Essentially, if one partner has genital herpes, the other partner is at risk of contracting herpes, whether or not sores are present. This is true whether you’re having oral, vaginal, or anal sex. So, it’s up to you and your partner to decide what level of risk you are comfortable with. if there is a current outbreak clearly present, the risk of transmission through sex and skin-to-skin contact around the outbreak area is definitely at its highest. When no outbreak is visibly present, the risks are considerably less severe. But there is a possibility of the herpes virus being present on the surface of the skin even without an outbreak This is called viral, or asymptomatic, shedding. It certainly helps to know how to treat herpes in order to minimize the severity and frequency of those outbreaks.
We thought we’d put up a short post with some links to useful websites for those dealing with the herpes virus. These websites are not ranked from best to worst nor have we evaluated them in great depth. But we have looked through them all and think they might be helpful for individuals looking for helpful information. Hope you find this list useful!
Oral herpes (HSV 1) causes blisters primarily around the mouth, but occasionally spreads elsewhere. One often hears these breakouts referred to as “cold sores” or “fever blisters” but that is somewhat misleading. Yes, a herpes breakout has cold sores, but not all cold sores are herpes. Oral herpes is a VERY common infection. Although some carriers may never or only very rarely experience an active herpes outbreak, recent studies show that up to 57% of people in the US are carriers. This is not to scare anyone since many people with the virus will never experience a breakout. This type of herpes is transmittable through contact with the saliva or the herpes blisters of a person with an active outbreak. So that means it is very possible to spread the herpes virus from only kissing. It is also possible, though less common, that herpes type 1 might spread to genital regions through oral sex.
People of any age are susceptible to the herpes virus. Although it is highly unlikely that a young person would come in contact with genital herpes (HSV-2), oral herpes can be contracted at any point in life. If you are raising a young child and are a carrier of the virus, it is very important to be aware of your own outbreaks and be sure that you are touching your child as infrequently as possible during an active outbreak. Contact your pediatrician and discuss proper strategies for minimizing contact with your child during outbreaks and be sure to use a reputable herpes treatment to keep your outbreaks as infrequent and mild as possible.
It is important to understand that not all cases of genital herpes have the same symptoms. Before you seek a treatment for herpes, you should become familiar with some of the common symptoms so that you know whether or not you have contracted the virus. Many people will assume that they have come in contact with the virus from a tingling or mild discomfort in the genital region. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that what you are experiencing is a sign of genital herpes.