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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:06 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:20 am
Posts: 9
Hi all, betsy,

This may have been covered before in great detail, sorry I've just joined the forum, but I'm trying to find out whether there is a blood test available that indicates that you have antibodies specific to HSV-2 (not HSV1 and/or HSV2 non-specifically). This test would then be the equivalent of doing a lesion PCR test at outbreak time, would it not? How accurate is the blood test vs the lesion test? And do you know the respective costs?

Answer as short as you like, you have probably done this to death by now. The reason I am asking tho is considering whether it would be a good thing to promote doing a HSV-2 blood test in standard STI workups, something that is not done very often now, at least in my country. If the test exists, and is reliable, do you think it should be done more often so that people become aware of carrier status, and can take steps to prevent future transmission?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:03 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
Costs vary from clinic to clinic. The herpes blood test itself runs the lab less than $5 - it's all the other charges between the lab and the clinic that runs the price up. I'm not sure of the base price of pcr but it's usually around $100-$150 that you are charged to have one done though I know one clinic that only charges around $50 for a pcr lesion culture and typing.

For more info on herpes testing - check out www.herpesdiagnosis.com under the section about testing there. They explain it all so much better than I ever could.

Even in the US the current recommendations are to not test for herpes unless you either specifically request it, you have had suspicious symptoms in the past or have been involved sexually with someone who knows they have hsv2 :( It's unfortunately not a part of routine std testing here either :(

Let me know if I can help you more.

betsy

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:57 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:20 am
Posts: 9
Thanks, Betsy, that's very helpful -- exactly what I needed to know. It's lucky that testing is usually offered for free here (out of tax dollars) -- but then the PBS has to decide what will be subsidised and what won't, based on cost and need!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:40 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
Yeah unfortunately that's the way it usually goes. Definitely there are better things to spend the money on than herpes but it would be nice if the option of getting tested was at least offered regularly. I know if it meant spending $25 just for hsv testing - most folks would find a way to come up with the money ( and yes in the US there are clinics here that charge that little for the testing ). Should be a better compromise than the one that is currently going on no matter what country you are in.

betsy

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