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Frequently Asked Questions

What is herpes 1?
Herpes 1 (Oral Herpes), also called herpes labialis, is an infection of the lips, mouth, or gums caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). It causes small, painful blisters commonly called cold sores or fever blisters. Herpes 1 commonly infects most people before the age of 20. Majority of infected adults have minimal or no symptoms from herpes 1.

How do you test for herpes 1? testing centers use a small blood sample to test for herpes 1. Our doctors use the type-specific herpes blood test recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This test differentiates between type 1 herpes (HSV-1) and type 2 herpes (HSV-2). Our test looks for antibodies to the HSV-1 virus in the blood.

How is herpes 1 transmitted?
Herpes 1 virus (HSV type 1 virus) is transmitted through kissing or close contact with an infected person. You can also acquire herpes 1 by touching or coming in contact with infected objects such as razors, towels, dishes, and other personal items.

How soon can I get tested for herpes 1 after exposure?
Our doctors recommend testing for herpes 1 virus 4-6 weeks after exposure. Herpes 1 antibodies can take from 2 weeks to 6 months to develop. Though herpes 1 is not a life threatening disease, our physicians recommend regular testing to avoid blindness that could result when herpes 1 infection moves from the mouth to the eye.

What do I need to do to prepare for a herpes 1 test?
No preparation or fasting is needed for herpes type 1 test.

See our Herpes 1 Testing Information.