Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2008 PMFLY, Community Member, asks

Q: How long can you have herpes without knowing?

I have been with my BF for 5 months now and have a very active sex life: lots and lots of oral.  I am a relatively healthy 32 year old girl and am very aware of my body and any changes that occur.  Last week I thought I had a yeast infection and some sores on the outside of my vagina appeared.  This seemed unusual and it was not going away - hurting when I would go to the washroom.  My bf and I went to emergeny clinic and the doctor said that it was herpes. 

I have an appointment with my doctor this week, but I am uncertain and I have so many questions. Is it possible that I had herpes before I started dating this guy? I've never had any symptoms before and it's been five months. He does get the rare coldsore (once a year or less). Do you think this is likely to be Type 1 or Type 2?

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Answers (9)
Eileen Bailey, Health Guide
6/ 5/14 8:24pm

Thank you for your question. 


I am not a medical professional and cannot give you medical advice. 


I can tell you that it is possible to have herpes for many years without having any symptoms or knowing that you have it. Some people have the herpes virus but never experience any symptoms. 


It is also possible for someone with cold sores to pass herpes through oral sex, even if you can't see any symptoms. Therefore, if your boyfriend has cold sores (HSV1) and you have had oral sex, he could pass that on to you. This can also happen the opposite way, where genital herpes can be spread to the mouth of someone during oral sex. 


The simple answer to your question, though, is yes, it is posible to have had herpes for several years without knowing. 



Herpes:  Knowing the Risks

The Truth About HSV1, HSV2 and Oral Sex

Genital Herpes Symptoms and Tests

10 Myths About Genital Herpes

Ways Not To Spread Herpes



Chelsea, Community Member
9/17/08 3:23am



It sounds like Genital Herpes. The same thing happened to me, same symptoms. People can have herpes their whole life and NEVER show ANY symtoms. It's very hard to trace back to where you got it from. Some people have one outbreak their entire life, some people have an outbreak once a month! It has a lot to do with your stress levels. If you're under a lot of stress, then your more likely to get more outbreaks. Just remember, if you do have herpes, it's not the end of the world sweetheart! There are ways of preventing spreading it to your partners. You can still have babies and lead a normal life. Good luck at your Doctors visit! If you need anyone to talk to, you can email me. (0:



nhbmartialarts, Community Member
8/ 4/09 10:10pm

I think I contracted herpes about one year ago, but am still in denial about getting tested.  Can people have one outbreak their whole life with the rash on their genital forever, or does it go away.  I am stressing about when my second outbreak will happen, or if it ever happens.  I hope not.  I am thinking that herpes is really bad.  Can you give me some help please.  How long have you had it and is it all that bad?  Can herpes go away for like five to ten years and then come back worse than ever?  Please help!!!!

CA, Community Member
2/24/10 12:47am

What should i do?Frown Some times i feel like its the end of the world cause i have herpes .

bre19, Community Member
8/ 4/10 7:48pm

hey chelsea im a young gurl that is 19years old and i dnt have no kids and i have a wonderful boyfriend that is 23 years old with no kids i planned on jus living my life and try to be somebody well i just want to say that i just find out that i have hepers about a 7 ago and im very scared and i just feel like i just cant live with this something that haves me crying every day not sleep right are not eating right ..i just wnt to know if since i have it this is somethign im ny blood and if i was dating another male i can pass it own to it some that is can go away and never come and just live your life are is it always going to stay with me in side my body until god calls mr home

Joyseboy, Community Member
7/20/13 2:46am
There is now a cure ..., genocea bio sciences has a therapeutic vaccine ... I received it and it works It's not approved yet but you can get in trials Reply
Jen, Community Member
11/21/13 9:13pm
Hey I'm sorry I just got diagnosed with herpes and so far I don't have outbreaks outside but I do when I go to the bathroom is becoming very paint fuk :( I started the medicine but I'm inpatient of this breakout to go away , I'm taking day by day and obviously try to take care of my self as much as I can , my bf and I haven't had sex in a week n half because of my outbreaks being so painful when I try to have sex ill love to get a trial of the stuff u just posted bout it n try it ...thsnk u :) Reply
treetracker, Community Member
12/21/13 11:14pm

Can u please send information about the cure trials?  I am 68 yrs. old.  Imagine my shock when I went to the doctor with what I thought was a spider bite on my butt and he told me it was Herpes.  I had been with no one since my divorce 32 yrs. ago.  How embarassing.  The doctor said it can stay in the body that long.  I have outbreaks about every 6 months now and they are sometimes so bad they leave scars. 


DarkAndLovely, Community Member
11/ 6/12 10:07pm

I need someone to talk to that has Genital Herpes . 


special k, Community Member
2/ 1/13 7:55pm

You can talk to me. I have it

Nic, Community Member
12/19/12 2:26pm
I am freaking out I had a dr appt gave blood and the results came back when I called the dr office the medical assistant said u tested positive for herpes and go to ur ob and have a good holiday so I am confused cause she did not tell we what kind should I get a second opinion Reply
soscared, Community Member
12/27/12 9:59pm

Yes, call your gyno and have another test. I am in a similar boat. Last Wednesday, I was extremely itchy and then I noticed one bump, then a few hours later, I noticed there were many. The itching and burning, especially when walking (I was Christmas shopping for a couple of hours and it was excruciating) I was putting ice packs over my underwear to ease the pain. On Christmas Eve, I went to my gyno and she said she believes it is herpes. I am still waiting for the results. It is so scary... how life altering.

special k, Community Member
2/ 1/13 8:02pm

If she say go to ur ob then it maybe gential herpes, but it dnt matter which herpes symplex it is the medicine they prescribe or u will heal both.

