[Question #2621] Herpes Detection in a Blood Test

42 months ago
I had oral sex with someone two days ago and I found out today that he has genital herpes. I have not had an outbreak but I want to get tested. How long does it take for the herpes antibodies to show up in a blood test? I have heard it takes several weeks, so I am unsure if it would show up after 48 hours or not. Thank you.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
42 months ago
Are you saying that you gave someone oral sex or they gave oral sex to you?  If you were the receiver of oral sex, there is no risk of you getting their genital infection.  If you mean that you were the giver of oral sex, there is a small risk that you could have acquire herpes orally.  If you did, symptoms should show up withing 2-10 days.  If you have ever had a cold sore, it would look just like that on your lips. HSV 2 doesn't really like the mouth very much so having HSV 2 there is uncommon.  If you do develop symptoms orally, have them swab tested right away.  If you simply want to test, you would get an IgG test in about 12 weeks.

Terri
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42 months ago
We performed oral sex on each other....so what you are saying is that I would not test positive for genital herpes on a blood test after 48 hours? It takes about 12 weeks for it to show up on a blood test?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
42 months ago
You would not test positive on a blood test in 48 hours if you were infected at that encounter, correct.  The blood test looks for antibody, not the virus itself, and people take time to make antibody.  If you test at 6 weeks, and the test is negative, there is a 70% chance that the test will also be negative at 12 weeks.  Him giving you oral sex presents no risk to you if he only has genital HSV infection.

Terri
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