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Can you have sex before/during an outbreak if both partners are positive?

If both partners have hsv-1, can you have sex before an outbreak or during one? I keep reading that you can’t get it in another area of your body if you have it on one place already but yet everywhere says not to have sex if you’re having an outbreak. Does it matter if both people are positive? I’m only 4 months into a diagnosis of genital hsv-1. May partner is asymptomatic hsv-1 and gave it to me (he’s the only partner I’ve had). Every time I get a bump, I say we can’t have sex for a few days and while I see if it turns to a sore because I’m worried it can turn into an outbreak. But do I need to be so cautious when he already has hsv-1? Unknown if his is oral or genital but has never had symptoms.
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I understand your concern and confusion.

Chances are really good that he has oral hsv1, and gave you ghsv1 when giving you oral sex. Ghsv1 almost never transmits without an outbreak, so if he's never had one, it's almost certain that he has it orally.

This only matters because it helps you know where he has it. It's not impossible that he'd ever get it genitally, but it's really, really unlikely.

Most of the time, when we say avoid sex during an outbreak, it's because you're most contagious at that time, and also because depending on where your outbreaks are, it might hurt.

Your partner has antibodies that will help prevent him from getting hsv1 in another location, but if you have sex during an outbreak, there is a small chance that he would get it genitally.

I wouldn't worry about the time leading up to the outbreak or just after as much - you aren't as contagious then, and he has antibodies.

How frequently are you getting outbreaks? It's not unusual to get them more frequently at first, but make sure you don't have a secondary infection like bacterial vaginosis (if you have a vagina) or yeast, or another STD. Those can keep herpes really active.

You can also try antivirals, like Valtrex, for a few months until things calm down.
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Hey thanks for your response! So far I have only had the initial outbreak about 4 months ago. The other times that I suspected something must have been an ingrown hair or something because the bump never developed into an open sore and disappeared within like 2 days. I just was nervous about seeing a bump and it turning into a herpes outbreak and then potentially infecting my partner genitally. My initial outbreak was 4 individual and separate sores, not a cluster or anything. And I’ve been checking myself everyday to see if I have anything because I’m not sure if I’ll get prodrome symptoms and have been trying to be careful.

Ok I also figured that he has it orally and maybe got cold sores as a kid and doesn’t remember or has always been asymptomatic.

I don’t have any discharge or smell or itch that would make me think bv/yeast infection but I will keep it in mind. I just noticed a bump again yesterday. I do shave there so it could be something from that. I had a full sti screening when I got diagnosed and was negative and have only been with the same monogamous partner since then.

Ok so basically even if I have a bump but as long as I don’t have an open sore, we should be pretty ok having sex. And if I do have a sore, there is a small chance he could get it genitally, but not as likely because he has antibodies? That’s pretty much what I thought but was confused by what I was reading.

When I got diagnosed I asked my ob about valtrex (I took a course then) and she said they don’t prescribe it for everyday use unless I have frequent outbreaks. I do have a prescription for if I get an outbreak. I haven’t used it yet since I wasn’t sure if any of them were outbreaks and so far they haven’t been.
So something you should know about ghsv1 is that the frequency of outbreaks is a lot lower than ghsv2. The average rate of outbreaks for ghsv2 is 4-5 a year, and ghsv1 is less than 1 a year. Obviously, everyone is different, but you don't need to check everyday.

Also, many people with ghsv1 only get one outbreak and never get another.

It's hard at first to not know what to expect, and to wonder if every little thing is an outbreak. I get that. I did that, too, and many others do. You don't have to check, though - if you get an outbreak, you'll feel it. It won't ever be as bad as the first one, but you will feel it.

About 50% of people get prodrome. I don't. You might or might not.

If you aren't getting outbreaks, you may not need daily meds.

"Ok so basically even if I have a bump but as long as I don’t have an open sore, we should be pretty ok having sex. And if I do have a sore, there is a small chance he could get it genitally, but not as likely because he has antibodies?"

Yes. The most infectious time is when you have a blister or blisters, or a sore. I wouldn't worry at any other time.

You'll settle into it, and relax with time. :)
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