3 Reasons Why 75-90% People with Genital Herpes Don’t Know They Have It
If your first outbreak was anything like mine you’re wondering like me: how people could not know they had herpes or at least something going on down there.
Probably similar to you, I was in so much pain. I couldn’t sit down, everything was swollen, my entire body ached. I mean there was zero way I could have missed that something was going on down there.
But it is true that for many people living with herpes they have no clue they actually have it. Honestly, it’s not hard to find people with genital herpes. Before we’re diagnosed we think that there is no way we’d know or date someone with it. One out of six adults in the US have HSV 2 and what is even more outstanding is that the majority of them don’t know they have it. Studies have been done on groups of people to test them to see if they had the HSV2 virus. Of course, many did not think they had it. What data has been collected and determined from the studies is that the vast majority between 75% and 90% don't know they are infected. (source)
So how is it possible? Well, it comes down to three ways how people living with genital herpes don’t know they have it.
Firstly, even if the person is being a responsible sexually active adult and is getting STD / STI tests done regularly the herpes test is not included on the pannel. Now, most people are not totally responsible and are not getting tested regularly or even never. So at the end of the day, people are not getting tested for herpes. The herpes test is not included in the routine STI tests because it’s not considered to be a big deal medically and if the person is not showing signs the medical community would rather just leave it as is than deal with the aftermath of someone finding out they have herpes. Let’s not bash the medical community for this and there is a big controversy over it, I do go into this in other blog posts and videos.
Secondly, the reason why people don’t know they have genial herpes is that they are asymptomatic and don’t get outbreaks. Honestly, I’m personally jealous because that is awesome that you don’t get outbreaks. So, if a person is not getting outbreaks and goes to the doctor to get tested for STIs and isn’t getting herpes tests and the other tests are coming back negative, then a person thinks they are good to go. I mean wouldn’t you?
And finally, when there is an outbreak but it’s not on their genitals or they think it is something else. Genital herpes doesn't have to just be on your genitals. It can kind of be in your boxer region. So for example, it, of course, can be on your genitals but it can also be under your belly button, on your hip, on your thigs, on the inside of your thighs, your hamstrings, your butt, and any other place in that area. So if someone gets a blister on their hamstring they are not going to think it's herpes. Herpes can be one blister, a cluster of blisters, or even something that looks like a papercut. So it’s pretty easy for someone to think that what they have is something else.
As hard as it might be to still believe that someone had no clue they had herpes, I hope this helps. Like I said earlier, most people don’t get outbreaks so why would they think they have herpes.
If you’re new to the herpes thing and want more information you can download our free ebook that talks about herpes outbreaks.