The information out there is confusing....I got tested religously, sometimes twice a year, with pap smears and blood tests for stds. I found out that on Tuesday I have Herpes 2 after breaking out in bumps early that morning. We are still waiting for results...Websites say that the initial breakout happends 2-14 days after contact. My man had no visible sores- NOTHING- But the websites say that you don't have to have sores- AHHHH- in addition, they say the virus can lay dormant??? But wouldn't my STD tests still come back positive??
Sometimes herpes and STI information can be confusing as it's never black or white. For instance, the primary initial outbreak can occur anywhere from 1-30 days after infection. However, you are correct that there are a lot of people who never seem to have that outbreak and there are others who do have it and don't realize it because they think it's just an ingrown hair or a zit.
Also, people sometimes think that because they are tested for STIs means they are being tested for herpes. That's not always so. Sometimes the blood test is for HIV only. You'd be surprised at the amount of doctors who do STI testing and neglect herpes as part of the panel. Oh, and a Pap smear isn't really a test for STI's either. That is only looking for abnormall cell growth on your cervix - which isn't always caused by an STI. It's also not a herpes test. With this, you should ask your doctor if you were actually tested for herpes all those times you had STI tests.
Most people who transmit herpes do so unknowingly. There are a great deal many people who have it and don't even know it because they never had outbreaks - or recognized one. I'm uncomfortable with the word "dormant" as related to herpes. The fact of the matter is that people either have it or they don't. If one takes an IgG test 12-16 weeks after the exposure, the test will show infection or not. And, even when people are not having outbreaks, they can still be having asymtomatic shedding - that's when the virus comes to the surface of the skin and can infect partners without having any outbreak or symtoms of an outbreak (itching or tingling feeling sufferers have before the actual outbreak).
I hope I addressed all of your concerns Lexiuncc. We'll be here to answer any other questions that come up.