Prevent Infection from Partner
Many couples, with one of the partners having herpes, have successfully had sexual relations without transmitting the infection to the healthy partner. It is possible to have sexual contact with a healthy partner without transferring the infection. By taking following precautions, there are very small chances of getting infected by the partner through sexual contact.
- Sexual contact should be avoided when sores or other symptoms are present.
- Use latex condoms or other forms of protection. This is necessary because it is also possible to transmit the infection in periods when there is asymptomatic shedding of the virus from the infected partner.
It does not mean that those who have genital herpes have to completely abstain from sexual relationships with a healthy partner. However, if both the partners have the infection, it makes things easier. One cannot get infected with the same virus two times, so there is no need of any precautionary measures. However, if one partner has cold sores and the other has genital sores, the latter can get transmitted to the partner.
Avoid Sexual Contact During an Outbreak
All couples must, however, avoid sexual contact during an outbreak or herpes episode. This is because it is a period that has the maximum chances of transmitting the virus. This period includes the time when the person first starts feeling the tingling sensation, which is a warning sign of an outbreak. The entire cycle has to be avoided till the sores are completely healed. In addition, sexual activities can even end up prolonging the cycle and prevent early healing of the episode.
Avoid Direct Contact
Precaution should also be taken that there are no breaks in the skin. For instance, if there are small abrasions in the genital areas, it is suggested that the couple use lubricants. Sores that are present in other areas of the body, such as the buttocks or the anal area should also be avoided and direct contact must be avoided. Those having cold sores must avoid having oral sex, as it is possible that this can spread to the genitals and lead to genital herpes.
It is not generally possible to catch the genital herpes virus by sharing cups or towels or even through toilet and bath water. It is the skin-to-skin contact that actually perpetuates the transmission of the infection. It is to be remembered that when the virus is present on the ski or the mucosa of the infected person, it can be transmitted to the other healthy person, through skin-to-skin contact with a live virus. People experiencing an outbreak, either facial or genital sores, should realize that they can be infectious to others from the beginning of the episode till the last ulcer or sore heals.