What is Viral or Asymptomatic Shedding?

  • Herpes can be transmitted when there are no blisters/sores/visable symptoms through what is known as Asymptomatic Shedding. This means that the virus is being released in the area where it was obtained and that it is possible to pass the virus on unwittingly to another…. usually though sexual intercourse or kissing (depending on where you carry the virus.
  • The rate or amount of time that you may be shedding the virus depends on which type you have (HSV1 or 2) and where you have it.
  • Shedding will occur much more in the first year after you acquire it …. once your body has built up the antibodies to the virus shedding will subsequently go down.
  • Anti-viral medications can greatly reduce the amount of shedding and hence greatly reduce the possibility of transmission to a partner.

Shedding rates are approximately as follows:

  • HSV2 Genital  – 15-30% of the time
  • HSV1 Oral – 9-18% of the time
  • HSV1 Genital – 3-5% of the time
  • HSV2 Oral – 1% of the time

Slaying the Stigma of Herpes, One Blog at a Time