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Can I spread genital herpes to my boyfriend if we have unprotected sex when I don't have any sores at the time? How long after a herpes outbreak is it still contagious?

Genital herpes is generally spread by genital skin-to-skin contact and sex — including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Oral herpes is generally spread by kissing or oral sex.

You’re most likely to pass herpes to someone else  when your outbreak first starts until seven days after your sores have completely healed. You’ll know when your sores have completely healed when your skin is smooth and you can’t see the scabs anymore. 

But it’s still totally possible to spread herpes even if you don’t have an outbreak. Using protection like condoms or dental dams during sex can help lower your chances of spreading herpes between outbreaks. You can also talk with your doctor or nurse about antiviral medicine, which can lower your chances of spreading it to someone else. 

Learn more about herpes.

Tags: STDs, herpes

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