Can we still kiss with Herpes?

Dear Dr. Rob:

The guy I have been seeing just informed me he has genital herpes.
We have never had sex. We really like each other and before he told
me that he has genital herpes we were going to start a relationship.
Now I’m afraid that I might catch it if we touch, kiss, touch the same
doorknob, etc. I need to know how can I avoid catching this from him.
Can we still kiss? If so, how do I not catch the virus? What precautions
should we take? If we decide to ever have sex (not oral) will a condom
prevent me from catching this disease? If so, how effective is a condom
when it comes to not catching herpes or any other STD? Is there a certain
time that we can or cannot have sex? What signs or symptoms should
I watch for to let me know we should not have physical contact? Please

Questions, Questions, Questions????

Dr Rob’s Response:

Dear Questions about Genital Herpes:

Herpes is transmitted sexually, therefore touching, kissing, or touching
the same doorknob, is not going to infect you. In addition, condoms
are effective, if used correctly in preventing transmission of disease.
You should not have sex during your menstrual flow. If he has any
lesions or not, remember the problem is that most genital herpes is
transmitted even when there are no lesions present on the infected
partner, and there is truly no “safe” time. Having said that, with
the appropriate use of condoms, it would be permissible at any
time other than during your menstrual flow.


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