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A 40-year-old member asked:

woman i am involved with has herpes over 20 years, takes valtrex (valacyclovir). how safe are we if we start having sex?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Rahil Malik
Obstetrics and Gynecology 10 years experience
Risk exists: You can transmit herpes via sex even if your partner is not actively shedding or has active lesions. While Valtrex (valacyclovir) can prevent outbreaks from herpes lesions, it in itself is not a cure and only a drug to suppress outbreaks. Condoms can drastically reduce but not entirely eliminate the risk of transmission.
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 53 years experience
Low risk, not zero: Over many years, recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes become less common and so does asymptomatic viral shedding, i.e. transmission risk without an outbreak. After 20+ years and taking valtrex, the risk probalby is low. But not zero. You can further lower risk by consistent condom use. Some couples in this situation don't worry and just let it happen, since effective treatment is available.

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Last updated Jan 23, 2018

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