Hi, thanks for writing in with your concerns. Finding out as much as you can about herpes is one of the ways you can support your girlfriend and yourself. Deciding whether you want to continue with the relationship can then be based on some solid information. I’ll enclose a few reliable sources for you to look at online at the end of this email. Herpes blood testing is not routinely done as part of an STI screen as the majority of people have been exposed to herpes from an early age and will have a positive result that does not tell them where on their body the herpes is located. Most people have been exposed from childhood from family contact ( parents with coldsores) through to sharing water bottles, kissing, playing contact sports like rugby or wrestling and through sexual skin to skin contact. If you already are someone who gets coldsores then your herpes blood test will be positive and most likely HSV type 1 although it is possible to have HSV type 2 around the mouth. Again your blood test will not tell you where the herpes is on your body. If you both have the same type of herpes, then there isn’t any concern about passing it to each other as you both have it. If you have one type and your girlfriend has the other, then it is less likely for her to get another type when she already has antibodies to herpes in her body and the same goes for you. The most accurate way of knowing where the herpes is, is to get a swab done at the area that has blisters or painful cracks in the skin. The swab will tell you if its herpes, what type of herpes and where it is. On our website, the herpes information has just been updated and includes a herpes handbook that can be printed and this can be found at https://smartsexresource.com/topics/herpes-simplex-virus There is a big US based sexual health website that has extensive information about herpes. You can find them here: www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/herpes/fast-facts-and-faqs and there is also a section on emotional issues with herpes here: www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/herpes/emotional-issues
Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.