You can have great sex and fall in love, while also protecting your partner from herpes transmission. Let’s explore 3 ways to protect your partner.
Herpes, also known as the herpes simplex virus is a common virus that is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact. There are two main strains of herpes: herpes simplex virus type one (HSV1) and herpes simplex virus type two (HSV2). HSV1 is most often transmitted via oral contact and can cause oral blister outbreaks in and around the mouth area. These are commonly known as cold sores. HSV1 rarely is spread to the genital area, but it is possible.
HSV2 is spread through sexual contact only. It is the strain responsible for outbreaks in and around the groin area. These are called genital herpesWhile there is no cure for herpes, the treatments that are available may shorten and prevent outbreaks. According to the World Health Organization, HSV2 genital herpes infections often have little to no symptoms and can go widely unrecognized.
It’s entirely possible to enjoy sex and date around, while also managing your herpes condition. You’ve just got to pivot a little bit to make room for new considerations. Who’s a stranger to a little course correction, eh?
Here are 3 of the best ways to lower the risk of passing herpes to your new partner.
#1. Use condoms or dental dams even if you aren’t having an outbreak.Doctors agree condoms are probably the best way to prevent herpes. Even if you aren’t experiencing an HSV1 or HSV2 outbreak, you can still transmit the virus via asymptomatic shedding. So it’s best to use condoms at all times to lower your risks of partner-to-partner transmission.
#2. Consider the use of suppressive therapy to lessen the recurrence of outbreaks and transmission risks.There are studies that suggest the use of antiviral drugs as a suppressive therapy (once daily, low-dose antiviral medication) may lower recurrences and lower the risks of partner-to-partner transmission. The CDC states that suppressive therapy can lower recurrences by 70-80 percent.
Combine #1 and #2 to cover your bases With the use of antiviral suppressive therapy and condoms combined, your chances of transmitting the herpes virus to your partner are pretty low.
#3 Don’t have sex when you’re experiencing an active outbreak. Wait for a total clear up. Herpes is most contagious when an active outbreak is present. That being said, if you’ve had a flare-up, sex should be off the table until it heals completely (yes, even sex with condoms.) This is for the best interest of your partner, as transmission risks increase with active sores or blisters.
Dating is already a tricky task, and herpes adds another aspect of difficulty. So, yes, it might feel like a pain at first. But once you get used to these new conversations, and new ways of taking care of yourself, it will feel like second nature to both you and your partner. Sex and dating are not off the menu when you have herpes.
Disclosure of your condition is probably the trickiest and most important piece of dating with herpes. Making sure you are the most transparent you can be about your status shows respect for your partner.
Read more about disclosure here: A Guide To Dating With Herpes
Valacyclovir may be a good option for your HSV1 cold sores or HSV2 genital herpes. Valacyclovir may reduce the amount of time that your pesky cold sores stick around, and may help reduce the rate of recurrence. If you are a good candidate for treatment, your prescription medication can be shipped directly to your front door. We’ve got your back.