Your health care provider can diagnose typical genital herpes by looking at the sores. Some cases, however, are more difficult to diagnose.
The virus sometimes, but not always, can be detected by a laboratory test called a culture. A culture is done when your health care provider uses a swab to get and study material from a suspected herpes sore. You may still have genital herpes, however, even if your culture is negative (which means it does not show HSV).
A blood test called type-specific test can tell whether you are infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2. The type-specific test results plus the location of the sores will help your health care provider to find out whether you have genital infection.
Coping with herpes
A diagnosis of genital herpes can have substantial emotional effects on you and your sexual partner, whether or not you have symptoms. Proper counseling and treatment can help you and your partner learn to cope with the disease, recurrent episodes, personal relationships, and fertility issues.