Scared of Herpes Testing

Q: My boyfriend found out that he has herpes. I’m in a panic – I know I need to be tested, but I’m afraid of the results. I have heard horrific things about herpes. What can you tell me about herpes testing?

S. Gardner

Miami, FL

A: Since your boyfriend has been diagnosed with herpes, having yourself tested is imperative. While herpes is not detrimental to your physical health in any way, it is important to know your status as a sexually responsible adult. Knowing your status helps to protect yourself and any future partners you may have.

Please do not panic about herpes. While there is no cure for herpes, you can successfully treat the symptoms and reduce the number of outbreaks you experience. While many people experience blisters or ulcers with herpes outbreaks, you may not experience anything. It is not uncommon for people to carry the herpes virus, but rarely show any signs or symptoms. However, just because you haven’t exhibited symptoms does not mean you should not be tested or that you cannot transmit the STD. The best thing you can do is seek testing as soon as possible and, if necessary, discuss treatment options with your doctor.