Having genital herpes does not mean that you will automatically spread it to anyone you sleep with. There are many people with genital herpes who have never given it to any of their partners.
Most cases of genital herpes are actually spread by people who are unaware they are infected. It can actually be less risky for someone to have sex with you since you know you have genital herpes and can take steps to protect your partner. If you educate yourself and learn which precautions to take you can reduce the chances of transmission down to as low as 1% or 2% per year.
When someone is first diagnosed with genital herpes what they want to know is:
The good news is that you are actually not that likely to spread this virus (I was very surprised when I discovered this) and that you can reduce the chances of infecting your partner down to as low as one or two percent per year. What does that mean? That means that if you educate yourself and know which precautions to take you can give your partner a 98% to 99% chance of staying virus-free every year. Keep reading to find out how you can do this.
Condoms have been shown to reduce the chance of transmission by 30%. This assumes that the condoms are used consistently and correctly.
Anti-viral medication (valtrex - valacyclovir) has been shown to reduce the risk of transmitting genital herpes by 50%. Even though no studies have been performed it has been suggested that acyclovir and famciclovir would have the same effect.
Early warning signs such as tingling or itchiness can signal the onset of outbreaks. These symptoms usually occur a day or two before an outbreak and can be located in the genital area, lower back, and legs. Avoiding sexual contact during these times can also reduce the chances of transmission.
Taking a herpes test and knowing your status is very important. If your partner already has the same type of genital herpes then there is nothing more to worry about. You can't give it to each other again. With genital herpes being so common these days there is a good chance (20% - 25%) that you both already have it. Remember that 90% of people with genital herpes do not know they are infected. Also, the transmission rates depend strongly on which type of virus you have. So in order to make the best decision it is important that both partners be tested.
Want more information on reducing the transmission of herpes. Check out the Herpes Dating eBook where you will learn the following: