A very good friend of mine has active herpes. She has been married for 20 years, and with her husband for years before that. They are careful during outbreaks, which she can always feel coming on, and her husband has not gotten herpes in all those years. I think she said she takes the medication that is used during an outbreak, not daily.
Another friend has asymptomatic herpes…no outbreaks, no symptoms at all, but has the potential to infect someone when the virus is active. But since she has no symptoms, and didn’t even know she had it, she has no idea when to be “safe”. She informed her current partner when they started getting to that point in the relationship, and he educated himself about the slight, very slight, according to the doctor, risk, and decided he was okay with that. After several years, he has not gotten infected. Another guy she was starting to date before her current fellow read all the information, got educated too, but decided he was too afraid. He had other issues, though, too, which made her decide to end it with him herself.
I have done a ton of reading on the subject myself, and the risk of transmission isn’t as high as you might think. And the severity of outbreaks varies, from horrific to meh. Especially after many, many years of living with the disease. My good friend with the active case says she may only get one or two outbreaks a year, and they are really minor irritations that don’t last long. And they aren’t always on the moist bits, either.
Since the statistics say that 25% of adults have been exposed to herpes at some point, and many, many of those are totally asymptomatic and may not even have any idea they have been exposed, it seems better to practice safe sex, and be honest, and be realistic and not run screaming from the cooties. You’re more likely to catch the flu from someone…and THAT could actually kill you!