I have genital herpes. I got it from someone who did not have symptoms and did not know he had the disease. During a very stressful period in my life, I got my first outbreak. It started with what looked like small blisters, kind of like a very ripe zit that is just waiting to be popped. They were VERY painful. After a couple days, it hurt to wear underpants or jeans. Within about three days, I started developing a very high fever, which I put up with for another three days, and it only got worse and worse. I was so sick I could not even walk and I started passing out. I ended up in the emergency room which is where I was told I had herpes. However, not everyone gets a bad fever with their first outbreak like I did, but I was told that it is not uncommon for a first outbreak to be accompanied by fever. The blisters are a dead give away, though, and they can make a diagnosis from testing the fluid inside. You can also get a diagnosis from a blood test if you don't have active lesions, which checks for antibodies. They can even distinguish between types 1 and 2. That is how they diagnosed my asypmtomatic partner.
The bad news is that there is no cure for herpes. The good news is that it is very manageable. I take 400mg of acyclovir daily to prevent outbreaks and help keep from transmitting it to my partner. There are other antivirals used to treat it as well (famcyclovir, valycyclovir, etc). They work by helping to keep the virus in its inactive phase. I've heard some people get outbreaks a few times a year, but I've personally had only one very minor outbreak in the four years since I've been diagnosed.
If you think you may have herpes, go to a doctor and get checked out. If you have no lesions present, ask for the blood test. If they tell you no such test exists, go elsewhere. Some doctors don't seem to be in the know about it, but it has actually been around for 10-15 years or so and it is available.
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