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How contagious are genital asymptomatic HSV 1+2?

Hi, I am a bit just confused about Genital Herpes 1 and 2. I read that it's possible to have them without showing any signs, i.e. without having suffered or suffering from any outbreaks. If that is correct, how can someone who has dormant herpes pass it on to someone else? I understand how that would happen if there was a blister or more, but without an active outbreak, how contagious is it to have sex with someone with dormant genital herpes who may not even know his/her status? Thank you.
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Avatar universal
You are correct that you are most contagious with a blister and during prodromal symptoms which are times you should refrain from sex.  

Many studies are available for asymptomatic shedding on top of that, and it really depends on the individual.   The range is anywhere from 5% -20% of the year.  

You can take antivirals to minimize the risk and of course use protection.  The best thing to do is get tested.  If you provide more information about your situation we can offer more input.  
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Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately it doesn't answer my question. Your answer is also confusing as you suggest that "the beast thing to do is get tested" The best thing for what? Anyone else in the forum can help with my question?
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3149845 tn?1506627771
Hi, the word dormant is the problem with the answer, Its not dormant, its called shedding where the virus travels to the surface without causing any sores. Its actully alive an on the skins surface and this is when most people contact it.
Shedding for hsv1 oral is about 3-5% of the time and genital is about 9-17% of the time.
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3149845 tn?1506627771
thats genital hsv2 at 9-17% of the time
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Avatar universal
there are some studies on this you can reference.  NIH I think had a hundred or so asymptomatic HSV2+ people swab daily for a couple months over the course of years and compiled the data.

Interestingly, they found no virus ever on about 1/3 of the test population.  There's really no way to know when you will be shedding and when you won't if there are no symptoms.  When shedding, it's roughly as contagious as any other live virus exposure.

Asymptomatic carriers generally shed live viruses sometimes and can pass the disease on during these periods.
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