How Effective are Condoms in Preventing Herpes?

By | April 18, 2018

preventing HerpesHerpes is becoming one of the most common STDs in the US. People are more concerned than ever about staying safe. Condoms are seen as a great way to ensure safe sex and prevent catching STDs. However, there is a lot of doubt regarding their ability to prevent the spread of STDs, particularly Herpes. So, to help people understand how they can practice safe sex, we decided to do our own research on the subject. Here is what experts have to say about preventing Herpes through condom use.

How Effective are Condoms in Preventing Herpes?

Before we get into explaining how you can reduce your risk of catching a Herpes infection by using condoms, let’s understand one thing. Herpes is a viral infection most frequently contacted through the skin. So, while condoms might be able to cover up the sex organs themselves, they will not offer protection against other areas that might be infected. For example, if a person has their herpes infection on their testes, and they come in contact with your skin, then there is a very high chance of transmission.
Now, someone has Herpes does not mean that you are guaranteed to get infected if you have sex with him or her. Condoms do lower the chance of getting infected by 30%. However, the chances of getting an infection are the highest when the person has a Herpes outbreak. Also, the infected person’s skin might shed the virus even without the infection being visible on their skin. In fact, this happens over 20% of the time. Depending upon the gender of the infected person, there is a 4 to 10% chance of the partner getting infected.

How Do I Reduce My Chances of Getting Herpes?


If you or your sexual partner(s) have Herpes, then it would be wise to use condoms all the time. However, as we said earlier, you can only reduce the risk of getting infected by 30 percent through condoms. A better way to go about practicing safe sex would be to use Valtrex every day and abstain from sex during outbreaks. This will greatly reduce the chances of transmitting Herpes to your uninfected partner.
For people who have Herpes and are sexually active, undertaking daily suppressive therapy is a must. While this method may not be a 100 percent guaranteed to protect your uninfected partner from your infection, it will certainly reduce the odds of them contracting it from you.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, we can say that Herpes is a rather common medical condition that need not necessarily hamper your sex life. You can practice safe sex and not just prevent infecting your partner, but also protect yourself from any other sexually transmitted disease. Condoms are a must for this reason and you should use them every time. The CDC also recommends monogamous sex to minimize your chances of infection.

What to Do If I Get Herpes?

Despite your best efforts for preventing Herpes, there is a chance that you may get it. However, this does not mean that you need to shut yourself off from the world. Nowadays, there are many dating sites such as PositiveSingles and These herpes dating sites cater specifically to individuals who already have the STD. This is a great way to meet people who share the same medical condition as you.  And herpes people can avoid the stigma and other annoying things they might have to do while dating through general sites. Nevertheless, even when dating a Herpes positive person, you should practice safe sex and make suppressive therapy a part of your daily routine.

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