Know the Facts, before you adopt the Fear..
Herpes transmission can be a somewhat misunderstood concept amongst people. It is important to understand the herpes virus and it modes of action to maintain a strong and healthy sex life, without exposing any partners to the risk of infection.
Although herpes transmission is not at rapid and simple as many thinks, it still happens so it is important to understand that not every crisis can be managed. As much as we want to keep ourselves safe, we can’t protect ourselves from everything. If we want to embrace life, we also have to embrace chaos..
Genital herpes can be rarely transmitted with or without the presence of sores or other symptoms, and is often transmitted by people who are unaware that they are infected. This is known as asymptomatic transmission.
The cold sore/herpes virus is generally spread by direct skin-to-skin contact. There is a risk of the virus spreading when the first signs of tingling or itching begin (prodrome), as well as when no sores or blisters are visible.
Herpes is transmitted / spread through direct contact with the live virus. Typical circumstances include:.
- Kissing, touching or caressing actively infected areas.
- Sexual contact (vaginal, oral, or anal sex).
- Cold sores or mouth herpes can be spread by sharing the same drinking glass, lipstick, cigarette, etc.
Visit this page for information on Safe Sex with Herpes
Herpes can be spread by any of the following real-life situations:
Kissing someone if you have a cold sore can transfer the virus to any part of the body that you kiss them on (including inside of the mouth and throat, or the genitals).
The virus can be transmitted to your partner if you have active genital herpes and have vaginal or anal intercourse.
If you have a cold sore and put your mouth on your partner’s genitals (oral sex), your partner can be infected with genital herpes. Consequently, oral sex should definitely be avoided if one partner has a facial herpes attack.
People who experience an episode of herpes, either facial or genital, should consider themselves infectious from the first sign of an outbreak to the time of complete healing of the last ulcer.
Occasionally, one partner in a long-term relationship may develop symptoms of herpes for the first time. Often this is due to one or both of the partners being asymptomatic carriers of HSV and not knowing it.
A mother can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy or at birth. Click here for more information.
One kind of complication involves spreading the virus from the location of an outbreak to other places on the body by touching the sore(s). The fingers, eyes, and other body areas can accidentally become infected in this way. Preventing self-infection is simple. Do not touch the area during an outbreak. If you do, wash your hands as soon as possible with soap and warm water.
Reports have been cited of possible transmission via ‘Hot tubs” but there is scientific skepticism as to whether or not the virus can be transmitted via inanimate objects such as toilet seats.
It is generally considered that the spreading of genital herpes through inanimate objects, such as soap, towels, clothing, bed sheets, toilet seats, and spa surfaces is highly unlikely because the herpes virus cannot live very long outside of the body.
Can Herpes Be Transmitted Without Symptoms?
Sometimes those who know they are infected spread the virus between outbreaks when no signs or symptoms are present. This is called asymptomatic transmission.
Herpes simplex infections are often spread by people who are unaware they are infected because their symptoms may be so mild as to be unnoticeable or may not relate the symptoms to herpes.
Many genital herpes infections are spread by asymptomatic “shedders” of the virus. The virus can still be present in people with no obvious lesions during periods of asymptomatic virus shedding.
Many couples have had sexual relations for years without transmitting herpes. Some simply avoid having sexual contact when signs or symptoms are present, while others use condoms or other protection between outbreaks to help protect against asymptomatic shedding.
Asymptomatic virus shedding cannot be predicted but is known to occur on at least 5% of days during the year.
Infants can become infected with the herpes virus. If you have ever been exposed to herpes talk with your doctor before planning a pregnancy, even if you have never had symptoms or have not experienced a recurrence in a long time.
You will need to contact your health care professional for more information about pregnancy with herpes, and to obtain appropriate tests and follow-up care for the pregnancy.
Should you have herpes present in the birth canal near the time of delivery, a caesarean section might be necessary to protect the newborn from coming into direct contact with the virus.
Babies can also contract herpes from being kissed by someone with a cold sore (5 – 8%). A young child cannot fight off infections as easily as an adult can, so serious health problems can occur. If you suffer from cold sores take every precaution not to put an infant child at risk. Visit the following link for information about herpes and pregnancy