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Asymptomatic HSV2

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Technically I can piece together what asymptomatic herpes is, but I don't understand it.  I just found out about 3 weeks ago now that I have the HSV2 virus.  I don't know if I've ever been tested for herpes in the past as I have always been "negative" and I moved on knowing that. I don't recall ever having an outbreak in the genital area.  I have been HSV1 positive for a very long time so I know the signs and symptoms of oral herpes. It has been a hard two and a half weeks for me before I found a link to this site. Thankfully, my partners are negative.

So really what does Asymptomatic HSV2 mean? Am I just lucky I don't have symptoms?  Could I still have symptoms? My doctor doesn't suggest Valtrex as I am not symptomatic. Are statistics different for transfer for those with asymptomatic HSV2? 


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Hello and welcome! Thanks for reaching out and educating yourself.

If you have HSV-2 antibodies, then the chances are good that you have genital herpes, too. 98-99% of the time, HSV-2 camps out around the genital region (only 1-2% is oral). And yes, sometimes it can take years to have an actual outbreak (as it did in my case), but the majority of folks see their first herpes outbreak within a few weeks. 

I don't think there's any direct science to answer your question, but what I've heard is asymptomatic folks might have less viral shedding rates, but are still contagious. To keep partners safe from getting herpes, taking meds will help diminish whatever asymptomatic viral shedding you may have (by about 1/2). But if you're not in a relationship with someone who doesn't have herpes and you don't have outbreaks, then taking meds isn't necessary. (CLARIFICATION EDIT: meaning if you’re not in a relationship and not having sex.)

Here's an article on asymptomatic viral shedding:

Here's a helpful article to help think through whether to get on herpes medication or not:

And if you haven't already, download the handouts you can find here, as they give a great overview of shedding rates and other helpful facts:

Is that helpful?

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Yes, I take 400mg Acyclovir twice a day to keep her safe from any asymptomatic viral shedding. We went a while not using condoms, so it was important to keep her as protected as possible with meds. We've been together 4+ years and we have a beautiful 15-month baby boy! 

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Hello, I don’t know how how I had herpes for, but I had my first outbreak a month ago, it was my first one and i feel it was taking for ever to heal, it took a month. I am not very familiar with genital herpes but I am scared, it’s something new to me. What caught my attention is that you have a baby, I have 2 daughters, my question might should stupid but as far as I can understand I can’t pass it on to them right? Since it’s only on my getinal area not on my lips. Idk all of these is so confusing. 

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@Jpara002 — Nope, your kids are safe. I do all the things a parent can do with their child. I kiss him, I take baths with him, I love him. Just follow the laws of common sense and when you're having an outbreak, refrain from taking a bath (if it's genital) or kissing your children (if it's oral). 

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@Sumshine Being on antivirals doesn't make you asymptomatic, but being on antivirals tends to lessen the amount of outbreaks (and viral shedding) happening altogether by about 50%. (Read the handouts for more detail on these types of percentages: https://herpesopportunity.com/free-ebook-signup.html ) ... Ultimately, it's important to know that you can be asymptomatically shedding virus anytime between outbreaks (even if you have never had an outbreak or stopped having outbreaks after getting on medication). Does that help?

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15 hours ago, mr_hopp said:

But if you're not in a relationship with someone who doesn't have herpes and you don't have outbreaks, then taking meds isn't necessary.

I have a concern about this statement as it is exactly how I contracted HSV2. Granted, my partner didn’t know he had it, but turns out he is asymptomatic and was shredding virus.

I believe, from what I’ve read so far, that the important component here is knowledge and then safe measures... so, meds to decrease chance of spread to a partner who doesn’t have it and/or condoms religiously. Simply saying you don’t need to take meds if you’re in a relationship and don’t have outbreaks concerns me a great deal. And believe me, had I had a choice, I wouldn’t have put myself at risk!

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@Sunshine75 oh wow, this was completely not what I meant. I apologize for the poor wording. Thanks for pointing that out! What I meant is if you are single and not having sex and your outbreaks are manageable, then there is no need to take meds. 😉 (Read that herpes medication article I link to above for more context.) I still take daily suppressive therapy to keep my wife safe. 
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@Jaymes We still use condoms now simply because that’s our only available form of birth control that works for her. 

I dont know the answer to your other question. Definitely a good one for someone in the medical field like Terri Warren!

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@mr_hopp okay thanks, I’m more worried about making sure the girl is safe, just because condoms will be used initially but once we get more intimate condom usage does lessen or don’t use any at all. I’m also wondering have you ever not used condoms and were on antivirals and know that you have not passed it on with previous relationships?

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This line of questioning, as much as I understand where it’s coming from, will mislead you, regardless of the answers given. Simply because if I tell you that none of my past committed relationships have gotten herpes even when we didn’t use condoms and only suppressive therapy, that doesn’t change the fact that the risk is still there. Much more important to see the average transmission rates from the handouts instead of seeking one-off stories to personalize the risk. Make sense? (And I love that you’re asking so many questions! Really demonstrates your integrity in wanting to be as safe as possible. I salute you.) 😁

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