Herpes is highly contagious. That said, one should bear in mind that there are 2 types of herpes. Herpes is named the herpes simplex virus. It is made up of type 1, HSV-1. It also has type 2, HSV-2. This strain – type 1 – is usually responsible for oral herpes, or cold sores and fever blisters. Type 2, HSV-2, is associated with genital herpes. Both are highly contagious. If you get the virus, it stays with you for life.
Two strains of Herpes
The likelihood of getting herpes if your partner has it can depend on the type of herpes your partner has.
Type 1 produces symptoms such as cold sores and fever blisters around and in the mouth, the lips and sometimes other areas of the face. It can also be spread to other parts of the body, particularly in younger children who, for example, suck their thumbs. If your partner has HSV-1, it is essential to avoid any skin to skin contact, especially if there are visible symptoms. The cold sore or fever blister is most contagious when the sore has broken and there is fluid leaking from the sore. If your partner has symptoms of HSV-1, it is best to wash your hands (and your partner too) frequently with warm water and soap.
The CDC states that cold sores affect approximately 3 of every 1000 people each year. While HSV-1 is mainly transmitted by oral to oral contact, found in the open sore, saliva and surfaces in and around the mouth, it can also be transmitted to the genital area through oral-genital contact to cause genital herpes.
Herpes simplex type 2 is the cause of genital herpes. A large percentage of people worldwide have HSV-2. This type of herpes is almost wholly passed on to another person through genital-to-genital contact during sexual intercourse. The symptoms of an outbreak include painful blisters or ulcers in the genital area.
If my partner has herpes, does it mean I will get it?
Interestingly, more women are infected with HSV-2 than men. This is because HSV’s transmission is more efficient from men to women than from women to men. Quite often, both HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections are asymptomatic. Many people are also unaware that they have herpes. Some believe if they do not have symptoms such as a sore or blister, they won’t pass on the virus. Unfortunately, this is untrue.
Typically, the occurrence of a person with herpes spreading it to a partner is about 10% per annum. However, the female partner has a 20% chance of becoming infected, compared to the male partner who has a risk of less than 10%.
To minimize the risk of getting herpes from your partner, there are steps to follow. If your partner has HSV-1, ensure that you never inadvertently touch his or her sore. This means not touching with your fingers or by kissing. If you believe you have touched a cold sore, ensure that you wash your hands. Washing your hands should be done regularly. This applies to your partner too.
If your partner has HSV-2, refrain from sexual relations during an outbreak. An outbreak is generally rather painful so intimacy is not likely to happen. When your partner is symptom-free, ensure that you use a condom.
While there is some chance that you could get the herpes virus from your partner, following preventative measures can help protect you from infection.
If herpes is incurable, what treatment is there?
Most doctors will prescribe an antiviral medication for the treatment of herpes symptoms. Among the drugs most prescribed are Famvir, Zovirax and Valtrex. They cannot cure the herpes virus. They may provide some relief from the symptoms. The drugs can also cause unwelcome side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness.
Some home remedies suggest using warm or cold compresses to minimize swelling and pain, baking soda paste to help dry out the lesions and apple cider vinegar to help with the inflammation.
The remedies can help alleviate pain and swelling, but will not cure herpes or lessen the severity or frequency of outbreaks.
Some natural homeopathic treatments such as Herplex, Herpecillin, and FemiClear claim to help but usually with limited or no positive results
A herpes treatment that is highly effective and has excellent results is HX-2 from HerpesX.com. An all natural, dietary supplement, it is safe, has no drugs and no side effects. It is, in a nutshell, an excellent treatment for herpes. The treatment was created by a herpes sufferer. It is effective because it helps your body’s immune system suppress outbreaks. Using a combination of herbs, natural vitamins and amino acids, it maximizes your body’s natural protein synthesis.
Take HX-2 from HerpesX.com both before and during an outbreak. This will lessen the severity of an outbreak. Moreover, used as a daily prophylactic, it can prevent outbreaks altogether. It also offers other benefits such as skin tissue health support and stress reduction.