Genital Herpes Prevention Methods
Genital herpes is one of the most commonly contracted Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among both adults and adolescents. For both groups, there are estimates that as many as 1 in 5 are affected. There is currently no cure for genital herpes, and transmission can occur even during times when there is no visible sign of genital herpes. While abstaining from sexual contact including vaginal, anal, oral, and sexual play may be the only sure means of preventing genital herpes, there are some tips for reducing risk.
While you cannot absolutely make sure that the partner is being faithful, a reduction in practices such as anonymous sex and one-night stands can significantly reduce the risk associated with genital herpes.
Barrier method of birth control
Barrier methods include methods such as male condoms, female condoms, and dental dams. This does not completely eliminate the risk of genital herpes transmission, but it does reduce some risk, as well as the risk of contracting other STDs. Barrier methods are recommended for individuals who had been infected with HSV-2 (Herpes simplex virus 2) virus previously. It is important to be informed about different methods of birth control because some, like the pill, do not offer any protection against STDs.
Communicate with your partner
It is important to have some awareness of past sexual history and current sexual health of your partner. Individuals who do have genital herpes are not forever banished from having a sexual relationship, but precautions must be taken, and the individual’s sexual partner must be informed. It is important that both partners recognize the signs of an outbreak and abstain from sexual contact. Even when there is no visible sign of outbreak, it is important to exercise caution and use the above tips to prevent transmission of genital herpes to the unaffected partner.
The use of some antiviral medications can decrease the frequency of outbreaks, which further decreases the likelihood of transmitting genital herpes to the partner. Valtrex (Valaciclovir) is recommended for genital herpes prevention and it also reduces the risk of transmission from the infected person.
As previously stated, there is no cure for genital herpes at this time, so it is of utmost importance that sexually active individuals exercise caution.