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Chances of catching HERPES by sex with condom.

Resolved Question:

Hi how much of a chance is it that a male catch herpes when using a condom from one encounter and no symptoms were seen? How easy is it to catch herpes?

Category: Internal Medicine Specialist

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 19 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at
Using a condom reduces the chances of getting herpes substantially. However, if there are open lesions on the thighs or the genital area of the infected partner, there is a slight possibility of being infected with herpes thoruhg skin to skin contact.
Feel free to discuss further,

Patient replied :

What are the percentage of catching herpes? Is it that easy to catch herpes in general?

The chance of getting a STI like herpes, after having intercourse with an infected partner without condom is around 20-30 %.
With condom, it is not more than 2-3 %, only if the partner has open lesions on her thighs, or genital area.

Patient replied :

So without lesions there are no chance of catching it? why does the internet say that condoms are ineffective in preventing herpes? If i touch an infected herpes lesion is it 100% that i get infected?

The only reason internet says condom is not completely safe is because sometimes the partner may have smallest of lesions which can't be seen and if thie part comes in contact with the genital area of the uninfected partner, herpes can be transmitted.
The chance of this happening is very low, but not impossible.

Patient replied :

I mean if i touch a lesion with my thighs or my stomach will i get infected? Which part of the males are considered the genitals? And how did you get the 2-3% rate?

Genital area comprises of the groin as well as the penis and the scrotum.
There is a very minimal chance of getting the infection. 2-3 % is based on clinical knowledge and various other papers, which we have gone through during our training.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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