It is estimated that one in five persons in the United States has genital herpes; however, as many as 90 percent are unaware that they have the virus. This is because many people have very mild symptoms that go unrecognized or are mistaken for another condition or no symptoms at all. Because signs can vary a great deal, we recommend that an individual see a healthcare provider to be tested if they have a lesion of any kind. This can be swabbed for a culture test or for other sensitive tests. A person may show symptoms within days after contracting genital herpes, or it may take weeks, months, or years.