Doctor's Answers (1)
Thank you for the question.
The risk of transmission of genital herpes is highest when a person has active lesions. If there are active blisters and ulcers over the genital area, the risk of transmission is very high.
In asymptomatic individuals, the risk of transmission is lower but there is still a possibility that genital herpes can spread.
Asymptomatic viral shedding decreases after the 1st year of the initial infection, but can still persist years after the infection although the amount of viral shedding generally decreases with time.
It is still advisable to use protective contraception like condoms to reduce the risk of asymptomatic spread. Taking oral antiviral agents daily has been shown to reduce the risk of transmission of genital herpes to an unaffected partner.