The herpes simplex virus (HSV) can be a tough one as HSV type 1 and 2 are so common and most people do not get symptoms.
You’re correct that the HSV blood tests are not done on a routine basis
Getting a HSV blood test is not the same as getting blood tests for the other types of STI like syphilis and HIV. The reason for this is because of the cost of the HSV blood tests they are done in particular one off situations rather than routine screening.
We also find with the HSV blood tests that they can leave people with more questions than answers, For example someone tests positive to HSV type 1 on the blood test but gets no symptoms, does this mean they have HSV-1 on the mouth (as cold sores), on the genitals (as genital herpes) or on the fingernails (as herpetic whitlow).
We find the blood tests can be useful in particular situations, for example one person has HSV-2 and they are concerned about passing it to their partner. Their partner could do a HSV blood test to see if they already have it.
It is common for people to think they do not have HSV as they do not get symptoms and they believe they get checked for it when they go for an STI test.
If you are thinking about getting a HSV blood test, I would just recommend that you come into one of our STI clinics to have a talk with one of the health care providers, we could go through some of the pro’s and con’s of doing the test. Have a look at our clinic finder if you need to find a clinic in your area.
You can also have a look at our HSV page if you want more information on HSV.
Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.
For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.