When it comes to sexuality, casual kissing and casual sex is quite normal, making the ability to catch a virus like herpes a lot easier to do. Most people don’t even know much about the virus when they get it, if they realize they contracted anything at all. How did you get it? What are some signs that they have this infection? Understanding what the herpes virus is and how you can catch this infection might help you stop the spread of herpes to others. Even if you aren’t showing signs of this disease, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have it. Read below to find out just how contagious herpes can be and what you can do to halt the spreading of it.
Is herpes contagious? Well, yes; herpes is one of the most contagious diseases out there. It is very easy to spread from one person to the next through any form of skin to skin contact. Most often it is spread from kissing, HSV-2, or oral herpes, is estimated to be present among 80% of the adult US population. Aside from not kissing at all, there’s little you can do to protect yourself on your lips, other than to avoid kissing all together when you see a cold sore present. Even without the sore though, the virus can stay dormat and you can still spread the virus fairly easily.
When it comes to genital herpes, it’s also transmitted by skin to skin contact and it’s estimated that 20-25% of the adult US population have HSV-2. Even with no noticeable signs and the use of latex condoms, passing the virus is still possible. One, condoms don’t always cover the entire penis and asymmetric shedding may occur, which is actually how most genital herpes infections occur. Also, it’s possible to have outbreaks or asymmetric shedding in the testicle area, which leaves your partner completely unprotected while having sex. It’s best to avoid intercourse when you notice any sores, or feel an outbreak is coming on. It’s also suggested that you wait until you’re completely clear after an outbreak, to engage in sexually activity again.
Unlike some STD’s, Herpes is not curable. There are certainly many over the counter and prescription medications available to manage or suppress your outbreaks, but once you’ve tested positive for the virus, you have it for life. It’s also important to note that just because you are around someone with herpes doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get it. Remember that herpes is not an air-borne virus, so you don’t have to worry about breathing in the infection. Your risks are just higher when engaging in sexually activity in that regard. The viral shedding period does happen but at that time, the virus is not nearly as active as it would be if you were around someone who was having an outbreak.