Genital Herpes Diagnosis

Who should I see if I think I have genital herpes?

If you suspect that you have genital herpes or any other sexually transmitted infection then see your GP or contact your local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic. You can go to the local GUM clinic without a referral from your GP. You can look for a GUM clinic near you in the UK by searching the Family Planning Association's 'Find a clinic' service. Your GP would also be able to advise you where your nearest clinic is.

Do I need any tests?

Yes. A blister can be swabbed by a doctor or nurse to obtain a small sample to send to the lab. This can confirm the infection is due to the herpes simplex virus. It may also find out which type of herpes virus has caused the infection. Tests to look for other sexually transmitted infections may also be done at the same time. These swab tests are best carried out in a GUM clinic. Your GP may sometimes do the tests but will normally advise you to attend a GUM clinic as soon as possible. You can make an appointment at most GUM clinics yourself without needing a referral from your GP. Sometimes a blood test is done as well. This determines whether you have had a herpes infection in the past, or whether this is the first time. It can also tell which type of herpes simplex virus it is.

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Dr Mary Harding
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
4255 (v46)
Last Checked:
12 October 2015
Next Review:
12 October 2018

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.