How likely am I to spread the virus without any noticeable symptoms?

I was just diagnosed with HSV-2 about two weeks ago at my yearly doctor’s visit and I was floored. My IgG reading was 8.1 for HSV-2. My doctor said it appears that I have been exposed to the herpes virus at some point and it doesn’t look like a new infection. I’m not sure how she figured how new the infection is but I have never had any signs or symptoms. I’ve never had a sore, blister or any type of noticeable signs of an infection.

This really worries me. Could I have gotten a false positive reading on the blood test? Am I more likely to spread the virus because I show no signs? Or am I less likely to spread the virus because I don’t have any outbreaks (I’ve read that with no noticeable outbreaks there’s only an 8% chance of spreading the virus to your partner and if using condoms that reduces the chances by 50%)? I’m just having a really hard time understanding and dealing with this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Dear JustTryingToUnderstand,

Statistics can be tricky but if there’s one thing to remember, it is to abstain from sex when experiencing an outbreak. If you’re sexually active, consider doubling your antiviral medication to suppress the virus from shedding. Using protection and practicing safe sex can also help prevent transmission of the herpes virus to your partner. For more tips and advice, I recommend reading the articles about genital herpes sex and oral sex herpes.

Even without noticeable signs of sores, you are still likely to pass it on so it’s better to be safe than take the risk. Letting your partner know about your condition before things get intimate, is a responsibility you must not take for granted. Being honest and open in a relationship will have them respect you more for giving them the chance to make an informed decision from the start.

If you are unsure about your results, perhaps you can opt for a second opinion. That way you can rest easy and have the peace of mind you deserve. I have written a page on herpes tests which you might find useful. In the meantime, research all you can about the herpes virus. Knowing what you are up against is winning half the battle.

Hope this helps!



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