Sunday, September 21, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2008 PinknRed, Community Member, asks

Q: How long can I have herpes without knowing it?

How long can genital herpes lie dormant in the body before any symptoms show?

Answer This
Answers (2)
DvW, Community Member
9/12/08 3:33pm

Hello PinknRed,

 

Unfortunately, the short answer to this question lies in the fact that many people that are indeed infected with genital herpes never know it as their symptoms are so mild and/or completely nonexistant.  This being said, the virus can lie dormant for your entire life-span.  You may never notice an initial outbreak, and you may never have any reoccurant outbreaks, and as a result, you may never know you have it. 

 

The only way I know of that can determine if your potential infection is the result of a recent or distant infection is by having a blood test.  This test looks for antibodies to the herpes virus.  If IgG antibodies are present, this could indicate a latent or distant infection.  If IgM antibodies are present, there is no question that the infection is recent.  I'm not, however, sure of the time-laspe involved as to when your body actually begins making or transitioning to IgG antibodies.  Is this a couple of months after infection, or a year, etc?  I'll ask the resident health experts on this site, so look for their reply sometime next week.

Reply
Curiousjane, Community Member
9/25/08 4:29pm

Sometimes you could be carrying herpes and never know it.  Sometimes a minor stracth or cut can bring out the lesions or maybe there could be a boil on the outer labia(lip) of the vagina and that is also another sign(Personal Expeirence), But all in all herpes is not always detectable on males or females, varying the streng of their immune systems.

Reply
Answer This

Important:
We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By PinknRed, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/17/12, First Published: 09/12/08