4 doctors weighed in:

Can hsv1 remain dormant for over 20 years and then flare up?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ian Bach
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

Hsv type 1 and type 2 infections are chronic/life long.
Even without a flare up, the virus is produced by your cells at low levels and you can be contagious. Not all causes of flare ups are clear; they tend to occur during times when the immune system is decreased. This can occur with stress, fighting other infections (like a cold) or with certain meds. Certain meds can decrease contagiousness.

In brief: Yes

Hsv type 1 and type 2 infections are chronic/life long.
Even without a flare up, the virus is produced by your cells at low levels and you can be contagious. Not all causes of flare ups are clear; they tend to occur during times when the immune system is decreased. This can occur with stress, fighting other infections (like a cold) or with certain meds. Certain meds can decrease contagiousness.
Dr. Ian Bach
Dr. Ian Bach
Thank
Dr. Robert Killian
General Practice

In brief: Herpes

Actually in recent studies humans with herpes can very likely never have an outbreak.
90% of those with herpes infections never have a visible outbreak. Yet, these individuals can still be contagious and shed virus through there skin. There is no test to determine where this is happening without a visible sore. 75% of americans have herpes 1 and 26% have herpes typetwo.

In brief: Herpes

Actually in recent studies humans with herpes can very likely never have an outbreak.
90% of those with herpes infections never have a visible outbreak. Yet, these individuals can still be contagious and shed virus through there skin. There is no test to determine where this is happening without a visible sore. 75% of americans have herpes 1 and 26% have herpes typetwo.
Dr. Robert Killian
Dr. Robert Killian
Thank
Dr. Bradford Romans
Internal Medicine

In brief: Yes

This is not uncommon.

In brief: Yes

This is not uncommon.
Dr. Bradford Romans
Dr. Bradford Romans
Thank
Read more answers from doctors