Herpes Timeframe

Patient

Q: I recently had a blood test for HSV-2 and it came up positive. I have been trying to figure out how long I have had it. Sites online say that the test means that I have had it for AT LEAST 3 months. Is this true? If not, about how long would the test say that I have had it?

Doctor

A:   Usually signs of genital herpes tend to develop within three to seven days of skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Some individual can have Herpes with a positive test and they do not have symptoms for a variable period of time, which is unpredictable and particular for each individual. Most primary genital herpes simplex virus infections are asymptomatic, and 70-80% of seropositive individuals have no history of symptomatic genital herpes. Remember that individuals with herpes may spread the disease even if they do not realize they have an infection. Even more, they can transmit infection while their disease appears to be inactive and no sores can be visibly seen.

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