Herpes is a virus that infects the skin and mucous membranes resulting in blisters and sores. There is no cure for herpes. There are two main types of herpes known as oral (HSV-1) and genital (HSV-2). Oral herpes produce outbreaks on the lips, mouth and face, while genital herpes results in outbreaks on the genital area. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease.
Contracting and spreading herpes is certainly very easy. Herpes is spread more easily when blisters are present; however, it can be spread when there are no symptoms at all. Herpes is also highly contagious during the prodromal period. This is three or four days before an outbreak occurs when the person may experience tingling, pain, itching or other sensations in the affected area. This warns the body that the virus is active. Herpes can be spread from this prodromal period until the skin has fully healed following an outbreak. Any contact during this time is extremely risky.
Genital herpes can be contracted by coming in direct contact with the infected sores or lesions. This will usually happen during vaginal, oral or anal sex. An infected person may not have any signs of the infection and still be contagious. Some may never have any symptoms at all. Genital herpes can be contracted from a partner’s cold sore during oral sex. The oral virus is passed to the partner, producing genital herpes in them. Oral herpes is also spread via skin to skin contact. A person with a cold sore can kiss an uninfected person and give them oral herpes. Once infected with herpes, it remains dormant in the body until an outbreak is triggered. Triggers can include illness, trauma, stress, the sun, medications and more.
Avoid contracting or spreading herpes
It is possible to have a fulfilling relationship and not contract the virus. Latex condoms provide the greatest amount of protection during sexual activity. The herpes virus cannot pass through the barrier provided by a latex condom. Latex condoms will reduce the chance of getting or spreading this virus. If there are lesions in areas that a condom does not cover, there is no protection from getting the virus.
Many happy couples have fulfilling lives together without contracting herpes from their partner. These individuals had avoided sexual activities when any symptoms were present. They used condoms and never had sex during outbreaks or prodromal periods. They have remained in monogamous relationships and always been upfront and honest with one another.
Another way to stop the spread of herpes is to treat your condition. There are various treatments for herpes; anti-viral medications and even natural, herbal and homeopathic medicines. These forms of treatment will suppress the virus making it less severe and causing outbreaks to be less frequent.
Prevention is better than cure. Prevention is still the key to stopping the rampant spread of herpes in all age groups.