they may not always be enough to prevent its transmission as the virus may be present on uncovered skin.

Abstinence, using condoms and barriers, monogamy and suppressive therapy are some options to help prevent yourself from getting or spreading the virus. Have a chat with your doctor for more personalised advice.

Preparing for your medical appointment

Some ways to make the most of the appointment with your doctor before a herpes test include:

Taking note of all symptoms

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Write out all the symptoms you are facing, including those which seem unrelated to the condition, in order to give your doctor as much information as possible so that they can make the right diagnosis. Note that you can still take a herpes test if you do not exhibit symptoms.

Writing down any allergies and medications

Ensure you communicate any allergies and medications you are on (including vitamins and supplements) before herpes testing so your doctor can provide the right treatment for your needs.

Preparing questions

Creating a list of questions beforehand is a good way to avoid forgetting any important information during the session.

If you think you may have this virus, book a consultation for an online herpes test with a doctor at Instant Consult today. Simply download the app and request a consult to speak to a doctor, through video call, now.

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