The use of condoms will not prevent herpes virus from spreading but it will significantly decrease the chances of transmission of the herpes virus during the act of sexual intercourse.
Men who are infected with Herpes Simplex Virus 2 or genital herpes will most likely spread the infection to their partners if they do not use the protection of condoms. However, the use of condoms cannot guarantee that the virus will not spread.
Findings of the Research
Research conducted in the mid nineteen nineties on the use of condoms by people who are affected by the genital herpes virus proved condoms did reduce the possibility of transmitting the virus. During the research, demographic and behavioural information was analyzed from selected participants at multiple locations. The study involved more than five hundred couples. It was reported that the participants who used condoms more than 80% during sexual intercourse were less prone to catching the genital herpes virus than those participants who confirmed that they used condoms only ten per cent of the time.
It was also pointed out by the findings of the study that condoms reduced the HSV-2 virus acquisition risk considerably among women, but not to that extent among men. The reason for this difference was that the condoms covered the entire length of the penis skin and protected women more so than men as it does not protect men against the exposure to the female genitalia from where the virus can be shed. It is because of contact with the vulva and perianal regions and these are common areas in women where viral shedding takes place. It becomes an important factor in reducing the effectiveness of condoms in spreading the HSV-2 virus from women to men.
Why can Condoms not Guarantee the Spread of the Genital Herpes?
When you use latex condoms each time that you engage in sexual intercourse, you will drastically reduce the possibility of catching and spreading genital herpes virus. The symptoms may occur in both female and male genital areas that are covered by latex condoms. However, there could be outbreaks of sores that may occur in some areas that cannot be covered by a condom and this is the principal reason why condoms cannot protect you completely from catching or spreading the HSV-2 virus.