Herpes testing involves a blood test or swabs, depending on your circumstances. The doctor you see will be able to advise you on the best way forward.
Genital herpes is an infection caused by HSV, the herpes simplex virus. Its main symptoms are painful blisters on and around the genitals, which can turn into sores. The condition can affect any moist skin lining – HSV is also the cause of cold sores around the mouth.
It is a long-term and incurable condition, but the intensity of symptoms varies in different patients. The virus can remain dormant in your body without producing symptoms, but may flare up when your immune system is weak. Within the first two years of contracting the virus, flare-ups are frequent, happening a number of times per year. Over time, these happen less often, and become less severe.
Symptoms can usually be controlled with antiviral drugs, which can also in some cases prevent outbreaks.