according to my doc, it can be in your system forever, and you never know you have it until you get an outbreak... and there are some ppl who are carriers; who can transfer the virus w/o ever getting an OB, so... yeah that sucks.
my doc also told me that its in my best interest to keep the Rx filled and on hand for when/if an OB occurs- as it's best to take it at the first symptoms...
while i was still in first outbreak-mode, i went to the dr. i got valtrex, and all the info she told me. my symptoms started with a fever... and i felt the same way again (like i was going for round2, without ever finishing round1) so i took the valtrex and i cleared up good and well.
doc also said OB's may occur 1x and never again, or continually. so, i occasionally go through the same feeling of "omg is this another one??!?!" and i panic and wait and wait and nothing, panic then wait.. so i feel you there.
quick summary of all my yammering:
1) there's no real way of ever knowing who gave it to you
2) yes you could have had it since HS
3) drs have lost their bedside manner.