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The cost of each swab is $75. Some people combine several swabs into one vial, which is fine. Others use only one swab per vial. Either works. As for the cost of shipping, you would need to call Roger Smith in my office who sends out the swabs. He would need to research the cost based on your exact address. When you say sexual health clinic, I’m thinking that you don’t live in the US. Gene amplified testing just means that instead of a culture, where something grows in media and then can be identified, gene amplified testing looks for small pieces of the genetic material of the virus which is much more stable way to view the virus and much more sensitive – less virus is needed to call the sample positive. It is NOT something you yourself can read, no.
I’m not at all worried about your partner getting herpes virus on his hand, no. Hand skin is thick and virus cannot penetrate easily.