Could a couple who both have herpes be allowed to get married?

If a couple had herpes…both of them…would they still be allowed to marry? They’re already infected so theres no point in trying to avoid infecting them…and babys are not born with herpes just because the parents had it and there are ways to give birth just in case the mother has an outbreak during delivery such as c-section, etc. to keep the baby safe…plus herpes isnt even fatal or harmful…its just an annoyance that pops up every once in awhile…what is the church teaching on this?

Who told you that cold sores would keep a couple from marriage? :shrug:

The various strains of the herpes simplex virus are annoying to the person who has it but do not cause permanent impotence or of themselves cause any impediment to marriage.

Can they have sex?

If so, then they can get married.

There are other places for herpes to show itself besides cold sores…

Not even sure if that’s an issue. I recall some saintly couples never having sex in their marriage, and Mary and Joseph certainly didn’t.

various posters on different threads on topics similar to this…and also Fr. Vincent Serpa answered someone with “people who carry an incurable and contagious disease should not marry----period!”

Can you please post the link where the good Father made such a statement?

and I also heard a poster on here said HIV was grounds for annulment and divorce…is that really true?

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:8, topic:260998"]

and I also heard a poster on here said HIV was grounds for annulment and that really true?


A deadly infectious disease like HIV and something that is merely cosmetic and annoying are two VERY different things.

Of course, someone who has an infections deadly disease would not want to spread it to another person.

The two conditions are not even in the same league.

Doesn’t matter. Permanent and incurable impotence is an impediment to a valid marriage. Disease isn’t. If they can have sex, even if sick, they can validly marry.

So is there any authorative church teaching on this matter? All I could find was Fr. Serpa's comment and posts from this board. I love all you guys and take all your responses with great respect...but I want to have some certainty ;)

The way I hear it for a marriage to be valid, they must have sexual relations.

So I'll let you in on the story on why I'm so insistent on this topic......

For the last couple of days I've been worried about having herpes. I always thought cold sores and herpes were not the same thing, but then I researched and found out they were. So then that led me to more and more research and it started showing how one can go their whole life without having symptoms, alot of people who have the disease don't even know it, etc. etc.

I started thinking back to all my past lustful encouters with random girls (I've confessed this sin already, please don't panic.) All I did with them is french kiss. None of them had visual symptoms or outbreaks so I thought I was safe. The last encouter was 2 years ago

2 years later, I have had no visible or feelings of herpe symptoms. If I were, they would have to be around my mouth since I didnt go past french kissing these girls. I've never seen any blisters. I heard herpes can also look like paper cuts and pimples too (which caused me more anxiety)..but I don't recall seeing any mysterious paper cuts or pimples on my lips or inside my mouth. So I'm not even sure if I even caught the disease. I've gone through all the conditions that might "induce" the disease such as : long exposure to sunlight, unhealthy diet, long exposure to cold, stress, etc. etc...I work outside everyday for a living so I'm exposed to all the weather elements...but still no outbreaks.

The bad news is that me and my current GF, who was a virgin before she dated me (I'm not proud of that, and I also confessed this too). We did just about every sex position there is with eachother. So if I got the disease, she will most likely have it too now.

These worries and anxieties over the past couple days have caused me to use it in a way that lead to mortal sin. For example: "suckering" the church into allowing us to get married if we were forbidden, ignoring the church's rules. etc. (not proud of this either and plan to confess)..but I've been stalling because I'm so scared at what the priest will say. He is pretty much our marriage counselour. I'm so scared that he is going to have the same strict and zero-tolerance attitude as Fr. Serpa and forbid us to marry. Since he is the priest I would have to obey, but it scares me! I don't want to obey! but I have to! I don't want to lose this girl!


I don’t understand why people will forbid one to marry with a disease that isn’t dangerous and can be completely surpressed for an entire life with the right diet and some medication. My brother is a doctor and he told me I probably don’t have it, but even if I did there are foods I can eat that will keep the disease dormant for the rest of my life without any outbreaks causing the chances of spreading it to be extremely low.

It not about one spouse infecting the other. They are both already infected! My GF is Indian and if me and her don’t work out, her parents are going to force her into an arranged marriage. So she can either stay with me and keep the disease between me and her, or she can spread it to another person (arranged marriage husband).

I know this could cause birthing issues. But it is said that only a 5% chance of that happening, and that is only if the mother has an outbreak during delivery (which she probably won’t because she has a very strong immune system herself)…theres a 5% chance a baby could have complications for any situation, disease or not. If its wront to marry with herpes, than why is it acceptable to marry someone who had chicken pox in their life? Chicken pox is a form of herpes and stays in the body forever and can even come back occasionly. Or how about stuff like diabetes, obesity, etc. etc. being passed down to the baby?

I’m just so scared right now and I would greatly appreciate it if you could all pray for me. Pray that me or my GF don’t have this disease, and if we do, let us be able to have a valid marriage in the church. I’ve already called upon God, The Virgin Mary, and all the saints in Heaven. Now I need your support too :frowning:

Well, this is going to be news to the 50-80% of adult Americans who have oral herpes...Wiki says 58%.

Your post is hard to follow and not exactly full of medical specifics. Learn the difference between canker sores, oral herpes, and genital herpes (the type 1 and 2 viruses, too).

[quote="MrJaundicedEye, post:15, topic:260998"]
Learn the difference between canker sores, oral herpes, and genital herpes (the type 1 and 2 viruses, too).


^this. education is key. ;)

This thread has all kinds of errors on it. :eek:There is no church teaching on not marrying if you have genital herpes, or even oral herpes. It is not HIV and it is not life threatening. I don't know why Fr Serpa said what he did but I don't see any church document attached to his answer.

If you both have it, you have it for life but it can go dormant just like cold sores in the mouth. It is not a danger in childbirth if you receive proper prenatal care. So stop worrying, you are allowed to get married. And maybe work on getting rid of the sins that got you in this position to begin with. :)

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