Jamie*, 29, is HSV-positive and contracted herpes from her husband. But, she explains, β€œHe only had one outbreak when he was young and that was it. So he didn't realize what it was.” Jamie was infected three years into their relationship simply because he had outbreaks that infrequently. She says, β€œI was worried he had cheated on me, but then found similar stories online, and our outbreak patterns underscore that what happened is very possible.”

However, there is much more to the herpes virus than just chicken pox or genital herpes. For instance, after an active infection, the virus is shed (eliminated) in the urine and feces for up to several months (sometimes years in the case of the cytomegalovirus) after the active infection has resolved. This means the infected person is still contagious, which is what makes this virus so contagious. It can easily be transferred when the patient is asymptomatic.
"When you are having an outbreak of oral herpes, symptoms usually start with a burning, itching or tingling sensation on your lips," Michael says. "This will intensify until a small rash, and then blisters, appear. These sores are commonly called 'cold sores'. The blisters are usually filled with a clear or slightly yellow liquid. Over a short time, these blisters will burst leaving a painful, raw area. These will then dry and scab over. The scabs will generally fall off after a week or two, leaving fresh clear skin beneath."
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