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if two monogomous partners have HSV 2, is ot necessary to use a condom EVERY time we have sex?

Apr 5, 2002

I am in a monogomous relationship and I recently found out that I got herpes from my boyfriend. He unknowingly transmitted it to me as he did not realize he had it. His previous and current outbreak resembled a razor burn. We were both put on Valtrex by our physician, and told to use condoms. I forgot to ask her if she meant to use them every time, or just when we felt like we were experiencing an outbreak or in the prodrome phase. I am too embarrassed to call back and ask, please let me know if you have the time. Thank you very much.

Response from Mr. Kull

It is advisable that you avoid reexposing yourself or your partner to active herpes lesions, although it is possible, but less likely, that you could transmit HSV to a partner without lesions being present (called asymptomatic shedding, see STD Basics ). In general, you want to limit contact with active sores, even on your own body, as you could spread the virus to different areas of the body (like the eyes or the mouth). This supports the argument for using condoms or abstaining from sex when outbreaks are occurring, and possibly the use of condoms when outbreaks aren't present, as studies show that asymptomatic shedding does occur.


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