A 20-year-old female asked:
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if you only have a herpes outbreak in your anus but never noticed a vaginal outbreak, can you still spread herpes through vaginal sex or just anal?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Steven Hebert
28 years experience Pathology
Difficult to say: Certainly you could infect someone else if you have an active lesion in either location. Use precautions and tell your partner about the risk of contracting herpes prior to relations.
Answered on Oct 9, 2013
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1 comment
Dr. Robert Killian
27 years experience General Practice
I may have different information than Dr. Hebert offered. Here are the facts: one who is infected with herpes can be contagious through viral shedding whether they have a lesion or not. If your anal lesion is truly herpes you cannot get infected or be contagious in another spot.90% of those infected do not have outbreaks and can only know they are infected with a blood test.
Oct 9, 2013
Dr. Robert Killian
27 years experience General Practice
Herpes: Here are some facts: 90% of those infected with herpes never have an outbreak and only know they have herpes with a blood test. Having a lesion or not does not matter. You should know that you are contagious at unpredictable times through viral shedding whether you have a lesion or not. If your anal lesion is truly herpes then this infection cannot migrate to another spot on your body.
Answered on Oct 9, 2013
1
1 comment
Dr. Robert Killian
27 years experience General Practice
Provided original answer
In the U.S. 25% of adults have been exposed to Herpes Type Two (genital herpes) and 76% of Adults have been exposed to herpes Type One (oral herpes). If one is exposed to Type Two before type one they can never be infected with Herpes Type One. But, if one has Type one they can still be infected with Herpes Type Two.
Oct 9, 2013
Dr. John Munshower
29 years experience Family Medicine
HSV-2: Herpes simplex virus-2 (hsv-2) is a virus that can be spread sexually, vaginal or anal sex, or even oral sex. Having the lesion with an outbreak, wold certainly increase the chances, but does not preclude a person contracting the disease if having sex other places than the outbreak.
Answered on Oct 29, 2013

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Doubt herpes: This does not sound like herpes. Yeast or some other kind of dermatitis is more likely.
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Not herpes symptoms: Doesn't sound like usual herpes symptoms, but may be other types of infections (?Bv, trich, etc). I recommend an exam.
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Not designed for it: It's actually not safe, because one's anus is not designed for repeated in/out, in/out. Just like in any big city, some streets are one-way and some s ... Read More

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