Herpes Testing after Hearing a Rumor

Q: My husband and I recently separated. I just discovered that he had cheated on me a few months ago. The person he was involved with is rumored to have herpes. Does this mean that I’ve been exposed to herpes? Should I have myself tested?

S. Steinman

Boise, Idaho

A: If you have recently been exposed, then yes, you need to seek herpes testing. Even though all the information you have is a rumor, you can never be too sure. It is better to be safe than sorry. While herpes often exhibits symptoms, there’s always a chance that you will not have any symptoms, or not notice symptoms, yet still carry the STD.

The benefit of testing for herpes with blood is that even if no symptoms are present, the test can still tell if you’ve been exposed. The test checks for herpes antibodies, which are present regardless of symptoms.  Keep in mind that you may need to wait a while to get a reliable blood test result. Antibodies can take 6-12 weeks to develop to a detectable level. If you don’t want to wait that long, a recent-exposure herpes test can provide insight earlier on. Please call our office to discuss your testing options.