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What is Herpes?
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Main > Specialty Areas > Venereology and STDs >
Herpes

Diagnosis of Herpes

The diagnosis is usually made by a venereologist or a dermato-venereologist. The sores are usually quite distinctive and an experienced doctor can usually recognize them upon a visual examination, however sometimes sores and vesicles can be symptoms of other STDs. That's why a doctor will usually take a sample from the sores in order to test for the presence of the herpes virus.

A pap smear, a cell culture test or an antigen test are often used to test for herpes virus. However, the tests wonÂ’t work if the sores have healed. A blood test has recently become available for those who are worried they might have herpes, but exhibit no visible symptoms. Since it is a blood test, it cannot usually determine whether the infection is oral or genital, however a positive Type 2 (HSV-2) result is likely to indicate genital herpes.

Procedure Info:
The Pap Smear (or the Pap Test) is used to analyze cells in a cervix. The Pap test can detect infection, unhealthy cells or cancer. It is recommended that generally, women should undergo the procedure once a year as a part of their regular visit to gynecologist. During the test, a special stick or brush is used to swab a few cells from the inside of the cervix. The test is usually painless and causes only minor discomfort.

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Random Useful Tip:
Epinephrine shot
If you are known to have a severe anaphylactic reaction, carry an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot with you at all times. Pay attention to expiration date and replace it regularly: upon expiration, it loses its effectiveness.

Random Drug Info:
Acyclovir
Acyclovir is a medication that is used to treat herpes infections of the skin, lips and genitals, chicken pox and shingles. It comes in the form of ointments, tablets, capsules or liquids. It relieves pain and itchiness and promotes healing; however, it does not cure the condition. Possible (but not common) side effects include headaches, upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. Severe side effects, such as severe rash or itching, blood in the urine, stomach pain or fever are even less common, but require prompt medical attention.



 
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