Can I shed or infect anyone in Between Outbreaks?

Dear Dr. Tom:

I have had genital herpes for two years with outbreaks every two months until 4 months ago. I started taking famvir daily and have not had an outbreak since. I have had unprotected sex many times over last 2 years only when no symptoms have been present and have never infected my partners – after reading this web page I need to know how to ascertain whether I can shed or infect anyone in between outbreaks. I understand only one in six people can. Is there any tests available?

Thanks, Alan

Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Alan:

Drugs such as famvir only interfere with the herpes virus’s activation cycle and thereby promote personal comfort, etc. These anti-herpetic compounds do not eliminate or “kill” the virus akin to the way antibiotics do for bacteria. Once the virus is in the body, it is capable of doing what such viruses are known to do. Some persons secrete or shed virus even though they may not be experiencing an outbreak. The concept is widely accepted that shedding of the virus within the genital tract in the absence of symptoms is a means to transmit an infection, and having unprotected sex poses a risk of infection for the other partner. Almost constant testing for the presence of virus in your body fluids would be necessary over a period of time to determine if you are/not a shedder. I know of no one time test to do so. It is safest for all to assume that you are a shedder and always will be.


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.