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How long after having contact with someone with genital herpes can you get tested to find out if you caught it?

May 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Discussion

I recently had sex with a girl with genital herpes and we used a condom. However, the condom broke and she then decided to inform me that she has genital herpes. I’m wondering how long I have to wait to go take a test for it to be able to tell me even slightly if I have it or not?



3 Responses to “How long after having contact with someone with genital herpes can you get tested to find out if you caught it?”
  1. matador 89 says:

    Collin P,

    Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection. It’s caused by a virus called herpes simplex (HSV). There are two types, HSV I and HSV II – both can infect the genital and anal area (genital herpes), the mouth and nose (cold sores), fingers and hand (whitlows). It may cause an outbreak of genital herpes or become dormant (inactive) and hide around the nerves in the body where you were infected. It can be dormant for long periods, and during this time it’s not infectious. Some people can shed the virus from their skin or mucous membranes without any symptoms of genital herpes. This is called asymptomatic or viral shedding. It’s possible to pass the virus during this time, but for most people the risk is low. While there is no cure for genital herpes, there are many antiviral treatment options available to make the disease more manageable. These include oral medicines and ointments like acyclovir ointment 5%. (Brand name Zovirax – and costing much more). This ointment does not prevent the transmission of HSV infections. It is transferred by direct skin contact with the affected part, when the virus is active. The incubation period of 4 or 5 days is usual, but it could be as soon as 2 days or as long as two weeks – or even longer. It often causes no inconvenience, but sometimes it causes a flu-like illness followed by blisters or ulcers on the affected skin. If it recurs, there are likely to be fewer blisters.


    It is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure. Many diseases and conditions share common symptoms.

    The information provided here should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

    I add a link with details of this subject

    Hope this helps
    matador 89

  2. Dale says:

    U can usually tell if U have it with-inside of bout 7 to 14 days if U break out.

  3. shadylady25 says:

    In the absence of symptoms, you need to wait 3-6 months before you can have a special blood test. Then you need to get a type-specific herpes blood test.

    There is no test you can have sooner – the blood test looks for antibodies to the virus, and it takes time to develop these. Any sooner than 3-4 months at the earliest and you would get a false negative even if you had caught it.

    If you don’t get symptoms, I wouldn’t go worrying too much in the meantime. Herpes isn’t actually that easy to catch. I am assuming the girl did not have current symptoms. Transmission rates in the absence of symptoms are LOW.

    If you had UNprotected intercourse several times a week with this girl, for an entire YEAR, and only avoided contact when she had visible symptoms, your risk per year would only be 10% or less if she had hsv-2, and about 2% if she had hsv-1. And that is over 100s of exposures.

    Look at it this way. My boyfriend had oral herpes hsv-1, which is actually more infectious than genital herpes. We avoided kissing and oral sex when he had a cold sore, but had frequent contact in between. It took me seven full years to catch it from him.

    Although it is possible to not develop symptoms when you have actually caught it, normally symptoms would appear within a week. Mine were pretty unmistakeable and painful.

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