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How can I transmit genital herpes if I have no symptoms?

For reasons not entirely clear, many people with genital herpes either have no visible symptoms or don't recognize the symptoms. The virus can be transmitted with or without symptoms being present. But the major concern with both oral and genital herpes is that you remain infected for life and there is no cure.

When it does cause symptoms, genital herpes can produce sores in and around the vaginal area, on the penis, around the anal opening and on the buttocks or thighs. Occasionally, sores also appear on other parts of the body where broken skin has come into contact with the virus.

The amount of virus produced is greatest at the time someone is having an outbreak. Yet many outbreaks occur without the person realizing it. Lesions can be so small or hidden from view that only special tests can prove one is having an outbreak. It is estimated that most people with herpes are infectious at some point in their lives when they don't have visible symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.