Herpes Question: What is Asymptomatic Shedding?

Herpes is most contagious during an outbreak, however it can be spread even when no symptoms are present if the virus is active on the skin. This is called asymptomatic shedding. Though asymptomatic shedding occurs only several days each year, it is impossible to know which days it occurs. The surest way to prevent (or diminish) the spread of herpes to is to avoid sexual contact during an outbreak, and to use condoms and/or dental dams during sexual contact between outbreaks. Suppressive antiviral therapy also helps reduce the risk of infecting a partner by decreasing the frequency of outbreaks.

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