Is it Safe to go into a Hot Tub with Herpes?

Dear Dr. Tom:

Over 9 years ago I was diagnosed with Type I genital herpes. After the initial outbreak, as expected, I have had few reoccurrences. Maybe averaging one every 1-3 years. My questions are how concerned do I need to be about genital sex with my husband and is it transmissible/safe to go into a hot tub or jacuzzi with my husband?


Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Perplexed:

I too am perplexed, because your question does not make clear the duration of your marriage. Seemingly, your herpes diagnosis preceded your marriage by some time in order for you now to be asking about the safety of sex and intimate activities with him such as use of the hot tub. Is your husband aware that you are herpes infected? The preventative safety principle is always the same : a barrier between the infective agent and a susceptible host, in this case your husband, will remarkably lessen the likelihood of transmission. Sharing a hot tub or jacuzzi poses some risks for transmission, but I cannot cite any known infection brought about by this means. Home hot tubs are not chlorinated (except for levels in treated city water supplies), so no anti-microbial activity is present in the waters. Transmission would depend upon whether or not you are a shedder. If you are, then small amounts of virus might enter the water, and a remote possibility exists that your husband could become infected. The risk would be higher in water that recirculates where none passes on down the drain. As an unscientific personal opinion, I would be inclined to enjoy the pleasurable intimacy of the hot tub experience and have protected sex elsewhere.


Red Marine Algae | Buy 2 get 1 FREE VIR-L-Lysine | Buy 2 get 1 FREE
  • Top 10 Herpes Facts

    Sex Health Guru Video Tip brought to you by Alice W. Kp M.D. John Hopkins Hospital, Watch the Video

  • Featured Article

    The Truth about HSV-1 and HSV-2 American Social Health Association (ASHA), read the Article

  • Other Infections

    Do you also think you may have been exposed to another STD? Find help now.