Chances are, you’ve asked yourself this question at least once in your life. Whether its advice from a friend of a friend, troubling developments in your privates, or a new intimate relationship, something always comes up that makes you wonder whether you should seek herpes testing. The answer, predictably, is yes, but it’s more than a simple black and white situation. Different factors can affect each individual’s situation. Misinformation abounds, especially online; one of the major factors in the spread of the herpes epidemic has been general apathy combined with ineffective or misleading propaganda about the disease. Let’s put those fears and doubts to rest with a reasonable, unbiased look at herpes and its testing options.
What’s Going On Down There?
Everybody is different; we all develop strange bumps or rashes from time to time. Because sexually transmitted diseases are so widespread, we understandably get very worried when these show up on or near our genitals. On the one hand, they could be any number of non-sexual consequences of our environment: anything from sunburn to insect bites to irritating clothing to allergies could conceivably lead to bumps or lesions similar in appearance to genital herpes’ trademark skin blisters. How is the layperson to distinguish between symptoms and non-symptoms?
Well, actually, they aren’t -and this is a key reason to schedule routine herpes testing with a qualified professional. The thing is, sexually active adults are at risk for acquiring herpes even if they’re extremely careful, and you shouldn’t trust yourself to diagnose a notoriously tricky disease. In fact, many genital herpes carriers have minimal or no symptoms during their entire infection. It can be easy to dismiss a mild outbreak if the symptoms gradually disappear. However, this does not mean the infection has also disappeared; on the contrary, carriers with no symptoms are often the worst culprits when it comes to surreptitiously spreading herpes. Realize that in such a confusing world, you and your partner/s owe it to yourselves to learn the facts about your personal sexual health. It doesn’t mean a moratorium on sexual relations, either. Proper preparation and an accurate sexual history go hand-in-hand with testing as crucial elements of modern health practices. If unusual bumps or blisters show up around your privates, that’s a definite reason to schedule testing right away.
Have things been going well with a new significant other? Ready to take the next step and initiate a sexual relationship? First of all: good for you! The right thing to do is be smart about it. Now is the perfect time for both of you to get tested (assuming, of course, that they haven’t already shown you their results). Remember, genital herpes can show up even if they’ve practiced safe sex all their lives. Condoms aren’t 100% reliable, and they may have been intimate with an asymptomatic former partner. You really can never know in these cases. It’s best to be completely honest with one another and clarify the issue for good.
Unfortunately, the other side of the coin can also raise concerns. Let’s say you’ve just broken things off with a former lover. Were they dishonest? Did they (hypothetically, now) ever cheat? If you have any reason at all to question the sexual integrity of your former relationships, herpes testing is in order. It need not have been a vindictive or even a deliberate act, but skin-to-skin contact with a carrier, especially sexual, can be enough to transmit the infection. There is no Herpes 2 Cure but will proper medication you can prevent spreading this contagious disease.
The only risk is not getting tested! For recommendations on STD testing centers we will do our best to assist you.