Yes, there is a blood test that is made available for people who want to check if they have contracted the herpes virus.
This blood test traces out the antibodies to the herpes virus. The antibodies are created by your body’s immune system if there is an infection in the body. Herpes Simplex Virus 2 will infect the genitals while Herpes Simplex Virus 1 usually causes cold sores on the mouth, the lips and other parts of the face and body, as soon as the antibodies to the herpes virus are detected, the presence of Herpes Simplex Virus is confirmed.
These tests are particularly for those people who do not have any visible symptoms or for those whose signs have healed up. Once the virus attacks, it settles down in the nerve cells and does not fade completely. When a person is concerned about taking treatment for herpes on a regular basis, these blood tests can come in handy.
The Role of the Blood Test in Detecting Herpes
After you catch the herpes virus, your immune system will react by creating antibodies to battle out the virus. It is only through a blood test that such antibodies can be detected as the virus itself is not present in your blood. Antibodies will appear in the blood soon after you are infected and they will stay in your blood for a long time. IgM is the initial antibody which appears when you get infected with the virus. It has, however, been reported that IgM can reappear in blood tests in only about 30% of the cases during a repeat check. For this reason, many people feel that a blood test cannot be a conclusive one; they also fall back on cell culture examinations.
The blood test to detect antibodies for the herpes virus is also not conclusive in distinguishing between Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2. IgM tests may cross-react with several other viruses like the Herpes Zoster that results in chicken pox. However, the IgG antibody blood test can break down the HSV 1 and 2 a little more accurately. Like all the other blood tests, it is not easy to identify whether the infected site is an oral or a genital one.