There are two types of herpes, that is, genital herpes and oral herpes. Both forms of herpes are triggered by herpes simplex virus, which is a sexually transmitted disease. Genital herpes, which is also commonly referred to as HSV-2 (Herpes Simplex Virus – Type 2) is quite common in the US. CDC (Center for Disease Control) approximates that there are roughly 45 million people aged 12 and above suffering from HSV-2.
Herpes Simplex Virus – Type 1 (HSV-1) has been known to trigger HSV-2, especially through oral sex. Nevertheless, HSV-1 is known to trigger sores and blisters on the lips, inner cheeks, tongue and soft palates. HSV-1 is also commonly referred to as either cold sore or fever blisters. The signs and symptoms are quite pronounced during the initial outbreak. After treatment, the disease may become dormant. However, weakening of the immune system can trigger outbreaks. The good news is that recurrences are quite mild. Herpes simplex virus – type 2 are commonly caused through sexual contact when having unprotected sex with someone infected with genital herpes. Therefore, if you are looking for more information on how to prevent herpes, keep reading this article to the very end.
1. Determine if you are at an increased risk
First and foremost, you need to determine if you are at an increased risk of suffering from either two types of herpes virus. Listed below, are some of the elements that can help you establish whether or not you are at an increased risk:
– If you have had oral sex or unprotected sexual intercourse with someone with either HSV-1 or HSV-2.
– If you have had sexual intercourse with someone with genital HSV-2.
According to statistics released by the CDC, genital herpes is quite common in women than men.
2. Abstain from sex
The only way through which you can avoid being infected with STIs, which includes herpes simplex virus, is abstaining from unprotected sexual intercourse. If you cannot abstain from sex, make certain that you only have one sexual partner. Even then, you should have gone for tests so as to make certain that both of you are clean. Listed below are some of the precautions that you can take so as to minimize your chances of being infected:
– Sustaining a long-term, conjointly committed relationship with an individual who has been tested, and as such you both know of your status.
– Using trusted condom brands.
– Desisting from having sexual contact with an individual who displays the signs and symptoms of herpes simplex virus (i.e. sores and blisters around the mouth and genital area).
In addition to the above, persons with herpes simplex virus – type 1 can be prevented by desisting from kissing persons with sores and blisters. Sharing of personal effects such as towels and eating utensils like spoons.
The only way through which you can make certain that your partner and you are free from herpes simplex, you need to go for testing. Diagnosis is accomplished by:
– Visually inspecting if there is an outbreak in the genital area or mouth.
– Acquiring samples from the blisters and sores and then sending them for further testing.
– Confirming the existence of HSV through blood tests.
It is also important to point out that there is no absolute cure for herpes simplex virus. The medications that are used are simply prescribed to manage the signs and symptoms. The virus usually takes up to 14 days to clear. But with the aid of supportive medication, this period can be shortened. The treatment used is designed to clear the signs and symptoms. Once the signs and symptoms have cleared, the virus goes into a dormant state. Consequently, it is important to monitor your medications as well as diet so as to avoid recurrence.
Other precautions that you can take so as to avoid getting herpes is to inform your sexual partner if you have suffered from herpes simplex virus or if you are currently infected with the virus.