Could the herpes simplex virus be spread when there is not an outbreak?

Herpes. Yes. Unfortunately once you have herpes you are contagious for it whether or not you have a sore. Now, that said, the level of contagiousness can vary from time to time and from person to person. There is no good test to predict your level of viral shedding or contagiousness. If you are in relationship with someone who is not infected your doctor may put you on medications to lower this risk.