The signs and symptoms associated with genital herpes vary greatly. Health care providers can diagnose genital herpes by observing and taking a sample from the sore(s).
Genital herpes can be difficult to diagnose between outbreaks. Also, since sometimes the sores are not visible to the naked eye, laboratory tests might be necessary. Blood tests that detect infection may be helpful. However, results of the tests are not always foolproof. So, even if a person is tested and the results are negative for genital herpes, he or she might be infected.