Fighter123, Community Member
4/ 9/13 4:41pm
Hi, I just got diagnosed today of having herpes. Not sure what type yet, problem is I'm not sure if I been having this without any symptoms or if my boyfriend gave it to me. We've only been together 5 months and he has no symptoms. I am afraid that when I tell him he'll end our relationship :( I want him to be understanding but I'm not sure about this one. Any advice? Reply
tryin2care, Community Member
10/28/13 4:27am

heya i have been diagnosed with it and i have been going out with my boyfriend for over a year so i was really confused about having it in the first place. but the main thing i was worried about is it ending my relationship but i just talked to him about it and he understood he even coming with the doctors with me. when your explaining just also explain about he might not know hes got it and passed it on to you or it might not even be him who did but he needs to go to his doctor and get checked. 

Sammy, Community Member
7/26/13 1:49am
I think i got it when I was about 12, but I never really had any pain till I was about 15 and i do stress a lot about school and boys and this .. I wanted to get treated but someone told me if you have something that can't go away they have to tell your parents but I know my mom and she would blame me and say I got it from being with boys but I had never even had sex when I first broke out ... I just told myself I Would tell my Dr. when I turn 18 and I'm 17 now but lately I have been feeling really sick in the mornings and I get headaches a lot and have been sense I was around 12 ...should I just say something now ? And how could I have gotten if I never had sex when I first noticed also if she knows I thinks she would treat me like a big germ Reply
redbird1, Community Member
12/11/13 9:42am

How can u have a baby when u can still pass the virus

treetracker, Community Member
12/21/13 11:23pm

My doctor said I could have had the virus 32 years since I'd last had sex, without having any outbreak.  I had a daughter when married to the only source that could have given it to me.  She was born cicerian.  The doctor said if she had been born naturally she could have gotten it and gone blind.  So ask your doctor.  I would assume you would need to have a child by cicerian if you have herpes but don't know for sure.

redbird1, Community Member
12/11/13 9:44am

so u can still hve kids with out spreading herpies

misunderstood, Community Member
4/ 5/12 11:26am

i'm a female and only 16 years old and i found out i had herpes about 6 months ago, your 32 years old and a lot of your life has been lived. I'm not even old enough to get into a club yet and i have to worry about this. If you think you've contracted the virus there are plenty of medicines to help your outbreaks. I've had only 1 outbreak and it was the worst pain in my life, i would never wish what i had to go through upon anybody. You'll be fine though, because if I can do it being only 16 you can too :)

clock, Community Member
5/ 1/12 10:23pm

im not replying to anyone..jus need to confess...i had herpes about 3yrs never had any painful outbreaks or any kind of symptoms...i lived my life like i never had it..may be because i had no signs or symptoms...had sex with my bf and now he has it...i never told him i have it...not sure if he had also..but he said he was tested about 7mths ago and he hates me..i feel very stupid..n i was not thinking about his feelings...he had sex with me after he found out..but he still hates me and i didnt tell him the truth..he thinks i found out this yr but not knowing i knew all truly sorry for what i did...and wished i can turn the hands of the clock!


special k, Community Member
2/ 1/13 7:58pm

It is possible that u couldve hsd it b4 u met ur bf and never had an outbreak or u couldve contrscted it from ur bf . Best thing to do is get tested and go From There. It is not The end of the world, u jus have o b cautious from his point on

angela2012, Community Member
3/ 1/13 1:30am

I have a question....Monday morning I woke up unable to walk because I had this blister kind of bump on my anus and got worst throughout the week. I went to see my doctor and he took a sample of it and told me he didn't know for sure but I could have herpes. Could it be anything else...I am so scared for it to come out positive. I'm 22 yrs old. I recently moved again from my family to be with my boyfriend of now 9 months....I feel like it does come out positive I don’t think I can stay here with him any longer because I feel like he gave it to me. Now I guess my question is he is 43 yrs old and never have any symptoms of herpes, so could I have had them before we got together and just didn’t know it?

treetracker, Community Member
12/21/13 11:26pm

Yes.  You can carry it for years without having an outbreak.  My doctor said over 20% of all women now have genital Herpes.  A lot of people spreading the gift that keeps on giving without ever having an outbreak themselves.

bruised butnot broke, Community Member
3/10/13 8:33pm

smh there are so many people now with herpes because someone has it and is selfish to the fact if you know you have an std of any kind that is something you should gather the courage and tell ur spouse love conquers al and it they leave then it wasnt love i recently found out i too have it and i have never had anything in my entire life i have always been careful about who i lay down with but sumtimes life thorws u a curveball i have been so depressed but i realized u only get one life to live and those that carry a smile have been through the toughest battles and only the strong survive i dont have any kids and afta finding out my results i didnt want any but i had to stop and think their are ppl in worser situations we're crying about herpes wat about aids lets b grateful i know its bittersweet but their are people that knowing sleep with ppl knowing they have sumthing and dnt say anything shame on them and you can ruin a persons life.i believe i got it from my ex but he says i gave it to him smh

Joyseboy, Community Member
7/20/13 2:51am
Genocea bio sciences has the cure It's a therapeutic vaccine meaning it cures people with the disease.... I was in the trial and its 100% real and good I think they will beginning phase three clinical trials next year ... I suggest you sigh up .... Or just wait for the FDA to approve Reply
champ714, Community Member
7/20/13 3:05pm

Hi can you please give me more info on where I can sign up for the trials

redeyesmile, Community Member
10/ 2/13 5:56pm

i have been with my gf for over 3 years and just found out i have herpes. i've never had an outbreak before and neither has she so iwas wondering, can i have contracted it years ago and never shown signs till now?   

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By PMFLY, Community Member— Last Modified: 09/16/14, First Published: 09/15/08