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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Question: contracting herpes


 caveman_6699 - Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:03 am

My girlfriend of two years is 7 months pregnant and has developed vaginal herpes. She says she has not been with anyone else and that this is her first ever outbreak. Is this Possible? Can this disease lay dormant in a person's body? Can you only contract this disease through physical contact?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:51 pm

User avatar Hello,
Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. HSV-1 (commonly oral herpes) can be transmitted from mouth to genitals as well, though it is not as common there. Transmission can occur from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore and may not know that he or she is infected but it is from person to person through close contact of some sort.

The disease can be dormant for a time without an outbreak. If the lesions are present on the genitals at the time of delivery, the doctor may encourage a c-section.

Best wishes.
 Ragefish - Sun May 31, 2009 3:27 am

Yes. Herpes can lie dormant for a long time. Some people get their initial outbreak a day after infection, some get it years after infection, and some may not even get an outbreak. Doctors don't know everything about the virus yet, so no one is 100% sure why this is, but the best thing for your partner to do is get some form of treatment, be it medicines like Valtrex (which I have heard many good things about) or a topical treatment.

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