At getSTDtested.com, we often are asked, “How do I know if I have herpes?”  It’s a valid question, considering genital herpes is one of the most prevalent STDs. In fact, one out of five people in the U.S. has genital herpes, yet up to 90 percent of those infected have no idea. Here’s the answer to the question “How do I know if I have herpes” and many more:

How Do I Know If I Have Herpes Symptoms?

Identifying herpes symptoms isn’t always black and white; there’s a large gray area when it comes to genital herpes symptoms. The “textbook” genital herpes outbreak is characterized by small, painful blisters or pimple-like bumps that eventually break open and release a clear fluid. Outbreaks can occur on the genitals, thighs, buttocks or anus. These lesions then crust over and heal on their own within a few weeks. During full-blown outbreaks, some people also experience a fever, headaches or swollen lymph nodes.

How Do I Know If I Have Herpes—Or Is It Something Else?

A genital herpes outbreak is different for everyone, as symptoms can range from mild to severe. For some people herpes symptoms present themselves much more subtly than the “textbook” outbreak, which allows the infection to go unnoticed. Many times, the signs of genital herpes are so mild and undisruptive that they are mistaken for other common conditions such as jock itch, bug bites, shaving irritation, rash or yeast infections. Herpes symptoms can mimic many other conditions, and vice versa, but herpes and STD testing is the only way to diagnose the cause.

I Don't Have Symptoms, So How Do I Know If I Have Herpes?

A common misconception is that this STD will always produce symptoms—wrong! Most often, genital herpes symptoms are very mild or non-existent. The vast majority of people never experience symptoms allowing genital herpes to go unnoticed for years. This is why up to 90 percent of people with genital herpes aren’t aware of their infections. Herpes testing can diagnose an asymptomatic infection.  

So Exactly How Do I Know If I Have Herpes?

Since signs of genital herpes are often vague or non-existent, relying on the physical symptoms is an inefficient means of diagnosis. STD testing is the only way to accurately and reliably answer the question, “How do I know if I have herpes?” A blood-based, type-specific herpes test can screen for the STD, even when symptoms aren’t present. And since genital herpes often remains undiagnosed, a genital herpes test is recommended as part of a routine STD screen—just as a precaution.

Still have questions about herpes or another STD? Feel free to give us a call at 866-749-6269 to speak with one of our trained STD counselors.

Source: ashastd.org