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Herpes viral shedding?

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Hey M411235!


The whole thing about viral shedding is that it's asymptomatic, meaning there are no symptoms, including any dead giveaways that it's even happening. How often viral shedding is happening depends on the strain of herpes you have (HSV-1 or HSV-2) and whether its located orally or genitally (see handout linked to below for the specifics). However, if you are feeling any sort of itching, burning, tingling in the area where your herpes outbreaks normally occur or if you feel pain in your thighs, that could be herpes prodrome symptoms, which signal that herpes is starting its journey from the base of your spine (basal ganglia) to the surface of your skin. This is why body awareness is such a huge part of keeping your partners safe. Make sense? :) Hope this helps!


Here are a few blog articles on these concepts:




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Hello, I'd like to join in on that concept with another question. I have genital herpes but it is HSV-1, so does that mean that it is likely that my partner gave it to me from oral sex and has just herpes orally? Or is it genital? Or is it even possible to know.... (they have never had an outbreak) And then (linked to your question) can HSV-1 shed if it is just oral herpes? So should everyone that even just gets cold sores (without any of the herpes stigma) "disclose" to their partner?

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Hey Emma, it's impossible to know since HSV-1 hangs out either orally or genitally. As far as disclosing about oral HSV-1, there was a great long discussion about this last year on these boards. What I think is that since 80% of people have oral HSV-1, the people who DON'T have it, need to reverse disclose ... "Hey, I DON'T have HSV-1 and I'd rather not get it. Do you happen to have it, 'cause chances are you do ..." ;) Why would the burden be put on the people who have something that the overwhelming majority of people have? Just my personal opinion on it, so I'm wide open to alternate opinions. :)

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