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Duration of herpes

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Dear Doctor, I am 27 and recently tested positive to HSV-2 after getting a blood test done.  Now I am wondering as to how long do I had the infection. I have searched for some information on internet as well as seen few herpes picture and found out that the test indicates I had the infection for a minimum three months.  Is this information true? And if its otherwise since how long did I had this infection in me?

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Category: Internal Medicine Specialist
 25 Doctors Online

Thank you for asking me this question. It is sad to know that you caught the infection but be sure proper treatment can cure it. As far as your question is concerned, usually getting in direct skin contact of an infected person leads to development of genital herpes within six days.  Symptoms of herpes vary with each individual and hence it becomes difficult to judge the period of infection through the test. There are cases where an individual can test positive but do not show symptoms for quite some time.  The genital herpes is a simplex virus infection and is asymptomatic. Generally 80% of individuals who test positive to this infection do not show any history of genital herpes that is symptomatic. It should always be kept in mind that the persons infected with genital herpes can spread the infection without realising that they even had one.  The most important thing that should always be understood is that the infection can be transmitted even though the disease seems inactive and there are no visible scores of the infection.  As you have seen few genital herpes picture, you must have a clear idea how it looks like at different stages and so you must keep a check on yourself to know when exactly you begun with it. More over regular testing and treatment can cure the disease very well. I hope you found the answer to your question. Good luck.

Dr. Steve Merris
Category: Internal Medicine Specialist
Medical School - New York University
Internship in Internal Medicine - Beth Israel Medical Center
Residency in Internal Medicine - Beth Israel Medical Center
Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine - Columbia University Medical Center
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