A survey found that 48% of respondents did not recognize the signs of a genital herpes infection.
The CDC says on its website that “Most individuals infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 experience either no symptoms or have very mild symptoms that go unnoticed or are mistaken for another skin condition (1).”
The CDC continues, “Because of this, most people infected with HSV-2 are not aware of their infection. When symptoms do occur, they typically appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take two to four weeks to heal. Experiencing these symptoms is sometimes referred to as having an ‘outbreak.’ The first time someone has an outbreak they may also experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches and swollen glands (1).”
The CDC also says, “Repeat outbreaks of genital herpes are common, in particular during the first year of infection. Symptoms of repeat outbreaks are typically shorter in duration and less severe than the first outbreak of genital herpes. Although the infection can stay in the body indefinitely, the number of outbreaks tends to decrease over a period of years (1).” The CDC page was last updated on February 11, 2013.
“Recognizing the symptoms is the first step. The second obvious step is, once you realize there is a herpes infection, you need to begin talking to your doctor about clinically backed treatments or natural remedies.” – Greg Bennett, CBCD
Medscape notes that “The clinical course of herpes simplex infection depends on the age and immune status of the host.” (2) What this basically means is that the older you get, and the weaker your immune system is, the worse your herpes outbreak could be.
For these people, “Primary herpes simplex virus (HSV)–1 and HSV-2 infections are accompanied by systemic signs, longer duration of symptoms, and higher rate of complications.” (2)
The bottom line?
Whether you have an efficient immune system, or a weakened immune system, “Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can cause similar genital and orofacial primary infections after contact with infectious secretions containing either HSV-1 (usually oral secretions) or HSV-2 (usually genital secretions).” (2)
You should be able to tell if your partner is having a genital herpes outbreak if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:
Fever, headache, malaise, and myalgia (pain) (prominent in the first 3-4 days). Local symptoms include pain, itching, dysuria (painful urination), vaginal and urethral discharge, and tender lymphadenopathy (a disease affecting the lymph nodes), painful sores.