Prices from £79.99
Not sure if it's herpes?
Genital Herpes is an infection that is caused by the herpes simplex virus. It can be passed on from person to person through direct skin to skin contact, especially during sex. Herpes often results in painful sores or blisters around the genital or anal area.
If you have sores and blisters in your genital area, and you're worried it might be a sexually transmitted infection (STI) like genital herpes, you can test yourself using our home test kit. The kit arrives quickly and discreetly via the post, and you can use it without visiting a doctor or sexual health clinic.
Once you have your results, our doctors can recommend the best treatment for you. In some cases, the doctor may need to ask for more information. Please check your account for any messages and to make sure your telephone number is up to date here in case our doctors need to call you.
1 test kit(s) - £79.99
About the genital herpes test
Our genital herpes test kit allows you to test yourself at home to see if you have genital herpes. The test checks for the herpes viruses that cause both oral and genital herpes (HSV1 and HSV2).
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) passed on through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Symptoms include:
- blisters that burst and leave open sores around your genitals, anus and bottom
- pain when you pee
- burning or itching around your genitals
- in women, discharge that is different to normal
There is no cure for genital herpes, but knowing if you have the virus can help you manage outbreaks in the future. It also means you can let your sexual partners know so they can take precautions such as using a condom, avoiding sex if they have symptoms and exercising good hygiene when using sex toys.
If you think you have been infected with the herpes virus you should get tested at least 2 weeks after the episode of unprotected sex where you likely caught it.
You should get tested for herpes if you have symptoms that you think might be genital herpes. The symptoms of genital herpes include sores and blisters around your genitals, anus and bottom, burning or itching around your genitals and pain when you pee. Women may also experience a discharge that is different to usual.
Herpes swab tests need to be taken from a sore or open blister, so you need to have these for the test to be accurate.
If your partner has herpes or you have had unprotected sex with a new partner, you may also want to get tested.
Anyone can use our home testing kit for genital herpes as long as they have the sores and blisters from which the swab must be taken. If you have any of the symptoms below, you should consider getting a herpes test to find out if you contracted the virus:
- 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
To use our home test kits, you need to have blisters and sores in and around the genitals.
You will need to take a swab from the sore or blister. The swab gives the most accurate results if it is rubbed directly on an open sore or blister. You may have to break the blister to take a good sample.
The test kit comes with a leaflet with detailed instructions. You must follow these instructions carefully to ensure your test results are accurate.
It's really simple to request your test kit and test for genital herpes.
- Complete a very quick questionnaire so our doctors can check that the test kit is right for you.
- When your test kit arrives, follow the instructions carefully to make sure you get a good sample.
- Once you have taken your sample, use the pre paid and addressed envelope to send it to our lab.
- You will get the results through your private patient account within a few days.
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.
If your result is positive, it means that the lab found either HSV1 or HSV2 in your sample. Our doctors will recommend the right treatment for you. This will depend on whether you still have symptoms or not.
A negative result means that the lab cannot detect either HSV1 or HSV2 in your sample, but it does not mean you are definitely not infected with the herpes virus. If you still have symptoms or your symptoms recur, you should test again. Your doctor can also organise a test for other conditions that might be causing your symptoms.
If you test positive for genital herpes, our doctors can advise you on the best treatment to manage your symptoms and protect yourself and your sexual partners.
Can herpes be treated?
There is no cure for herpes, but outbreaks can be managed with antiviral medications.
Treatment options include:
- antiviral medication such as aciclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir to reduce the length of outbreaks or suppress the virus (so you are less likely to give it to partners)
- numbing cream such as Lidocaine (a local anaesthetic cream) to provide relief to the affected area
You can reduce the chances of passing genital herpes onto others by:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex (note that if the condom does not cover the infected area then herpes can be passed on)
- avoiding sex if you or your partner has blisters, sores or a tingle or itch that signifies the start of an outbreak
- being careful with sex toys: avoid sharing if possible, wash them and put a condom on them
No, the home test kit for genital herpes involves taking a swab of the fluid from one of the sores of blisters and is not a blood test.
Genital herpes can sometimes look like other infections, so it’s important to have a test for genital herpes if you’ve not had one before, to make sure that you wouldn’t need another type of treatment.
Yes, genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection. This means it is passed on through sexual contact.
Dr Kathryn Basford
Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 13 Jan 2022
Genital herpes NHS 2020 [accessed 1st December 2021]
Herpes simplex virus WHO 2020 [accessed 1st December 2021]
Neonatal herpes (herpes in a baby) NHS 2018 [accessed 1st December 2021]
Why Genital Herpes Boosts the Risk of HIV Infection National Institute of Health 2009[accessed 1st December 2021]
You can treat genital herpes two ways. One treatment option is for when you experience an individual outbreak (acute therapy) and the other is treatment for when you need to avoid regular outbreaks (suppressive). ZAVA offers both types of treatment through a discreet, convenient service.