When is herpes contagious?
Genital herpes is particularly contagious during the stage where blisters are present. You should not have sex with a partner who has genital herpes sores.
If you have sores, you should wait until they have healed off completely before you have sex again to protect your partner from catching the virus.
Although the risk of catching herpes is much higher when having sex with a person who has sores, you can also catch it from someone who doesn’t have any symptoms. Many people carry the virus but are unaware that they are infected. In many cases, the virus never causes outbreaks or noticeable symptoms.
Regardless of whether you catch genital herpes from someone who has symptoms or from someone who has never had an outbreak, you can develop symptoms.
Using a condom every time you have sex with a new partner significantly reduces your risk of catching the genital herpes virus.