How do I protect my uninfected partner from herpes?

Dear Dr. Tom:

Though I have never had an outbreak since the initial one, I want to thoroughly protect my present, uninfected partner. I have become aware that a women can be active without symptoms and thus spread the virus through bodily fluids. A condom alone could not protect spreading if she secretes heavily. How protective would a condom plus nonoxynol-9 gel or jelly be ????

Thank you for your time. It is much appreciated. CC

Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear CC:

Nonoxynol-9 is a spermicide that has been shown to have anti-HSV activity under laboratory conditions. A condom provides a barrier between a source of the virus and its possible recipient, but as you acknowledged, is fallible. A search of the literature on my part might turn up a clinical study in which this prophylactic anti-HSV combination has been evaluated. We should communicate again on this.


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