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Possibilities of transmission of HSV virus to sex partners while having an outbreak

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Hello doctor, I am a 23 years old male. I recently came to know that my girlfriend had herpes long before. She promised that it is gone now and she had no problems since she was with me. But now, within a week, I saw some bumps in her genitals which seems like that of herpes. I searched internet and saw some pictures of herpes and found that they are looking alike. Now, if it is herpes, is there a possibility that I also contract it automatically? Or is there any way to prevent getting an outbreak of herpes in me? We used to have sex without condoms and selectively on her safe period. Please help.

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 22 Doctors Online

Thanks for the question. I am really concerned about your question. Unfortunately, in your case you are more likely to have contracted with herpes virus. Herpes Simplex Virus is the organism which causes herpes in human beings. There are two variants of herpes simplex which cause herpes, which are called genital herpes and cold sores (oral herpes or herpes labialis). Of the HSV viruses, HSV type 1 causes cold sores or oral herpes and HSV type 2 causes genital herpes. Once you come in sexual contact with a person having herpes, you are most likely to contract with the virus. The process of spreading becomes easier if one of the partners has active herpes with a live outbreak and sores. But it is not necessary to have an outbreak to transmit the virus. Condoms fail covering the areas which are having lesions or bumps and result in a transmission. Even sleeping without clothes with someone having herpes also result in transmitting the virus.

Even protected sex using condoms cannot prevent transmission if one of the partners have active outbreak in the form of sores or bumps. A skin to skin contact is enough to spread the virus. It is always advised to avoid sex with people having herpes. But in your case you should immediately consider going for a herpes test of both HSV type 1 and type 2. As you had unprotected sex, you left yourself at high risk of transmission and there is no way to prevent an outbreak, once it is infected. Moreover there are no ways to treat or cure herpes completely to eradicate the virus from body. I hope this helps. Take care.


Dr. Cecelia J. Russ
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
- Medical School - New York Institute of Technology, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Duke University Medical Center, Residency in Family Medicine
Dr. Cecelia J. Russ and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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