What is Herpes Virus?

Genital Herpes is an STD caused by two types of viruses. The viruses are called Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2). Oral Herpes is usually caused by HSV-1 and can result in cold sores or fever blisters on or around the mouth. However, most people with HSV-1 display no symptoms at all. Oral herpes (HSV-1) is generally transmitted in children and adults through saliva, and can be spread from the mouth to the genitals through oral sex. Herpes infection can cause sores or breaks in the skin or lining of the mouth, vagina, and rectum and thereby provide a pathway for HIV into the body. Since Genital Herpes increases the number of CD4 cells that HIV targets for entry into the body, some cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-1.

The severity of HSV-1 & 2

Genital Herpes is common in the United States with more than one out of every six people aged 14 – 49 years have genital herpes.  Pregnant women with herpes are at high risk of miscarriage, early birth and often pass the potentially deadly infection to their babies.

Who should be tested?

Women are generally at higher risk of acquiring Genital Herpes than men. Sexual contact with someone who is infected, or having multiple sexual partners, creates a higher risk of contracting the infection. Those who have engaged in sexual activity at an early age, or people with a history of STIs or infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections, and with weakened immune systems are all at increased risk for herpes infections.

How is the test done?

Specimens are easily obtained using the convenient ESwab™ Liquid Amies Collection and Transport System, placed in a pre-paid UPS clinical pack and overnighted to Excelsior Diagnostics. Excelsior will process the specimen using Polymerace Chain Reaction (PCR) molecular technology the very morning it is received and provide same day results.

How is that better than the standard legacy method?

Legacy viral culture – the historic diagnostic gold-standard for HSV – is notoriously inaccurate, demands specific and sensitive specimen transport conditions and can take 10 days to result. PCR-based testing by Excelsior identifies active lesions regardless of HSV type, with maximum accuracy and quick turnaround.

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The Excelsior Guarantee

Excelsior Diagnostics is a specialty medical diagnostic lab that performs all testing exclusively by Polymerase Chain Reaction Molecular Analysis, the most accurate diagnostic medical testing available today.