Genital Herpes Test Kit
How to test yourself for genital herpes at home
Prices from £79.99
Genital herpes is an infection that is caused by a virus. It can be passed on from person to person through direct skin contact, including sex. It can cause painful sores (blisters) around your genital or anal area.
If you are worried you might have herpes because you have noticed some possible symptoms, you can buy a home test kit for herpes infection. Using a home test kit is also a convenient way of getting discreet STI testing.
Using a home test works in the following steps:
- Place an order and get your kit delivered to your door, or collect from a local post office (delivery is free)
- Collect your sample by following the instructions in the test kit
- Send your samples to our UK-based, accredited partner laboratory (postage is free)
- Once your results are available (in 2 to 3 days), our doctors will review your results
- One of our doctors will contact you, via a secure and confidential message in your patient account, to let you know your results and give you advice and support on what to do next
In some cases, the doctor may need to ask for more information. They may contact you by phone, so make sure your telephone number is up to date in your online account.
1 test kit(s) - £79.99
About the genital herpes test
How our service works
How can you order herpes test kits online?
- Fill out a short online assessment form
- Place an order for a genital herpes test kit
- It can then be posted to your preferred address or you can collect it from a local post office instead
How to use the test kit
Our test kit for Herpes infections makes it easy for you to check if you have the herpes infection without having to visit a sexual health clinic or GP.
The Herpes test kit comprises of a swab test, which requires you to rub a cotton swab on any sores or blisters in your genital or anal areas, depending on where your symptoms are. The swab gives the most accurate results if it is used directly on a sore or blister. You may have to break the blister to take the sample.
The test kit comes with a leaflet with detailed instructions. You must follow these instructions carefully to ensure your test results are accurate.
When you have taken the sample as explained on the leaflet, you need to place it in the pre-addressed and prepaid envelope provided. You can post it in any post box.
How the results work
Once the laboratory has received your sample, it will take 1 to 3 days for your results to become available.
You will receive your result via your account. We will send you an email asking you to login to your patient record – we will never send you confidential information such as a test result via email.
What do I do once I have my results?
If your result comes up positive for a herpes infection, you may require treatment to help keep the virus under control and manage any future outbreak of symptoms.
You should also inform any previous or current partners so they can get tested too.
If your test result is negative, it is less likely that you have herpes. But, sometimes you could get negative results even though you have the herpes virus depending on how the sample is taken.
If your tests come back negative, you should still consider getting retested if you notice any symptoms.
You should also have your symptoms assessed by a doctor. They can then check visible symptoms and tell if they might be because of another condition. Sometimes if your symptoms look a lot like herpes they may recommend that you try treatment anyway. Your GP or sexual health clinic can help with this, and you can also use our photo assessment service for more advice.
Whether your results are positive or negative, you should also get tested for other sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).
You should also practice safe sex by using a condom to reduce your chances of getting an STI through sexual contact.
The herpes home test kit is a convenient and discreet way of checking if you have herpes infection:
- The kit contains a swab which you will use to take samples from any area of your body with symptoms
- The kit also contains a leaflet with instructions you need to follow and a pre addressed envelope ready for you to use to post the sample to one of our partner laboratories
- Before using any home test kit, make sure the kit is sealed, without any damage to its packaging, and check that it is within its expiry date
- The accuracy of the swab test depends on the quality of the sample taken
- To make sure your results are accurate, you need to follow the instructions in the kit carefully
Some people infected with herpes virus do not have symptoms until months or years later. So if you have symptoms and you think there’s a chance you could have been exposed to herpes through unprotected sexual contact then you should get tested.
If you have any of the symptoms below, you should consider getting a herpes test to find out if you have the infection:
- Small painful blisters that burst to leave red, open sores around your genitals, anus, thighs or buttocks
- Any vaginal discharge that is unusual for you
If you think you have been infected with herpes virus you should get tested as soon as you can to find out if you have herpes.
If your partner has herpes or you have had unprotected sex with a new partner, you may also want to get tested.
If you find out that you have a different STI, you should consider getting tested for herpes too because STIs often get transmitted together.
You shouldn’t put off testing for too long because if you have herpes, you could pass on the infection to a new partner. All the sooner you confirm your herpes the sooner you can treat any symptom you have that may be uncomfortable.
Herpes cannot be cured. Sometimes your body can get rid of the infection by itself, but other times you might need long-term treatment to help manage your symptoms.
After your first episode of symptoms, you might have further episodes of symptoms from time to time (recurrent infections), although this does not happen with everybody.
Antiviral medications (like Aciclovir and Valaciclovir) can help improve your symptoms by stopping the virus from multiplying in your body and keeping it under control. You can buy these through our service following a short assessment which will be reviewed by our doctors, or by going to your GP or sexual health clinic.
Antiviral medications can provide treatment for current outbreaks of symptoms (acute therapy). They can also be taken as suppressive therapy (taking a daily low dose for longer periods of time) for people who frequently have outbreaks of symptoms (recurrent infections).
When you have symptoms for herpes, there is a high chance you could pass the virus on if you have sex. It is better to stop having sex from the time you first notice symptoms until they are fully over.
If you do have sex, you should use a condom, but it may not fully protect against passing the virus on because it may not cover areas where there are sores.
If you have herpes but you are currently not showing any symptoms, you are less likely to pass on the infection during sex. Sometimes the virus can be present on the skin even if there are no symptoms - this is called shedding. It doesn’t happen with everyone, but it is more likely to happen in the first year after you get the infection or if you have a lot of outbreaks. It is better to tell your partner about the infection and use a condom each time you have sex to help reduce the chance of passing the virus on.
Taking antiviral medication (suppressive treatment) long-term to prevent recurrent infections also reduces the risk of passing on the virus from shedding (which is when you occasionally become infectious even when you don’t have symptoms).
National Health Service (2018). Genital Herpes. NHS. [online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/genital-herpes/ [accessed 15th November 2018].
National Health Service (2018). How to use self help kits safely. NHS. [online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-use-self-test-kits-safely/#when-you-get-your-results [accessed 15th November 2018].
Patient.info. (2018). Genital herpes. patient.info. [online]. Available at: https://patient.info/health/sexually-transmitted-infections-leaflet/genital-herpes#nav-6 [accessed 15th November 2018].