1. What is herpes?

Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).  It’s extremely common with the CDC estimating that about 17% of 14 – 49 year olds in the United States have it.

2. What causes herpes?

There are a lot of misconceptions about how people get herpes, so here are a few of the facts:

  • Herpes is caused by sexual contact
  • You can get herpes even if you do not realize your partner is infected
  • You can get herpes even if condoms are used

3. What are the symptoms of herpes?

Most people with herpes don’t have symptoms, but if they do, symptoms can vary from mild to severe.  Severe symptoms, if they occur, often occur promptly after an individual is infected and are called “outbreaks.” 

Outbreak symptoms include:

  • Small genital blisters
  • Raw genital sores
  • Above, plus or minus flu-like symptoms (fever, swollen lymph nodes)

4. Where can I get tested for herpes?

In Austin, Houston, Dallas or Chicago, you can visit a MedSpring Urgent Care center to get tested for herpes if you are having an outbreak.  It is difficult to test for active infection unless you have symptoms.  We offer walk-in or appointments for STD testing in a discrete and convenient environment.

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5. How long does a herpes outbreak last?

Outbreak duration varies from person to person and can recur over a lifetime; however, outbreaks typically decrease in length, frequency and severity over time. 

6. How is herpes treated?

While herpes cannot be cured, outbreaks of herpes can be treated with antiviral drugs to reduce symptom severity and length.

7. When should I see a doctor for herpes?

Any time you have concerns about an STD, we recommend you visit a doctor.

8. How can I prevent getting herpes?

Herpes can be spread whether or not a visible rash is present.  Though not guaranteed to completely prevent herpes, using a condom and practicing safe sex are the best ways to reduce the chances of spreading herpes to, or getting herpes from, a sexual partner.

For more information on herpes, you can review our common question blog or visit one of our centers.   We’re open every day (including weekends) with centers throughout Austin, Dallas, and Houston, TX; and Chicago, IL.  Our centers offer discreet and confidential testing for STDs.