Transmitting HSV 2???

by CML

Can someone have herpes and not know it?

Can I pass it along to my partner (unknowingly) and can he get it, without having any outbreaks?

Also, in the past many years since I've had herpes, I've never transmitted it to any of my partners...but I recently had intercourse with my bf and the next day, I noticed a small blister. Assuming that it's an outbreak (very mild and no warning ahead of time) what are the chances of him getting it now??


Dear CML,

The thing about the herpes virus is that it can be tricky. Normally before an outbreak occurs, we experience initial warning signs and symptoms, called prodrome, which can be anywhere from tingling to itchiness of the area affected. But sometimes, when we’re stressed or have not been taking care of our bodies, the virus gets triggered, skips the early warning signs, and manifest into outbreaks almost immediately.

Due to the contagious nature of herpes, even without the visible signs of an outbreak, there is still a small chance of passing along the virus to another. This is because of the phase called “viral shedding” wherein the herpes virus travels down the site of initial infection a few times a year. This phase is unpredictable so a person can be caught unaware.

If you are sexually active, best is to always practice safe sex. Consider doubling up your suppressive antiviral medication to keep the virus at bay. Even with protection there is still a 1-5% chance of transmission, but that is better than nothing at all. In the end, it’s up to the discretion of the couple on the level of risk they’re willing to take.

Do convince your partner to get tested. That way you both can get peace of mind. Getting tested is the only sure way of knowing what you are up against. Look for a qualified doctor and ask for a herpes blood test.

Hope this helps!



Click here to post comments

Return to Herpes Advice Forum.