How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask DrOAB Your Own Question
DrOAB, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1032
Experience:  In practice since 2000.
Type Your Health Question Here...
DrOAB is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Can you have unprotected sex and not spread herpes

Customer Question

Can you have unprotected sex and not spread herpes?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  DrOAB replied 8 years ago.



Please clarify:


Have you actually been diagnosed with genital herpes?


Have you been placed on any antiviral medication?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have not been tested or diagnosed with any STDs
Expert:  DrOAB replied 8 years ago.



OK, if you have not been formally diagnosed with genital herpes, then could you please explain your concern for spreading this condition? Have you noticed a groin rash or specific symptoms?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have had some bumps but not recently and i have had sex with someone who has been diagnosed. I then had sex with someone else and am just trying to see if its possible that i did not spread it. I am fairly certain i have it but have never been diagnosed.
Expert:  DrOAB replied 8 years ago.



This all comes down to formal diagnosis of herpes in yourself, which would require a culture taken from any suspicious blisters on the genitals or perhaps lips (HSV-2, the virus that usually causes genital herpes, can also cause lip cold sores) or a blood test. Until a confirmatory test is done, your question about spreading this exact condition is impossible to answer fully.


But, if we assume that you did contract HSV-2 from unprotected sex with a partner known to have this infection, then these facts apply:

1. HSV-2 infection is not curable. Proper use of prescription antiviral medicines like acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir at the beginning of flare-ups can help sores heal faster and avoid relapses.

2. During a flare-up with visible lesions, avoid sexual contact since the virus is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact.

3. It is possible to spread HSV-2 even when lesions are not visible.

4. Never touch the sores, and always wash hands before touching other areas of the body, especially the face (e.g., after urinating).

5. Latex condoms should be used regularly since HSV-2 can be spread through unprotected sex. The exact odds of spread cannot be predicted, but the risk of spread is always present after HSV-2 infection.

6. Open communication with intimate partners is important to avoid transmission.



DrOAB and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
So to sum up your answer there is a chance that i did not srpead it assuming i do have any type of herpes? or is it always spread when you have unprotected sex, even if you do not have an outbreak?
Expert:  DrOAB replied 8 years ago.



The first part of that question was correct: Assuming that you have herpes, there is a chance that you did not spread it during unprotected sex. I would advise going for testing--if negative, it may relieve your worries about spread completely.