Can you have the herpes simplex virus and not know that you do? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. These are some ways that the simplex virus can go undiagnosed.
Some infected people never show symptoms of the herpes simplex virus infection. Typically, symptoms will manifest 2 to 12 days after exposure. But, if your infection is asymptomatic that time will come and go without a sign of the simplex virus.
Even if you do not show symptoms, you will still be contagious during HSV shedding. This means that as an asymptomatic herpes carrier, you can infect your sex partner 10% of the time and not even know it.
Attribute the Symptoms as Something Else
Alternatively, you could experience herpes simplex virus symptoms and dismiss it as something else. Pain, itching, or tenderness may be present in your genital area. White blisters or small red bumps may also appear. The tenderness and red bumps can be dismissed as something else, like in-grown hairs, so they may not be taken as a herpes symptom.
The accompanying fever and flu-like symptoms that occur with the skin breakouts can also be dismissed as a normal flu, especially if you already dismissed the skin manifestations as something more benign.
Skin Breakouts in a Place That’s Hard to See
Lastly, the skin sores that are synonymous with a herpes outbreak may be in a place that is hard to see. This may be true especially for women because there are many places that sores can hide. Inside the vaginal area, or even the cervix are places you can manifest symptoms and never even know it.
There are many ways that the simplex virus can go undiagnosed. And unfortunately, whether you have symptoms or undiagnosed that does not change the fact that you are still contagious. If you are concerned, go in for regular testing and practice safe sex.