Can herpes symptoms lie dormant for 7 years?

Dear Dr. Erica

My wife and I have been married for 6 years (together for 7). My wife has recently been diagnosed with genital herpes. I have never had any signs of herpes and neither has she, until now. I`m wondering (hoping) since neither of us has been with any other sexual partners, is it possible for her to have had this for 7 years never showing symptoms until now or is there likely more to the story?
The Husband

Dr. Erica’s Response:

Dear Husband
I can appreciate your concern and somewhat suspicious undertone. However, let me reassure you that many people who have an outbreak of genital herpes do not have any symptoms, or have symptoms that are so mild that they are unnoticeable. Did you know that over 50 million Americans have genital herpes, yet as many as 90% do not even realize they are infected with the virus because they either do not have any symptoms or the symptoms they do have are so mild that they go unnoticed. It is possible that your wife was infected with the herpes virus a long time ago and has had mild or unnoticeable symptoms for the past seven years. Perhaps some recent highly stressful emotional event or an illness that lowered her immune response has caused her dormant herpes virus to be re-activated with an obvious outbreak of symptoms. There is more to the story, however. Now that she has received a positive diagnosis of the herpes virus, it would be wise for you to have some real heart to heart discussions about ways to enjoy sexual intimacy without causing you to become infected or your wife to have recurrent outbreaks. This current diagnosis can act as a segway toward increased sharing, honesty and intimacy in your marriage, or, it can lead to perhaps unwarranted suspicion, doubts and irreparable distance. The choice is yours.


Red Marine Algae | Buy 2 get 1 FREE VIR-L-Lysine | Buy 2 get 1 FREE
  • Top 10 Herpes Facts

    Sex Health Guru Video Tip brought to you by Alice W. Kp M.D. John Hopkins Hospital, Watch the Video

  • Featured Article

    The Truth about HSV-1 and HSV-2 American Social Health Association (ASHA), read the Article

  • Other Infections

    Do you also think you may have been exposed to another STD? Find help now.