There are several steps that would significantly reduce the risk of transmitting herpes to your partner. Many people who have just found out they have genital herpes fear their sex life is over, but this isn’t the case. Although there is no way you can absolutely guarantee the transmission won’t happen, there is a four-step strategy that will help you reduce the risk to a minimum.
1. Your partner should avoid direct contact with your genital, pelvic and anal area when you’re having an outbreak. During an outbreak, you’re highly contagious and skin to skin contact is how transmission takes place. Even though you are sometimes contagious when there are no symptoms present, it’s a fact that when you have symptoms – you are as contagious as possible. It’s a good idea to avoid sexual contact when you have sensory warnings that tell you an outbreak is about to happen. These symptoms include: itching, tingling, burning, swelling, pain or other discomfort. Also, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after touching your outbreak sores, before touching another part of your body, or before touching your partner. The virus dies once it is exposed to air, but there still is a minimum risk you might have an active virus on your hands for several minutes.
2. Use a condom every time you have sex, whether you have an outbreak at the time, or not. Although using a condom doesn’t give you a 100 percent guarantee you will protect your partner, it will still reduce the risk greatly. Transmission due to asymptomatic viral shedding is never 100 percent possible, but using a condom is the best way to reduce the risk as much as possible.
3. Talk to your doctor about using a suppressive antiviral therapy, and use the prescription drugs he suggests: Acyclovir, Valtrex and Famvir. There are also alternative remedies you might want to try out, such as Lysine, Opuntia, H-Balm, Oregano Oil, Olive leaf extract, etc. It’s always a good idea to talk to a trained herbalist if you want to turn to alternative medicine. Have in mind that, although alternative remedies might help you with the symptoms and reduce the number on outbreaks, there are no studies that suggest they might reduce asymptomatic viral shedding.
4. Always discuss your herpes status with your partner before the two of you have sexual contact. Every person has the right to know they might be exposed to the HSV virus, and it is entirely up to them to decide if they’re willing to take the risk or not. This is not just a matter of moral, it is also important for your partner to be included in the whole situation so they could help you decide about the prevention method. If your partner is willing to take the risk, they will need to know what to watch for and how to take necessary steps in case an accidental transmission does occur.