True or False: Lesbians Don’t Get Herpes

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The answer is “false.” Lesbians are at risk for the same sexually transmitted infections as heterosexual couples. (1)

Sexual transmission of HSV-1 may occur more frequently among lesbians than among heterosexual women.

— Dr. Marrazzo

ROCHESTER, NY, UNITED STATES, November 20, 2015 / — “Infected with the herpes virus (HSV-1 or HSV-2)?

According to a report, many people have the false belief that women who have sex with women are not at risk for genital herpes infections. However, the truth is that “HSV-2 infection occurs in nearly 1 in 10 lesbians and is not predicted by report of sex with men or sexual identity. Most lesbians infected with HSV-2 are not aware of their infection. Sexual transmission of HSV-1 may occur more frequently among lesbians than among heterosexual women.” (2) In fact, “Some STIs are more common among lesbians and bisexual women and may be passed easily from woman to woman … lesbian and bisexual women can transmit STIs to each other through: skin-to-skin contact, mucosa contact (e.g., mouth to vagina), vaginal fluids, menstrual blood, sharing sex toys.” (1)

Click to learn more about therpes symptoms.

It is important to note that as Amy Hendel, a popular and recognizable health/medical television correspondent notes in response to a question from a lesbian …“unlike a man – you don’t have a condom option for protection. This might be a strong reason for your partner to consider daily Valtrex – which does help to reduce the risk of her exposing you to herpes – but you need to realize that even if she takes Valtrex – it is not Love_-_Engagement100% assurance of not spreading herpes.” (4)

The bottom line?

Contrary to the popular misconception lesbians and bisexual woman are open to catch herpes or other STDs. This is done even through woman to woman sexual relations just like woman to man relations.


(1) – Lesbian and bisexual health fact sheet – Reviewed by: Susan Cochran, Ph.D., M.S.

(2) Marrazzo JM1, Stine K, Wald A. “Prevalence and risk factors for infection with herpes simplex virus type-1 and -2 among lesbians.” Sex Transm Dis. 2003 Dec;30(12):890-5.

(3) Polansky, H. Itzkovitz, E. Gene-Eden-VIR Is Antiviral: Results of a Post Marketing Clinical Study. Published in September 2013.

(4) – Amy Hendel – “Herpes and a lesbian relationship?”

Greg Bennett
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