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Herpes and risk of heart infection

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I recently met someone I am considering getting intimate with who has a weak heart valve. I don't know much about the condition, but he told me that he must be careful about sex and getting STDs because any infection can go to his heart and cause problems or even be fatal. I am female and have had 1 herpes outbreak about 9 years ago and have never (to my knowledge) spread it to anyone else, and have never had a recurrence. However, I am still somewhat concerned about this and would like clarification before we do get intimate. Is herpes one of the STDs that can go to his heart and ultimately lead to his death?

Category: Infectious Disease Specialist

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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.


Having a heart condition puts your partner at risk for a condition called Infective Endocarditis. This is an infection of the heart valves.

But Herpes virus is NOT known to cause such infection. So your past history of Herpes will NOT put your partner in any additional risk. Besides 50% of the adults are already positive for HSV (herpes simplex Virus) hence is it likely that your partner would already have antibodies to HSV. It is very unlikely that you will transfer Herpes to your partner and secondly Herpes Infection will not effect his heart valves. And you are less likely to be infective as you do not have any active lesion.

But you should consider informing the past history of herpes if you feel so, but its more of a personal choice.
Simply put you do not put him in any additional risk.

Hope this helps
Feel free to ask followups
Thank you

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
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MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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