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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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whats the risks of contracting genital herpes from a female

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3665 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 9 Mar 2019 in General Health
Question: whats the risks of contracting genital herpes from a female to male, not during an outbreak, with a condom, and according to her she hasn't had a outbreak in 5 years. Obviously thats tough to believe, and Im usually extremely cautious when it comes to STD's so I'm not willing to take the risk unless its extremely low. I've googled and researched everywhere but can't come up with any solid info
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
it depends

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

here are some basic facts to consider:

- herpes can be transmitted only to susceptible individuals. If you've contracted herpes in the past then you can't become infected again... (you're already infected that is). There are two types of herpes: HSV1 and HSV2. If you've had a cold sore in the past (HSV1 usually) and she has HSV1 in her genitals then you can't become reinfected with it. If she has HSV2 and you've never had HSV2 in the past then you may become infected.

- transmission may occur when coming into contact with the infected area during outbreaks (more likely) but also when the skin is intact and seemingly healthy (viral shedding).

- the condom will only be protective if the infected area does not touch unprotected (by the condom) skin.

I cannot accurately estimate your risk for transmission but I can say that many individuals will become infected if they come into contact with a diseased individual even without an outbreak. That's why in such cases chemoprophylaxis with low dose antivirals (or at least lower than the ordinary treatment dosage) is recommended.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you need further assistance.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 14 minutes later
Well Is there a there a chance that she is less likely to be contagious the longer she’s been infected? ( Because the disease is less potent because it’s been dormant, because she says she hasn’t had an outbreak for five years
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 11 minutes later
Brief Answer:
probably not

Detailed Answer:
Unfortunately the risk cannot be estimated on an individual basis. Even 'dormant' viruses can be transmitted. The virus remains in the body and may demonstrate its presence at any time. Even when it doesn't it's still there.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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