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How Can I Prevent My Partner From Catching Herpes?

Herpes is a common skin infection caused by two types of herpes simplex viruses. These are HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus type 1) and HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus type 2). Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can affect the skin or nervous system, leading to:

  • Cold sores (appear on the lips around the mouth)
  • Genital herpes (appear on the genital and anal area)

Both genital herpes and cold sores are highly contagious. They can be transmitted through sexual contact. Even without visible signs, herpes can still spread to your partner. Here’s everything about herpes transmission and how to stop your partner from getting it.    

How can herpes spread?

The viruses that cause herpes are considered to be contagious viruses. They can be passed from person to person through direct contact. A child can get herpes from having contact with an infected adult. Once they’ve contracted herpes, they will have the virus for the rest of their lives. Herpes is most contagious when an infected person is experiencing an outbreak. If you do not develop a herpes outbreak, the virus may lie dormant and cause less transmission.

Herpes simplex virus cannot survive outside the body for very long. That’s why you cannot catch herpes from a hot tub, locker room or toilet seat. It is transmitted through three common ways below:

  • Congenital transmission. A mother can pass the virus to her baby during childbirth. The rates of this happening are quite low.
  • Autoinoculation transmission. This happens when you come into contact with the mucous membrane and infected skin.
  • Intimate contact. You can get herpes if you kiss or have sex with an infected person.
How can herpes spread

Herpes blisters

The general interactions that can cause HSV-1 (cold sores) to spread are:

  • Kissing;
  • Sharing lip balm;
  • Eating from the same utensils;
  • Performing oral sex on a partner.

HSV-2 or genital herpes is the second most common STI in the US. It’s contagious when you have sex with someone who has an active herpes outbreak.  Any kind of sexual contact can make the virus spread, including vaginal, anal and oral sex. Genital herpes can also be transmitted through bodily fluids, such as:

  • Saliva
  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Fluid expelled from an open herpes sore

Herpes can also spread even when blisters are not visible. This mostly occurs during the first 12 months of herpes infections.

Related: Frequently Asked Questions about Herpes

Herpes can be spread through sexual contact

Herpes can be spread through sexual contact

How can I prevent my partner from catching herpes?

Many people with herpes do not develop symptoms. Then they spread the virus to their partners without knowing it. For this reason, they look for solutions to protect their partners from infections. Some tips below can help lower your partner’s risks of catching herpes.  

  • Ask your partner to be tested

If you think you may have herpes, check with your doctor. They will give some certain tests to determine whether you are positive for herpes. If you get herpes and you’ve recently had intimate contact with your partner, ask them to check too. Early detection helps cure your infection more effectively. Besides, it can reduce the risk of passing the virus to other people.

Related: Herpes Tests: Everything You Need to Know About

  • Practice safe sex

Having sex with herpes can make your partner more vulnerable to the disease. So, take some tips below to reduce your chances of passing on the virus to your partner.

  • Avoid kissing if you have cold sores.
  • Use condoms during sex.
  • Limit the number of your sexual partners.
  • Don’t have sex while you’re suffering with an active outbreak.
  • Try alternate forms of sexual intimacy.

Related: Do Condoms Protect Against Herpes?

Use condoms during sex to avoid herpes transmission

Use condoms during sex to avoid herpes transmission

  • Consider suppressive therapy

Due to the high transmission of herpes, you need to receive immediate treatment. Although herpes is incurable, you can relieve it with medication and cream. In studies, Prosurx has been shown to provide relief and shorten healing time of herpes. Besides, it can decrease the risk of transmission to a non-infected partner. So, apply Prosurx 2-3 times a day to cure your infection effectively. Many people with herpes have been using it and got results after 4-5 days of treatment. Other medications that can help with herpes are Acyclovir and Famciclovir. Ask your doctor if these treatments cause side effects to you.

Related: 7 Tips to Treat Herpes and Prevent Future Outbreaks

  • Use herbal remedies

Aside from medications, there are lots of herbal remedies that can cure herpes. These remedies include tea tree oil, Echinacea, aloe Vera and Astragalus roots. The effectiveness of these remedies is till limited. If you’re considering using them, be careful with the irritating side effects.

Related: Top 6 Herbal Remedies for Herpes

Use herbal remedies to cure herpes

Herbal tea for herpes

  • Examine your diet

Diet plays an important role in treating and preventing herpes infections. It helps boost your immune system to fight against the viruses. Besides, it can reduce the chances of developing future outbreaks. So if you have herpes, add foods with lysine, vitamin C and eat more fruits and vegetables. Plus, avoid foods that contain arginine and artificial sweeteners.

Related: Herpes and How to Diet With It

There are so many things that you can do to prevent your partner from catching herpes. Depending on your situation, the risk of transmission might be higher or lower. So, treat your herpes infection, avoid stress and practice safe sex with your partner.

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