Genital herpes, caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), is a common sexually transmitted infection. Sexual contact is the primary way for herpes transmission. After the initial infection, the virus lies dormant in your body about 2 to 7 days or even long. It always reactivate several times a year.
Genital herpes can cause pain, itching and sores in the genital area. However, you may have no symptoms of genital herpes. After infected, you can be contagious even if you have no visible sores.
Condition that there’s no cure for genital herpes and it is most likely to be transmitted during an outbreak, it’s better to not have sex with anyone during this period of time. Herpes transmission always happen even in symptom-free phases. So far, only some special medications can ease herpes symptoms and reduce the risk of herpes infection. Condoms are necessary during sex in order to prevent the spread of genital herpes.
If you find out that you have herpes, try not to freak out. There are some effective methods that you can do to avoid the transmission.
- Always use condoms and dental dams during sex.
- Accept preventive treatment with antiviral medication, which can lower the chances of herpes transmission.
- Don’t have sex during a herpes outbreak, even with a condom. There may be sores on places the condom doesn’t cover.
- Learn how to tell when an outbreak is coming, and stop having sex right when you notice these herpes symptoms. You may feel a burning, itching, or tingling feeling that lets you know you’re about to get sores.
- Don’t have sex until the sores have cleared up, and the scabs heal and fall off.
- Don’t touch your herpes sores during an outbreak, because you can spread the infection to other parts of your body or other people. When you touch a sore, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water right after.
- Tell your sexual partners that you have herpes before you have sex, so you can work together to prevent it from spreading. Even if telling someone you have herpes can be hard, you know it is just a common disease and doesn’t lead to serious health problems. So try not to be too embarrassed or stressed out about it.
People who have herpes are twice as likely to get HIV as people who don’t. And people who have herpes and HIV have a much bigger chance of passing HIV to their partners. So it’s really important to use condoms to prevent the spread of genital herpes.