Can your partner have Genital Herpes without having the listed Herpes Symptoms?

Dear Dr. Tom:

Hi, my name is Ashley. For my CAPP class, I am supposed to research genital herpes, to spread awareness. Like many other students in my class, we were unaware of the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, other than AIDS. We have decided to begin to tell others about it, and I just thought you should stress the importance of having safe sex. I just have one question: can your partner have genital herpes without having the listed symptoms? If yes, then shouldn’t we all be tested?

Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Ashley:

I find it most unfortunate that you and your fellow students have been so unaware of the presence of the more than 20 STDs other than AIDS. Numerous publications are available from specific organizations and libraries, but bookstores do not always maintain STD informative publications in their inventories. Those of us who do lecturing on the topic make every effort to spread the word.

Yes, your partner can have genital herpes without any symptoms. Universal testing would be helpful. Blood tests are not infallible. Virus culture procedures are costly, hence are not included in most health care plans and must be paid for privately. The quest for personal privacy and the beliefs of family religious practices impact upon the situation.

The only way a negative test result of either type can be reassurance is through maintenance of absolute monogamy, a difficult parameter to expect in our current society.


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