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Question:
I just found out i had herpes. The sores r gone and now there r red spots where they were, like new skin. Is it alright for me to have sex now or not?
Heath1609
Answer:
Herpes infections are very common in today's society. Up to one if five adults are thought to be infected with herpes simplex type 2 virus (the virus that usually causes genital herpes). Once you have been infected with the herpes virus it is possible that you will pass it on to others. You are most infectious when the sores are present, or when there is any break in the skin, and in the days and weeks immediately after an outbreak. You are also more infectious if this is your first outbreak (not just the first time it was diagnosed). The amount shed from active lesions is 100 to 1000 times greater than when there are no active lesions. The virus can be shed in saliva and genital secretions from individuals even if they have no symptoms. Spread is by direct contact with infected secretions. The frequency of asymptomatic viral shedding is more common in those with type 2 genital herpes and in those who have been infected recently. Shedding is most likely to occur in the week before or after a recurrence. Therefore, if you are concerned about passing herpes on to others, it is too soon to dictate that it is safe for you to have sex. Unfortunately noone can tell you when and if you will no longer be infectious for herpes virus. Using condoms will reduce the risk of passing on the virus, however is not foolproof. However do not despair - this is a very common infection and usually not serious. There is good medication available to control the symptoms and help reduce infectivitiy. You should inform any sexual partners that you have tested positive for herpes and may be able to pass this on to them, although the risk is much lower once the sores have healed up. One other thing - herpes infection can be very serious in pregnancy and you should consult your doctor immediately if you have an attack when you are pregnant. You should also ensure you have been tested for other sexually transmitted infections.
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