Can You Be Born With Genital Herpes?


Asked by macumba18

Can You Be Born With Genital Herpes?

I had only had sexual contact with one person before my outbreak, and he was a virgin like myself at the time. Is it possible that you could be born with genital herpes, or that you can contract it from something besides intercourse?


Yes, it is possible to be born with genital herpes, but it must be passed to you before or during birth from your mother.  Does your mom have herpes too?  I doubt this is the case, since you probably would have already known if you had herpes from birth.

It's rare to transmit genital herpes through non-sexual contact.  However, it's relatively easy to contract oral herpes simply through kissing or sharing a drink with someone who has it.  If your partner unknowingly has oral herpes and performed oral sex on you, it's possible he gave you genital herpes that way.  Another possibility is that maybe he wasn't really a virgin.

I think you should see a doctor and be tested to know for sure if you have herpes or another STD.  It is also a good idea to tell your partner that he may have an STD and to be tested.  I recommend reading the Herpes Basics, Transmission, and Treatment pages for more information.

Here are some other links you might find useful:

Telling Your Partner, Gender and Acceptance

Herpes, Scene 1: Knowing the Risk and Consenting to It

10 Tips to Reduce Herpes Outbreaks

Answered by Penelope James