My First Herpes Outbreak was in First Three Months of Dating

Dear Dr. Tom:

My current boyfriend and I have been monogamous for over two years. Within our first three months of dating, I had my first outbreak of herpes. At that, he had a small cold sore on his mouth, and to this day, we still wonder if that was the cause. He was tested, and showed nothing. I have not had an outbreak in two years. Once I was diagnosed, we started using condoms all the time. We just moved in together and are wondering how safe it is for us to have sex without condoms. I understand that during open lesions, or if there is any suspicion of an oncoming outbreak, condoms should be used. I have consulted my gynecologist about condom free sex, and she was positive, while still pointing out the slim change of transmission. My boyfriend’s doctor was less positive. Your opinion is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Anonymous:

Within the first three months of monogamous dating you had an herpetic outbreak, and your boyfriend experienced cold sores on his mouth. If it quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck! Cause is immaterial now; the task is to control further spread. Based upon the simplest concept of infection control: prevent an infectious agent from reaching a susceptible host by interposing a barrier between the two.. I think the safer outlook seems to come from your boyfriend’s doctor. Your gynecologist has given you the caveat of a slim chance of transmission as well.


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