Q. Though I have genital herpes, I had unprotected sex with my partner. Will he contract HSV?

Answered by
Dr. Snehal Laul
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 15, 2021

Hi doctor,

When I was 16 years old, I got genital herpes and it was from my first sexual encounter. I am 20 years old now and experiencing outbreaks rarely. I have never taken medication for this problem and I left them to heal on their own to build my own immune response. Recently, I have started to talk with someone new. We had both oral and penetrative sex before a week. I shaved in the shower before the day of sex and I noticed a little spot and it was painful to touch. After having sex, I took a photo and noticed a small fissure between my vagina and anus. The fissure was less than a centimeter and did not contain fluid or pus. There was a strong discharge smell but I thought it due to my periods.

I also had back pain before having sex and thought that it was due to my periods. I have not slept for a week and I am afraid whether my partner will contract my infection. If it is an outbreak, can it spread by transmission fast? If he has HSV 1, can he have it genitally too? As we had both oral and penetrative sex, can he have an oral outbreak soon? Is the transmission possible through unprotected sex?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

There is a high risk of transmission from your sexual history. He should get tested for both HSV 1 (herpes simplex 1) and HSV 2 (herpes simplex 2). Please mention about the history of genital herpes and when you become positive. Please mention whether you have a tingling sensation, burning micturition, painful or burning blisters or vesicles, and inflammatory papules or erosions.

Thank you doctor,

I would not have tried for sex if I noticed it before having sex. I tested negative for herpes using a PCR test and I know that I have herpes as my first outbreak was severe. But before having sex, I had some tingling and back pain and I thought it due to my periods. I was in a relationship for two years and I have never taken medication and I had protected sex. My partner has not developed any symptoms of the infection. I am afraid that I have transmitted the infection to my new partner. It has been seven days after having sex and he is fine. I know that the risk of transmission is high, but is it guaranteed? Will he have contracted it



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It is true that the primary infection in herpes is quite severe. Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection. Following the infection, the virus establishes a latent or dormant state within the posterior root ganglia neurons and on reactivation, it travels down the nerve fiber and causes recurrent infection. You can take tablet Acyclovir 200 mg five times a day for five days. Please mention whether you have a previous history of taking Acyclovir medication. Please mention whether you have pain, itching, dysuria, painful and tender lymphadenopathy. Please attach a picture.

Thank you doctor,

I have never taken any medication and I cannot send the picture because it has got healed and it has been there only for a few days. Please answer my question whether the transmission is guaranteed and how high is the risk.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The risk is 70 percent with the transmission. There are high chances to have a contraction of herpes in your partner.

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