Genital herpes is a very common sexually transmitted
There is a great deal of confusion and misinformation concerning exactly how herpes is spread.
Here is what you need to know:
1. The herpes virus is very fragile and does not survive for long outside of the body
2. The herpes virus is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact
3. The herpes virus is not spread through saliva, sweat, vaginal fluids, semen, or blood
4. The herpes virus can be spread with or without the presence of symptoms
5. A person is most contagious when there are active sores present
The following are ways in which genital herpes is NOT spread:
- Public bathrooms
- Shaking hands
- Trying on a bikini
- Using someone else's bed sheets
- Hot tubs
- Swimming pools
- Door knobs
- Lap dances
- Sharing a bar of soap
- Mutual masturbation
The herpes virus is not passed on to others through casual contact. And there have been no documented incidences of infection occurring through public toilets, swimming pools, or hot tubs. However, it is important to remember that the herpes virus can survive a little longer in certain wet environments. Therefore, it is important to take the proper precautions. Do not share bath towels. And always keep a barrier between your skin and any potentially infectious public surfaces. For example, if you use the steam room at your local gym just make sure to sit on a towel.
The following are ways in which genital herpes IS spread:
- Direct contact with active herpes sores, lesions, or blisters
- Sexual intercourse (oral, vaginal, or anal sex)
Having safer sex requires understanding exactly how herpes is spread. An infected person is most contagious from the time symptoms are first noticed until the affected area has fully healed. Sexual contact during this time puts another person most at risk for infection.
Warning signs which let a person know that an outbreak is about to occur include itching, tingling, nerve pain, tenderness, and body aches. These early symptoms usually appear a few days before physical symptoms such as redness, lesions, sores, or blisters.
Another common fear concerning how herpes is spread involves the virus spreading to other parts of your body. If you have had the herpes virus for at least a few months then your body has already started to produce antibodies to fight the infection. These antibodies are very effective at preventing the virus from infecting other areas of your body. But even if you have just recently been infected, it is still easy to prevent the virus from spreading. Just make sure to touch the infected area as little as possible. And if you do happen to touch a sore or lesion then just make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. You can also apply an alcohol-based hand sanitizer just to be safe.