The Herpes Anonymous home test is a screening kit from YourSelfTests, enabling home testing for herpes for men and women. It comes with a lancet which is used for a finger prick test. Two drops of blood and two drops of diluting agent are then put into the sample well of the test cassette. The cassette provides a result within 10-15 minutes.
The test kit checks for antibodies to the herpes virus so it will show a positive result if you have ever had herpes in the past. If you test positive for herpes with this test kit and you weren’t aware that you’d had herpes before, you should go to your nearest GUM clinic as soon as you can, or make an appointment with your GP.
The herpes simplex virus, known more commonly as herpes, is differentiated into two subtypes: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
HSV-1 is a lifelong infection usually spread through oral-to-oral contact and causes oral herpes. People come into contact with the virus through sores, saliva and areas in or around the mouth. It is extremely contagious, but mostly asymptomatic. Subsequently, incidences where people have the virus without any knowledge of the fact are common.
Where there are symptoms, they consist of painful blisters or open sores, known as ulcers, in or around the mouth. If the sores are on the lips, they’re called cold sores. People frequently get a burning, itching or tingling feeling in the mouth area prior to sores appearing. Following initial infection, the sores and blisters can return at regular intervals. The rate of recurrence varies from person to person.
HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes through oral-genital contact. Like oral herpes, genital herpes can be asymptomatic, or its symptoms can go undetected. When symptoms do appear, genital or anal blisters or ulcers are indicative of the infection. First instances of genital herpes can be acute, and symptoms may repeat, but this doesn’t happen often.
HSV-2 is a lifelong sexually transmitted infection that causes genital herpes. In addition to transmission through sex, the infection can be spread from a mother to her baby during delivery, although this is uncommon. HSV-2 impacts on HIV and vice versa. You are three times more likely to develop a new HIV infection if you already have HSV-2.
Similarly to HSV-1, HSV-2 often has no symptoms, or symptoms that go unnoticed. Like HSV-1, where symptoms do manifest, they take the form of open sores (ulcers) or anal blisters. Besides ulcers, symptoms of new infections tend to consist of fever, body aches and swollen lymph nodes. Tingling or shooting pain in the legs, buttocks and hips may be felt before the appearance of genital ulcers.
HSV-2 can have severe, but rare complications for people with advanced HIV infection, such as hepatitis, pneumonitis and disseminated infection. HSV-2 is one of the most commonplace infections in people with HIV, with 60-90% of HIV persons also having HSV-2.
In terms of treatment, HSV-1 and HSV-2 cannot be cured, but antivirals such as acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir can lessen the severity and recurrence of symptoms.
You can buy your Herpes Anonymous home test kit online with our fast and straightforward service. Test kits are delivered in secure packaging from our UK pharmacy within one day.
This kit contains:
- An individually packaged test cassette
- A lancet for pricking your finger
- An alcohol pad
- A pipette
- A buffer
- And a booklet of instructions
If any of the above items are missing from your test kit, please get in touch with us.
Read the instructions carefully before conducting the home test. If you do not, the reliability of the test and result may be impacted.
- This test is for single-use only
- Ensure that you have a clock, alarm clock or stopwatch so that you can keep an eye on the time.
- Store the home kit at 2-30°C until the expiry date displayed on the sealed pouch.
- The test cassette should be kept in the sealed pouch before use.
- The kit is not suitable for internal use (for example, you should not take a sample from any tissue inside your body, such as inside the mouth).
- Contact between hands and eyes or nose should be avoided when performing the test.
- Refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in the test vicinity.
- Do not perform the test if it has passed its expiry date, or if the packaging has become damaged or has been opened.
- Do not reuse tests.
- If you continue to have symptoms, regardless of the test result, you should contact your GP or nearest GUM clinic.
- If you are carrying out the test now, open all of the packaging. Put all of the test materials on a clean, flat surface.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Rinse and dry them with a clean towel.
- Rub your hands to warm them up. Your finger shouldn’t be cold and must not have calluses.
- Use the supplied alcohol pad prior to pricking your finger for complete cleanliness.
- Take the needle and remove the protective cap.
- Situate the hand that you want to draw blood from flat on the table, with your palm facing upwards.
- If you are left-handed, prick your middle or ring finger on the side of the tip of your finger, on the side nearest to your little finger, on your left hand.
- If you are right-handed, carry out the same procedure on your right hand.
- Bring the needle to the finger and push it to prick the finger. (Refrain from pushing the needle prior to placing it at the finger.)
- Use a tissue to remove the first drop of blood.
- Let your arm hang down for 10 seconds to boost blood flow.
- Gather two drops of blood samples with the micropipette.
- Put the blood samples into the sample well.
- Open the buffer cap and slowly deposit approximately two drops of diluting agent into the sample well (S). Ensure that the liquid makes contact with the control line.
- Remove the blood on your finger with a paper towel or tissue and put a plaster on if required.
- If two coloured bands show at ‘C’ and ‘T’, this confirms the presence of herpes and the result is positive. You should visit your GP or nearest GUM clinic for further testing.
- The result is negative if only once coloured band is displayed at ‘C’. This confirms that herpes is not present. A second test is however recommended to ensure that this outcome is definitive.
- If you continue to have symptoms, whatever your test result, you should contact your GP or your nearest GUM clinic.
- If there is no visible band whatsoever, or there is a visible band at ‘T’ only (not at ‘C’), the test is invalid, and should be repeated with a new test kit.
How does it work?
The test mixes a diluting agent with blood, which establishes the presence of the herpes simplex virus 1 and 2.
How long after coming into contact with herpes does it take for this test to detect it?
Herpes is detectable on a test between 4-6 weeks. For the most accurate result, wait for at least 6 weeks.
Does it need to go to a lab?
No. The result is displayed by the cassette.
How long does it take?
The test should take about five minutes to carry out, and 10-15 minutes to provide a result.
What type of sample do I need to provide for the herpes test?
Two drops of blood. This can be taken from the fingertip and shouldn’t be painful.
What happens if I’m negative?
A second test, to confirm that you don’t have the infection, is advised.
What happens if I’m positive?
If you test positive for herpes, or experience symptoms for the first time, you should seek advice from your GP or visit your nearest GUM clinic. If you have symptoms of herpes, you should refrain from sexual activity until at least 10 days after lesions have healed. There are treatments for herpes that can help to reduce symptoms. You should discuss this further with your doctor, and consult on how best to avoid passing the herpes virus on to a sexual partner.
How accurate is the herpes test kit?
The test kit is very accurate, very occasionally (less than 0.05% of the time) it can give a positive result for someone who has never had herpes and even more rarely (almost never) it can tell someone who has had herpes that they haven’t.
Is herpes curable?
No. The herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 are lifelong infections, but treatment can be used to reduce the severity of symptoms and how often they recur.
Can you get herpes twice?
People who have herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) are at very low risk of contracting it again, but they still are at risk of contracting herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) genital infection.
Who should get tested?
Anyone who feels that they may have been exposed to the herpes simplex type 1 or type 2 viruses, whether it’s through oral to oral contact or sexual contact, should get tested. It’s good practice to get tested for all STIs - not just for herpes. It’s sensible to get tested annually if you’re sexually active with more than one partner.
You should get tested immediately if a recent partner has told you that they have herpes, or if you have symptoms that could be characteristic of the condition.
To test at home for herpes, fill in our short form to place your order. We’ll ship your herpes test kit by next-day courier.
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