Can herpes be transmitted through sperm?

Yes, herpes can be transmitted through semen, although it is less common than through skin-to-skin contact or direct contact with a herpes sore. Herpes can be transmitted through the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), typically associated with genital herpes, and less commonly through the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which is associated with oral herpes.

When a person has an active outbreak of genital herpes, the virus can be present in their semen and transmitted to a sexual partner through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It’s also possible for a person with herpes to transmit the virus to their partner even when they don’t have any visible sores or symptoms. The virus can be shed from the skin without causing any noticeable signs of infection.

To reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting herpes, it’s important to practice safe sex and use condoms during sexual activity. If you or your partner has herpes, it’s also important to talk to a healthcare provider about treatment options and strategies for managing the condition.