Herpes Transmission Rates

Knowing the herpes transmission rates are going one of the most common things that your partner will want to know when having the herpes talk.  Our biggest fear is that we will spread the virus to somebody we love and care about.  Based on the amount of questions that I get and the ones that I’ve answered on many herpes forums, the majority of people with  herpes are more concerned with the likelihood of spreading the virus to a partner than they are about their own health. Unfortunately this is a reality that we all have to live with every day.

What are the Herpes transmission Rates to Your Partner?

The herpes transmission rates that I’m providing are based on my own research. You should conduct your own research and come to your on conclusions.  The herpes simplex virus comes with no official handbook. There are NO guarantees that you will not spread it even if you’re not having symptoms.

Statistics are based on averages but all the studies and books that I’ve found suggest that transmitting herpes:

  •     If all you do is avoid having sex during a genital herpes outbreak there is a four percent risk of transmitting the virus to an uninfected partner.
  •     If you avoid having sex during an outbreak AND use a condom then the risk is reduced to two percent.
  •     If you avoid having sex during an outbreak, regularly use condoms AND use the anti-viral drug, Valtrex then you further reduce the risk to one percent.

So if the above precautions are taken then the odds are staggering that herpes transmission would be very rare?  True?

Lets take a deeper look and see…

GlaxoSmithKline conducted a study testing the genital herpes transmission rates of people using the anti-viral drug Valtrex and placebos.  The follow are the results of the study:

Those participants who were given the placebo reported:

  •     2.8% of the participants, who reported never using condoms, developed symptomatic genital herpes.
  •     2% of the participants, who reported sometimes using condoms, developed symptomatic genital herpes.
  •     1.4% of the participants, who nearly always used condoms, developed symptomatic genital herpes.

Those participants who were given Valtrex reported:

  •     1% of those who never used condoms developed symptomatic genital herpes.
  •     None of the participants who reported sometimes using condoms developed symptomatic genital herpes.
  •     None of the participants who reported nearly always used condoms developed symptomatic genital herpes.

According to this study transmitting genital herpes is rare if a person is using a combination of condoms and Valtrex.

There Is Always Going To Be A Herpes Risk

If you are sexually active, there is always a chance to transmit genital herpes. There is no way to be sure you will avoid it. You can make the chances a lot lower if you avoid sex during outbreaks and when there are prodromal symptoms. But there will always be some level of risk.

Yes, there is still a risk but there is a risk in everything we do.

There’s a 1:1500 chance you will get killed or seriously injured every time you drive your car, yet we accept that risk.

If you make love with a condom, there is a risk that you”ll become pregnant and become a parent in 9 months. Parenthood is a lifelong condition that will cost you half your pay and most of your sanity for the rest of your life. If we knew the risks involved in all our actions, we’d have little quality of life at all.

It’s up to you and your partner to individually define an acceptable herpes transmission rates. The bottom line is you need to understand the published data and statistics to make an informed choice. If your partner decides that the risk is too much then you must respect their decision.

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