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Do not have sexual activities during a genital herpes outbreak

  • herpes
  • genital herpes
  • hsv-2


"I got tested for genital herpes last week. I got the call today that it was negative but since I had an outbreak my doctor said she is still diagnosing me with genital herpes and wants me go to back in 2 months. My boyfriend wants to have sex, when would it be safe to have sex? "

- Anonymous


Thank you for your question. It is important to know how to be as safe as possible if you are in a relationship where one partner has HSV-2 (genital herpes) and the other partner does not.

First of all, there is no way to guarantee that HSV-2 will not spread over the long term if the two of you are sexually active. Using a latex condom during sex can and does offer a degree of protection, but it is not a definite safeguard.

You should always be aware of when your symptoms are becoming more severe. You will be at your most contagious during outbreaks. You should avoid sexual activities with your partner while you are having an outbreak.

Your partner should also get tested for HSV-2 regularly. The blood test that STDAware provides looks for antibodies that your immune system creates when somebody becomes infected with the virus. If antibodies for HSV-2 are detected in the blood, that means that person being tested is infected with HSV-2. 

Let your partner know that the only way HSV-2 spreads is through sexual contact. Urban legends about spreading the disease via toilet seats and the like have been debunked.

While there is no guarantee that you will not spread HSV-2 to your partner, if the two of you avoid sexual contact during your outbreaks and practice safe sex at other times, you can increase the chances of keeping your partner herpes-free. 

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