Patient: Hello, I have had one heterosexual relationship in the past that involved about 3 months of sexual behavior. The last time I’ve been sexually active was in December of 2008 (about 2 and a half years ago). Yesterday an ulcer formed in the genital area. i went to the doctor and asked for some tests. But the doctor wasn’t sure if it could be herpes or not. I’ve done some research and found that symptoms usually show 2-10 days after transmitting the virus. My question is, how long can herpes be carried before the first outbreak; is 2 and a half years possible,or could it be something else?
Doctor: The first outbreak of the genital herpes infection usually occurs within two weeks of exposure to the virus. However, mo st individuals with herpes infection never have sores, or they have very mild signs that they do not even notice. Reactivation of the virus occurs with lowered immunity, and appearance of herpetic lesions. Genital ulcers may also appear with other infections like syphilis, chancroid (caused by H.ducreyi) or may be associated with HIV infection.