How to Avoid Infecting Herpes

Posted by in Herpes Facts, Herpes Q&A

Infection of Herpes

HSV-1 and HSV-2 cause herpes infection. HSV-1 causes genital herpes and also infections of the mouth or the lips, known as cold sores. However, many people infected with HSV-2 may not even be aware of the infection and this leads to the spread of the infection. HSV-2 infection can occur due to sexual contact with someone having HSV-2 infection. Though there is no cure for the infection, there are many ways to prevent the condition.

It is unfortunate that almost everyone of any age is at risk of getting the infection. Children below the age of three can also get the infection by having contact with others having HSV-1.

Having an Open Discussion

If you are embarking on a new relationship, it is suggested that you bring up the topic of the infection with your new partner. You can begin by talking about the sexual history, the sexual partners and so on in order to assess the risk to which they might have been exposed. If you find someone with sores or any other symptoms of herpes that are not diagnosed, it would be better to avoid sexual activity with that person. The best alternative would be to go in for a sexual health check up, as herpes can also occur asymptomatically.

Testing a Partner

Many infected people might have only the minimal signs of herpes. You can keep a lookout for blisters in specific areas of the body, such as near the mouth, the lips, the nose, the genitals and the rectum. The person might also exhibit symptoms of flu or fever and have swollen glands. Stress and sunlight can aggravate the condition. If you suspect that any of these symptoms are connected to herpes, you must seek immediate medical attention. You must get the condition tested, read more about how to test herpes.

Using a Condom

It is better to use a condom while having any form of sexual intercourse, whether oral, vaginal or anal. This is especially true in case of new sex partners. However, using a condom is not a foolproof way of preventing herpes infection.

Sharing Towels

It doesn’t seem possible that the virus would survive on a cloth or a towel for a long time, but it is better to take precautions. Avoid sharing of towels so that the infection does not spread. You must also avoid touching the mucous membrane or saliva of others who have HSV lesions.

Preventing Cold Sores

HSV Type 1 is the cause of cold sores, producing cold sores in the mouth areas. It is contacted through mouth to mouth kissing, sharing of lip balms or eating in a common plate and so on. The virus spreads through saliva as well. It is advisable to avoid direct contact with someone who has such sores. Drinking glasses and utensils must also not be shared.

General Measures

Some general measures for preventing HSV are by washing your hands frequently. Don’t let your children share cups or bowls with others who are infected. Never share a toothbrush with others. Use disposable paper cups or paper towels to stay safe. Never let children share toys that have teething rings in them. All shared surfaces can be disinfected.