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My partner and I both have the HSV2 virus. I however show no symptoms and don't have outbreaks. I know shedding can still occur and be undetectable in males. If this shedding occurs during sex could this trigger an outbreak for my partner?

Hi, thanks for your question. Asymptomatic shedding can occur in both men and women. If you both have the HSV2 virus, then you dont pass it back and forth between each other so your shedding will not trigger an outbreak for your partner. Things that can possibly trigger an outbreak for her would be a lot of friction during sex causing the genital skin to be stressed making an outbreak more likely. Anything that stresses her immune system can also bring on an outbreak. Outbreaks can be triggered by a serious illness, by stressors like someone she loves being sick or losing a job and by being run down with not eating well, not getting enough sleep etc. In general people with genital HSV 2 do tend to have more outbreaks. If you partner is getting more than 6 outbreaks a year, she may like to try suppressive therapy.  Her doctor can prescribe a low dose antiviral that is taken daily and will reduce the amount of outbreaks.  There is an updated handbook in the herpes resouce section of this website that  you and your partner may find useful:

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse


This answer was posted on May 28, 2019

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