(Health.com) — People who carry the genital herpes virus but have no visible symptoms — and may not even be aware they’re infected — are still capable of spreading the virus about 10 of the time, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Most people with the virus don’t have symptoms. It is important to know that even without signs of the disease, it can still spread to sexual partners. Fluids found in a herpes sore carry the virus, and contact with those fluids can cause infection. It is best for you to talk to a health care provider about those concerns, but it also is important to recognize that while herpes is not curable, it can be managed. This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Herpes can be active without symptoms or visible signs. Approximately 45 million people in the US have HSV infection about one in five people over the age of 12. Partly this is because most infected people don’t know that they carry HSV and can spread it.
Genital herpes can be spread even when there are no visible ulcers or blisters. Being diagnosed with genital herpes can be an emotional and distressing experience, and it is important to speak with your healthcare provider about how to manage symptoms and avoid passing the virus to sexual partners. People who have pain when they try to defecate may have proctitis (inflammation of the rectum or anus). Blood test Blood tests are often used when a person believes he or she may have been exposed to the herpes virus in the past, but has no visible ulcers. Additionally, it is possible to get genital herpes from HSV-1 if the individual has had cold sores and performed sexual activities during that time. In cases of sexually transmitted HSV, people are more at risk when they participate in risky sexual behavior without the use of protection, such as condoms. It is important to understand that although someone may not have visible sores or symptoms, they may still be infected by the virus and may transmit the virus to others. If a generally healthy individual has been infected with the virus, there are usually no complications. Can I pass the virus to a partner if I have no symptoms? Can genital herpes be caught from a cold sore? Each year the number of new people diagnosed is recorded by Public Health England. Others catch it but show no symptoms. About six in ten adults carry herpes simplex virus type 1 and one in ten carries type 2.
HSV-2 is commonly found in the genital area, but it can be passed to the mouth through oral sex. HSV can be passed even when sores are not visible, although it is less likely to happen during these times. See your health care provider if you are concerned about symptoms or complications. Most people who have HSV have few or no symptoms. Genital herpes may cause flu-like symptoms in women. There is no cure for herpes. But you can take medicine to prevent outbreaks and to lower your risk of passing genital herpes to your partner. Genital herpes also can be severe and long-lasting in people whose immune systems do not work properly, such as women with HIV. Nearly 50 million Americans, or 20 percent, carry the virus for genital herpes and anywhere from 50 to 80 percent carry the virus for oral herpes. Whether it be a romantic partner, a friend, or ourselves, it’s important to know the facts about herpes and how to have a healthy, safe and enjoyable sex life, while minimizing the risk of transmission. The herpes virus isn’t always active, but it can be even when no symptoms are present part of the reason that herpes is so common. Herpes is most contagious when there is a visible rash, bumps, one or more sores or blisters in, on or around the mouth, genitals or anus.
HSV causes cold sores or fever blisters (oral herpes), and it also causes genital sores (genital herpes). Also, if you have a cold sore and put your mouth on your partner’s genitals (oral sex), you can give your partner genital herpes. Most new cases of genital herpes infection do not cause symptoms, and many people infected with HSV-2 are unaware that they have genital herpes. There is currently no vaccine to prevent genital herpes, but several investigational herpes vaccines are being studied in clinical trials. It can also occur in adult health care workers, such as dentists, because of increased exposure to the herpes virus. Many people who carry the virus do not have visible genital or oral lesions. Health Tool. Sometimes, reactivations of the virus do not cause blister formation but the person remains contagious nonetheless, even though there are no visible sores. Therefore, an infected person with no visible symptoms, such as blisters or sores, can still infect or transmit the infection to an uninfected sexual partner. People infected with genital herpes may have no sores or other recognizable symptoms. Many people infected with herpes have no visible symptoms and confuse outbreaks with pimples, insect bites, razor burns, allergic reactions, and jock itch. Additionally, you and your girlfriend cannot transmit HSV-2 to one another unless one of you becomes infected by someone else who carries the virus. For most people the herpes simplex virus is unlikely to cause significant health issues. The diagnosis of genital herpes can be stressful, but getting factual information can help people and their partners put herpes in perspective and get on with their lives. Your general practitioner or a sexual health clinic is often a good place to start. Another twenty percent will have absolutely no symptoms at all! Most people who have herpes virus on their genitals are unaware that they have the virus. Many people with HSV have recurring genital herpes.
Herpes Simplex Virus
Many people infected with this virus never have symptoms but can still pass on the infection to others. This causes recurrent symptoms of genital herpes if the primary infection was in the genitals, or recurrent cold sores if the primary infection was around the mouth. The ulcers and blisters can last up to 10-28 days and then gradually heal and go without scarring. The other virus can also cause genital herpes but more often causes blisters of the mouth and lips (e.g., cold sores or fever blisters). This may happen even without visible sores. People with a weak immune system can get a herpes infection more easily. Women who have the herpes virus may have no outbreaks or signs of infection.