Nobody wants to meet the guy/girl of their dreams and break the news that they have herpes. Keeping up with your sexual health is as important as keeping your cholesterol levels down and never picking up that first cigarette. One of the ways to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to your sexual health is to make sure that all the relevant tests are taken. Once your herpes test results come back negative, and you realize what it is that was so itchy down there was your run-of-the-mill rash, you can head out on that next date, head held high!

The statistics regarding herpes infection are rather mind blowing. Take this fact for instance: Approximately one in five Americans are positive for genital herpes. This number is more startling when it comes to women-with approximately one in four being positive. For individuals are out there “playing the field” this fact is even more frightening: approximately 80{0f0fc6bf5bd959fc253a0668ee6b669dcca87a64289522d38fccac0cb86058d7} of people with herpes are completely unaware that they carry the virus. Once this is understood, it is even more glaringly obvious why a test is so important.

What exactly are herpes? Well, when people speak of herpes they are primarily speaking of two types (though there are many more strains out there). HSV-1 and HSV-2 are the two most common strains, with the prior typically causing oral herpes and the later typically causing genital herpes.

Many people catch the virus when there are outbreaks (herpes sores) apparent on their lover, but surprisingly, a visual inspection before coitus (how sexy!) will not keep a person safe from contracting herpes. In fact, it is very common for an infected individual to pass along the virus between outbreaks. This is one of the main reasons that there are so many new cases of herpes every year. The virus is being passed on by people who are unaware that they even carry the disease. Once again, think test!

Signs and symptoms vary slightly for herpes sufferers. Many people infected with HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes, are unaware that even carry the disease. This is due to good ol’ human nature. Let’s say someone has an outbreak of blisters and sores. It is common that a person will rationalize them until they go away. Because the appearance of a secondary outbreak can take so long, this person can be infecting partners without even being aware of it. Just another reason that at the first sign of blisters, canker sores and/or bumps of any kind you should run straight to your friendly neighborhood STD clinic for a herpes test.

For those of us lucky enough to be living in the greatest city in the world, New York, there is a reliable and respected STD clinic located just two blocks from Grand Central Station that has the experience and expertise to diagnose and test for herpes. If your results come back positive they can help you with treatment, as well. There is no cure for herpes but there are a host of different drugs that can lessen the time between outbreaks and make them less severe when they do occur.