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What Is the Western Blot Test for Herpes?

The advancements in modern medicine are keeping in time with the digital age, even when treating disorders like Herpes Simplex Virus. Rather than waiting in overcrowded office waiting rooms, disrupting your workday to obtain an appointment and hoping nobody knows what you're there to discuss with your physician - many men and women are choosing to obtain a prescription online.

Online diagnosis and prescription aren't new concepts, but they've advanced over time to become more affordable, secure, and obtainable for everyone. One of the most popular reasons to get a prescription online aside from being unable to physically reach a doctor is due to embarrassment over symptoms or ailments. Sexual disorders are at the top of the list for online doctors. This is because of the stigma which hangs over the heads of those coping with them.

Throughout this article, we'll look more closely at herpes, what causes it, how to treat it, and the use of the western blot test for diagnosis. Here's what you should know about herpes.

What is Herpes?

Herpes Simplex Virus appears in two forms, HSV-1 and HSV-2. The former is what causes cold sores to appear. Cold sores are a form of herpes. The latter is what causes genital sores to appear, and it the most feared form of herpes. Some herpes carriers show no signs at all. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, "Herpes is a common STD that any sexually active person can get. Most people with the virus do not have symptoms. It is important to know that even without signs of the disease it can still spread to sexual partners."

It's important that upon noticing symptoms of herpes you speak to a doctor as soon as possible. Starting early treatment can't cure the virus, but it will help you manage it and continue to lead a full and healthy life.

Symptoms of Herpes

As mentioned above, some herpes carriers show no symptoms at all. For those who do, the most common symptoms are sores on the mouth or genitals, depending on which strain of the virus you carry. The blisters can be itchy and painful and at times, burst. The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare explains, "The symptoms typically affect the penis, foreskin and scrotum in men, and the labia, vagina and cervix in women. The blisters may also occur in the anal region, on the buttocks or on the inner thighs. Some people notice that an outbreak is starting through a tingling sensation in their genitals or pain in their bottom, hips or legs." Genital herpes may even spread into the urethra.

Causes of Herpes

The origin of herpes is through contact during an outbreak. For HSV-1 this could involve kissing, or even sharing Chap Stick. For HSV-2, herpes is usually spread through sexual intercourse. Pregnant women with HSV-2 may pass the virus on to children who are born during a breakout.

You are at greater risk of developing herpes if you are sexually active without protection, have multiple partners, have a weak immune system, are a woman, or have other STIs.

Once the virus takes root, flare ups (the appearance of blisters) may occur during exposure to sun, when afflicted with cold or flu symptoms, or during hormonal changes.

Treatments for Herpes

Unfortunately, there is no current cure or vaccine for herpes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Several clinical trials have tested vaccines against genital herpes infection, but there is currently no commercially available vaccine that is protective against genital herpes infection. One vaccine trial showed efficacy among women whose partners were HSV-2 infected, but only among women who were not infected with HSV-1." This provides hope that the future may provide a cure. For now, men and women suffering from herpes can only treat the symptoms and minimize outbreaks.

In some cases, herpes sores will clear up on their own. This can leave you feeling self conscious and uncomfortable. To speed up recovery of an outbreak your doctor may prescribe a medication like valacyclovir, famciclovir, or acyclovir. Some herpes medications are taken orally, while others are applied topically as an ointment.

In the case of severe and painful symptoms, a doctor may recommend administering treatment by injection. This is rarely necessary. Most herpes patients manage symptoms effectively with few side effects.

Lab Tests Used to Diagnose Herpes

Before you treat your herpes, you must first be diagnosed. This requires tests by a physician. Women's Health writes, "Often, your doctor can diagnose genital herpes by looking at visible sores. Your doctor or nurse may also use a cotton swab to take a fluid sample from a sore to test in a lab. Genital herpes can be hard to diagnose, especially between outbreaks. Blood tests that look for antibodies to the herpes virus can help diagnose herpes in women without symptoms or between outbreaks." This is when the western blot test would be used.

A western blot test is used to detect several blood-related illnesses, including herpes, HIV, and even Lyme Disease. The test separates the proteins in your blood to find antibodies which determine whether you are positive for HSV-1 or HSV-2. It has a high accuracy rate and is the most common blood test used for herpes diagnoses.

Online prescriptions for Herpes

Being diagnosed with herpes is no longer the life sentence it once was. Many men and women live full and healthy sex lives by monitoring outbreaks, using protection, and taking the medication which works best for them.

Working closely with a doctor you can determine which medication will best serve your herpes symptoms. If you're concerned about constantly appearing in your family doctor's office requesting prescriptions for herpes management, we can help.

ExpressMedRefills strives to ensure customer security, privacy, and convenience at every appointment. We offer one on one consultations with U.S. based doctors to help you receive the best medical advice and treatment for your conditions. You can get a prescription online to manage herpes and receive an online diagnosis and prescription for other medical issues as well.

For more information on managing your herpes outbreaks or to receive an online prescription today, contact ExpressMedRefills.

WARNING: Limitations of Online Doctor/Medical Consultations and Online Prescriptions, ExpressMedRefills cannot Prescribe, Dispense, or Resell any and all Narcotics/Controlled Substances (this policy is fully enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)) for Pain, Anxiety, Weightloss, Sleep, ADHD/ADD including non-controlled substances or any medications that are considered controversial or recalled in nature such (i.e. Retin-A, Accutane). Furthermore, ExpressMedRefills is not a substitute for an office based physician in your location nor is it a substitute for Emergency Medical Care or 911. If you do experience a "true" medical emergency your are encouraged to pick up the phone and dial 911 as soon as possible.