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Can I have herpes for 20 years and just find out?

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Married 20 years, I had relationships before that involved both oral sex and genital to genital contact (but no intercourse). I found 1 small spot near the base of the shaft and got a conclusive HSV 2 IgG test. Going crazy, haven't told the wife. Is it plausible to have it 20 years and never notice it? I just lost my job so I've been under tremendous stress. I'm also getting oral cold sores as well (but I'm guessing those are HSV 1, that doesn't concern me). I've also read the transmission rate from an infected to non-infected discordant couple is 4-8% per year based on 100 times together per year, assuming you avoid sex during outbreaks. Due to our schedules we are together about 1/4 of that amount, making it 1-2% chance per year if that makes sense. If it does, then I could see a very reasonable chance for her having OR NOT having it from me yet. I'm just trying to put the pieces together. If this is all reasonable we can survive this. If this sounds like a crock of @#$%^& then she will assume cheating and divorce me. I'm petrified. Could anyone comment on this and tell me what is reasonable and not-reasonable about this scenario?

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Forgot to mention, we had blood tests (New Jersey marriage requirement) and they said they tested 'everything', but now I'm reading all over the place that HSV is normally not part of everything, but rather just the bacterial STD's are. If you didn't ask for it specifically you didn't get it. This is not surprising to me, as I would have then known I had it 20 years back, but I just want to validate that statement as well. I'm sure the Mrs. will be remembering 'everything' as truly 'everything'. Again, I'm looking to see if my story is plausible or insane. I know the truth but I need to know if I'm asking her to believe something rational or something with lottery ticket type odds.

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Well, yeah - they system is messed up - so you likely were not tested for Herpes when you got married....the CDC itself says they dont test for it right here




However, CDC does not currently recommend routine type 2 HSV testing in someone with no symptoms suggestive of herpes infection (i.e., for the general population).


You know, there's a chance *she* is the carrier ... and gave it to you at some point? Yes, it's plausible that one or both of you have had it all this time and not known ... I have a client who had it for 30 yrs before her 1st OB. I'm going to give you our info as well but this info from the CDC is irrefutable




How do people get genital herpes?


Infections are transmitted through contact with lesions, mucosal surfaces, genital secretions, or oral secretions. HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also be shed from skin that looks normal. In persons with asymptomatic HSV-2 infections, genital HSV shedding occurs on 10% of days, and on most of those days the person has no signs or symptoms. [4] Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. Transmission most commonly occurs from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore and may not know that he or she is infected. [5]


Unfortunately because of the CDC's stand on herpes, there are many more people in your situation than most realize... and it can be tough on the relationship. Perhaps you can get her to go with you to your Dr to explain it to her as well ... and in the end, hopefully you can both just accept that you were not to know due to a policy that just plain sucks :(


Handouts + disclosure e-book:



Herpes facts video


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Thank you for the comments. So getting it before marriage, not getting tested with other STI's, not noticing for 20 years (until severe stress), not infecting her 20 years (if indeed she tests negative), is all together not a HUGE leap of faith for her? That gives me hope. I would be devastated, as would our 3 kids if everything fell apart. I will pray that after research she will accept I'm faithful. If others have similar experiences, or info that supports or contradicts any of this, please chime in.

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Yes, it's possible you or her could have had it all this time and not known. It will probably be a huge leap of faith for her, at least until she finds out the facts. I would have them ready. Just because you are the one with the OB does not mean you are the one that brought it into the relationship. (Not that I'm pointing at her, just that she will need to understand that possibility also) Good luck!

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Yes! You could carry for a long time and not know it. So could your partner.... depending on the tests and accuracy you can never be sure. I have had experience where my partner was married (twice :)) three kids and no herpes symptoms. Years later it erupted and he didn't know what it was... he had a long sexual history so there was no telling when he got it and from whom. that is the herpes dilemma. We can never know for certain how or where we got it....we can't know for how long we have had it and we certainly should NEVER assume someone has strayed. herpes lives within us whether we know it or not, we need to understand how this virus lurks and how it erupts to understand that just because you have infected someone (unknowingly) doesn't mean you knew you had it and damn sure doesn't mean you cheated. Have faith, you have done anything wrong.

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If she needs to speak to someone about it, I'd suggest that you contact Westover Heights clinic ... they have a booklet that you can download but also they do phone consults for $5/minute ... she can talk to a Dr there and get all the answers she needs from an expert in Herpes ... that may be your best bet to put her mind to rest.


Dr. Lisa Taulbee at the Westover Heights Clinic,http://westoverheights.com/ (503) 226-6678 ... she can order the test for you through Quest Labs. It costs $5/minute for a consult … cheap IMO for clarity and/or peace of mind.


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