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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is mild genital herpes contagious?

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Dr. Johny Chacko

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 1919 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 8 Aug 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: My bf diagnised with genital mild heroes 1990. His last breakout 2 months ago only on tiny pimple. He takes voltrex . If we have entercourse, is it contageous
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Answered by Dr. Johny Chacko 51 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Herpes genitalis

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Welcome to healthcare magic.

I understand from your query that your boyfriend has genital herpes and you are concerned whether it could spread to you through sexual intercourse.

Let me tell you a few medical facts about genital herpes.

The herpes virus will stay dormant in the nerves and cause outbreaks now and then when the body's immunity levels go low.
However, even when the person is not having an active break out of herpes, he could still continue to shed the virus in his genital secretions. This is called as " Asymptomatic shedding". That means shedding virus without any symptoms on the outside.

The drug Valacyclovir ( Valtrex) will only heal the blisters during an active break out or when taken regularly, it will suppress the infection so that one does not get frequent break outs. However, this will not prevent the shedding of the virus in the genital secretions.

With this in mind, one can indulge in sexual intercourse using a condom which will prevent the infection from spreading from an infected partner to another.

Having said this, genital herpes is not a life- threatening disease. With adequate protection and care, you can prevent spread of the infection and enjoy a healthy and normal life.

Hope this helps you.

If you any further queries, I will be glad to answer.

Take care.

Regards,
Dr. Johny Chacko

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. Johny Chacko 28 hours later
Is oral sex contageous when there is no breakouts
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Answered by Dr. Johny Chacko 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, it is possible

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Greetings.

Yes. It is possible for herpes to be transmitted through oral sexual intercourse even when there are no breakouts.
This is because of the same reason that I have explained earlier- that the virus can be shed in genital secretions even without any symptoms.

It is advisable to use a condom at all times irrespective of the type of intercourse.

Hope this helps you.

Take care.

Regards,
Dr. Johny Chacko
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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