its blown astronomically out of proportion. Ive had oral sex and sex since getting it and have never passed it on.
I think probably whos most responsible for the spread of it is people who get it, never have a really obvious outbreak, notice little itches they dont think anything of, and bam. Shedding also tends to be the greatest in the first year of infection. It really depends on who you ask...some studies say only a portion of the population sheds while others say everyone does at one time or another. For years couples have managed to avoid passing on coldsores/genital herpes to their partners by simply avoiding sex when they had sores and its worked...thats how people did it prior to any evidence of asymptomatic shedding. If shedding was as commonplace as some reports and sites let on, the number of people who have the virus would be somewhere closer to 50-75% than it would be 20-25%.