How can I have Herpes when I didn’t have Sex for so Long?

Dear Dr. Rob:

I am a 42 year old woman and have been married for 19 years.
Five years ago I had a complete hysterectomy due to this I
have not had much sex drive. My husband and I have not
had intercourse in over a year. I developed a lesion in my
genital area about a month ago the doctor swabbed the lesion
and it came back positive for herpes. My question is how
can I have herpes if I have never had a problem before and
I have had no intercourse or oral sex in so long?

Dr Rob’s Response:

Dear Poster Who Asks about her Lesion:

Herpes can lay dormant for a long time. In fact, many people
"never" have a lesion. It is impossible to know from your
question what kind of herpes you have, but whether it is
Type 1 or Type 2, this could have been dormant for a
significant period of time. Yes, it is possible that you
do have it, even after so long a period of abstinence.


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