172 Physicians Online


Herpes and Unprotected Sex

Dear Ask The Doctor:
So, what are the chances of spreading the disease if you had unprotected sex one and are on suppressive therapy and no signs of any outbreaks? I guess what is being said is that it is possible, even though you are continuously taking acyclovir on a daily basis? But is it likely, that just having unprotected sex one time, that you would spread it?


In general, valacyclovir is being used to prevent transmission of herpes among sexual partners, not acyclovir. Yes, it is still possible (although small) to acquire herpes and transmit it to others, most especially if the herpes virus acquired is resistant to acyclovir. No signs of outbreaks does not mean virus-free; it means that the virus is dormant but it can be reactivated when the immune system gets suppressed. Most of the time, Acyclovir is used to prevent reactivation of the virus. Yes, one may have had just one time of unprotected intercourse but the chances of acquiring herpes are small but still, a very real chance. To sum it all up, in this case, there is a very small but very real chance of acquiring and transmitting herpes; better yet both partners should be tested as soon as possible. I hope this helps

Have a Question? Ask The Doctor Here.

Sign In to join in the conversation.

You’re in good hands, meet ATD’s founding physicians.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • Board Certified GP
  • CMO ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Adjunct Professor at U Of T

Dr. Patrick Golden M.D.

  • Board Certified Cardiologist
  • Founder AskTheDoctor.com
  • Practices in Fresno, CA

Related Answers:

Hello. About 9 months ago I had a one night stand. I am beating myself up over it still. I am terrified that he ha...

When I get hard, the skin on the top peals like a sunburn. There is a little discomfort. There is also an area with t...

Had protected sex (Fri) used Trojan warm and cooling sensation pack. It slipped off for a second and was changed to a...

My husband of 24 years recently confessed to having affairs with more than one woman over the last year. I had a full...

Recently found out my girlfriend has herpes simplex 2. She's been on acyclovir (not sure if dosage) for several year...

Good day In 2013 I was diagnosed as having gentital herpes and since then I have never had an outbreak until last ...

I had an outbreak of herpies for the first time and I took a course of antibiotics. I have had two blood test since t...

I noticed a small area on the left side of my labia in the area of the bartholin duct 8 days ago. At first I thought ...

So today I was in the shower and noticed a Hard, red shiny skin color lump about 1-2mm & it looks like there is w...

How can a woman with herpes get pregnant with passing it to her partner safely??