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Is it safe to have sex while I am having genital herpes?

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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1390 Questions
I have had genital herpes. Is it safe for me to get married and have sex?
Posted Wed, 20 Feb 2013 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 8 hours later
Hi ,
Herpes genitalis is a viral sexually transmitted disease caused by herpes simplex virus.
Once infected it remains in human body for long time possibly for life long in latent stage.
In times of physical and mental stress it can get re activated and cause clinical lesions of herpes .
Even when you dont have active lesions of herpes it still can be transmitted to your partner .It is known as asymptomatic shedding.
This shedding is more during first year of acquiring herpes.As the time passes the shedding becomes low.
In spite of this you can get married and have children without any problem.
There is a small but definite chance of transmitting herpes to your partner.
A significant population of world are having herpes infection and leading normal lifestyle.
Also I would like to know-
How many episodes of herpes you had?
Have you done IgG and Igm test for herpes?
Do you have active herpes lesions now?
Answer the questions and we can continue the discussion here.
I will be available for follow up.
Dr Sudarshan
Dermatologist, STD specialist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is it safe to have sex while I am having genital herpes? 9 minutes later

thanks for your response.

i dont have any lesion now.

i had got affected with genital herpes only once in my life, and that was in january 2009. i have had oral sex regularly since then and very few times of intercouse with condoms. this is with the sane single partner, with whom I had safe sex before the genital herpes also.

I have not tested my blood specifically for herpes. But very recently, my medical examination was done by another country's immigration as a procedure to XXXXXXX me a residence visa in that country. I assume they would have checked me for HIV. Does an HIV test reveal existence of an herpes virus also?
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 4 hours later
Hi again,
HIV test does no rule out Herpes infection. Both are altogether different entity.
Only single episode of herpes is unlikely as the infection causes recurrent attacks usually.
Even if you had single attack and no recurrence since then it is good news.There is very little chance of transferring it to your partner.
As you are in monogamous relationship with known partner there is hardly any risk involved.
You can safely continue the relationship and have family.
There is nothing to be worried about.
Hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is it safe to have sex while I am having genital herpes? 52 minutes later

Thanks for the assurance.

Can i take it that what i was affected with was not herpes at all since i got attacked only once and i never got it back?

Do you still recommend a blood test? Even if the blood test says am affected positively, how should i treat with it?
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 1 hour later
Hi again,
It is most likely that you didnot had herpes at all.
Since you are asymptomatic and dont have any lesions since then I will not recommend to go for testing.In absence of any active lesions or genital ulcers there is no treatment /drugs to be given.
Antiviral drugs can only be given in case of acute infection to suppress the episode.There are no drugs for complete cure of herpes.
In my opinion you dont have herpes in first place and do not need any testing or treatment at present.
Hope this helps.
I will be available for follow up.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is it safe to have sex while I am having genital herpes? 20 minutes later
Hi Doctor

am so glad that you replied.

i was asked to use herperax and zovirax when i got those sores in my vaginal area and the doctor who treated me said that its herpes. Hence am worried. please give me one last assurance. thanks.
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 4 hours later
Hi again,
The drugs given to you were antivirals and these are used to treat herpes genitalis .
But apart from this history and clinical course does not match that of herpes zoster.
Herpes is characterized by recurrent painful,superficial genital ulcers in the genital area.Also glands in the inguinal region also get enlarged.
Laboratory confirmation is by IgG and IgM levels in blood for herpes genitalis.
Hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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