Herpes contraction through unbroken skin?

onefunguy Community Member May 15, 2008
  • Hi,

    I (male) don't have herpes 2 but my girlfriend does. Since the Herpes 2 virus does not penetrate unbroken skin and enters through membranes, how is it that a male can still contract the virus from a shedding female.  Assuming he uses a condom and it doesn't break, and that he has no broken skin anywhere. Does it enter through the scrotum skin by rubbing? Is that skin not as good a protector as say my finger skin? I can see how the condom is ineffective to a female since it may not cover the infected area of the male, but why is it not very effective to the male since it covers the only membrane down there?


    Thanks in advance
    for your time
    -Kal

1 Comments
  • Penelope James
    Health Guide
    May. 23, 2008

    Hi Kal,

     

    Thanks for posting your question.  I am not a medical professional, so I cannot give you medical advice, but I do have Herpes so I may be able to offer you some insight.

     

    In response to your query about condoms and protection, I think it's important to realize Herpes can affect any part of the genitals.  I, for example, always...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi Kal,

     

    Thanks for posting your question.  I am not a medical professional, so I cannot give you medical advice, but I do have Herpes so I may be able to offer you some insight.

     

    In response to your query about condoms and protection, I think it's important to realize Herpes can affect any part of the genitals.  I, for example, always have outbreaks around my anus.  So if I were to have sex with a man who's using a condom, and his scrotum hits my anus, there's a potential to pass on the disease.  I suppose if your girlfriend only has outbreaks inside her vagina, and you use a condom and the condom doesn't break, then the chances would be slim of you getting Herpes.  I'm hoping you aren't having sex while she has outbreaks as that would be uncomfortable for her and risky for you. 

     

    I'm not sure about the virus not penetrating unbroken skin.  That may be true.  But to be safe, I always assume it can be passed by any sort of touch.  I've shown signs of Herpes on many parts of my genital and butt area...I never know where it might pop up next.  So abstaining during outbreaks and being careful (which it sounds like you are) even not during an outbreak should be effective in avoiding contraction.  I'm not saying you shouldn't have sex or be very intimate.  I had a boyfriend for 2 years since I got Herpes and we didn't always use a condom.  As far as I know, he doesn't have Herpes.  But it's good to be very conscientious!

     

    Hope that helps.  For more specific answers to your questions you should really talk to a doctor.  Also, Dr. Grayson's post about Transmitting Herpes could be helpful as well as her post about what to do when your Partner is Diagnosed.  Also, check out her post about transmitting genital herpes during Oral Sex, as that's something I always worry about.  

     

    Good luck!

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