Health Information

Screening for Genital Herpes

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Screening Guidelines

The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are given to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.

At this time, there are no screening guidelines for the general population. A doctor may recommend screening if you are at high risk for STDs such as:

Sexually active people should consider screening for STDs even if there is not a specific guideline.

Women who are pregnant and near labor, will be asked about history and examined for any sores in your genital area. A test may also be done to find out if the virus is present. This is especially important at the time of labor to avoid spreading the virus to the baby.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: David Horn, MD
  • Review Date: 05/2014 -
  • Update Date: 10/17/2014 -
  • Beauman JG. Genital herpes: A review. Am Fam Physician. 2005;72(8):1527-1534.

  • Gardella C, Huang ML, Wald A, et al. Rapid polymerase chain reaction assay to detect herpes simplex virus in the genital tract of women in labor. Obstet Gynecol. 2010;115(6):1209-1216.

  • Genital herpes—CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes-detailed.htm. Updated February 13, 2013. Accessed October 17, 2014.

  • Workowski KA, Berman S, et al. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010. MMWR. 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.