Thanks for your question, but there is not a straight forward answer as each patient is different. So it is important that you speak with your doctor
. In general the incubation period varies from a few days to a few weeks. Of course the next question has to do with whether we are referring to genital herpes (usually caused by HSV-2) or the type of the virus that causes oral ulcers and is generally referred to as cold sores (usually caused by HSV-1). The latency period will vary in many people quite widely depending on a number of factors such as the overall health of the patient. There are many things that can be done to prevent the spread of infection. First, remember that the sores themselves are the most contagious part of the infection. If you have active blisters, either on the face or in the genital region, try to wash your hands regularly and make sure to avoid contact with others. While this is the easiest time to spread the virus, there are also times that people will be infectious even without the sores. That is another good reason to maintain proper hygiene and practice safe sex at all times. Please speak with your doctor about this question.