What Is the Window Period for Herpes?


The window period of a viral infection is the time that passes between the initial moment of transmission and the moment at which a screening test will give an accurate result. The window period of each virus is different and will determine how long you should wait until you get tested. Waiting for the window period to pass before taking the test is of extreme importance because a negative result is possible within the window period and the person can be highly infectious despite that result. The average incubation period for an initial herpes infection is around 4 to 12 days. For the most accurate test result, it is recommended to wait 12 to 16 weeks from the last possible date of exposure before getting an accurate, type-specific blood test in order to allow enough time for antibodies to reach detectable levels.

Note: This article is not medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your specific condition.