Thursday, August 21, 2014
Sunday, March 29, 2009 gemi08, Community Member, asks

Q: Safe to have sex between outbreaks without protection?

I started a relationship with someone who has herpes, he gets them on his genitals. He said it is safe to have sex in between outbreaks and he knows this since no other woman he dated never said anything or they would have told him. He prefers to have sex without a condom and I am very concerned having sex with him between outbreaks without a condom and having oral sex with him. His explanation about how its safe to have sex in between due to his experience doesn't sit well with me. Am I right feeling like this?

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Answers (3)
rise_above, Community Member
3/30/09 5:39pm

I was just diagnosed with genital herpes (HSV 2), so I'm no authority by any means, but as you can guess, I HAVE been doing A LOT of reading and learning since my diagnosis.

 

I'd always heard what your guy says:  You can't spread it without some sort of outbreak.  However, after reading up on herpes, I've learned about something called "asymptomatic shedding," where an infected individual CAN spread the disease, without having any symptoms.

 

According to the counselor I spoke with, there are different schools of thought on Asymptomatic Shedding (I'm just going to call it "AS" from here on out.  It's easier.).  Some physicians say that it's highly unlikely to spread the disease via AS, with no outbreaks.  Others say that it's very possible.  In my own estimation, I think it's safest to assume that you could contract the disease, but it's less likely if there's no outbreak.  Your safest bet is to use a condom... the problem is that it only protects you if his outbreak is ONLY on his penis.  Apparently outbreaks can happen anywhere in the "boxer short" regions, including the butt.

 

Which ties into my next point... outbreaks can sometimes be very subtle or in inconspicuous locations.  Even if your guy is 100% right and AS is a crock and you can't spread it unless there's an outbreak, it's still safer to just be careful in case of a less-noticeable outbreak.

 

If using a condom during sex is a deal-breaker for the guy, you may want to question his priorities and if this is the best situation for you.

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RICHIERICH, Community Member
3/29/09 6:32pm

NO,NO,NO,NO  NEVER ,YOU WILL INFECT YOUR PARTNER.

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RICHIERICH, Community Member
3/29/09 6:40pm

YOU ARE RIGHT, YOU WILL GET INFECTED IF YOU DONT USE CONDOMS.ORAL, THE CHANCE IS YOULL GET IT IN YOUR MOTH. I KNOW IT SUCKS BUT THAT THE WAY IT IS. I GOT IT FROM MY SPOUSE WHEN WHEN FIRST STARTED DATING, NOW ITS REALY GETTING THE BEST OF ME ,SICK ALL THE TIME. JUST USE PROTECTION NO MATTER WHAT HE OR SHE SAYS .TRUST ME YOULL REGRET IT IF YOU DONT.

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By gemi08, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/24/10, First Published: 03/29/09