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Yes, you can contract oral herpes, aka cold soresfrom kissing, but developing genital herpes this way is less likely. Oral herpes HSV-1 is usually transmitted by kissing, and genital herpes HSV-2 is most often spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex.


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Sometimes the question is data-based, about what transmission statistics are real. Sometimes the question is esoteric, about whether or not he truly knew this woman in the first place. Why on Earth would I knowingly choose to put myself in danger like that? Is she worth it?

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Has your new partner just informed you that he or she has herpes?

People have many reactions when hearing this kind of news — and, depending on how informed you are about herpes, your reaction might be tinged with panic or fear. By being open about his or her STD status, your partner has demonstrated a sense of responsibility toward your sexual health and a respect for your ability to make informed decisions. Herpes is more widespread than most of us realize.

While HSV-1 is more commonly associated with cold sores and HSV-2 is more commonly associated with genital herpes, either virus can infect the genital area. One estimate states that 1 out of 5 American females and 1 out of 9 American males between 14 to 49 years of age have a genital HSV-2 infection.

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Now that you know your partner has herpes, you might have some questions. How easy is it to transmit genital herpes from one partner to another? What can you do to minimize your chances of catching the virus? And, while it is certainly stigmatized in our culture, is herpes something to fear? Among heterosexual couples, women are more likely to catch HSV-2 from their male partners than men are to catch it from their female partners.

At the end of the year, only 2. Condom use offers some protection, but studies give varying on the degree of protection offered — around 50 percent reduction in risk of HSV-2 transmission. Transmission is further decreased when the partner with herpes takes daily herpes-suppressing medications. One study found that acyclovir reduces viral shedding by as much as 94 percentand valacyclovir has been found to reduce risk by 48 percent. The best way for someone with genital herpes to protect his or her partner is to practice several risk-reducing strategies at once:.

Can you get herpes from kissing? and 14 other things to know

A herpes outbreak can be very uncomfortable or even painful, featuring ulcers in the genital area that can take weeks to heal. More than 80 percent of people with herpes are unaware of their infections — they either never had symptoms, or their symptoms were so mild that they went unnoticed.

When your partner reveals his or her herpes status to you, keep in mind that you could already be in this asymptomatic group. Among those who do have symptoms, the frequency and intensity of outbreaks tend to decline over time, often disappearing altogether — although the virus is a permanent resident in their bodies.

Why should i date someone with herpes?

As an STD educator put it:. An anonymous writer shared these inspiring words:. In a world full of infinite partner choices, herpes had narrowed mine to the understanding, the open minded, the risk takers.

I am now confined to partners who think my awesomeness eclipses my cellular flaw — so instead of killing my love life, herpes has weirdly deepened it. Many people without herpes enter into relationships with partners who carry the herpes simplex virus. They might have decided that their partner is worth the risk, or might not think that herpes is a particularly terrible fate in the first place.

What are my friend’s chances of having herpes if she kissed someone who has it?

Whatever decision you make, you need solid information on which to base it. Anna first volunteered for Planned Parenthood as a high school student in the s. As an ode to her fascination with microbes, she writes the monthly STD Awareness series, as well as other pieces focusing on health and medicine. More than 80 percent of people with genital herpes are unaware of their infections. Take herpes medications: Herpes medicationslike acyclovir or valacyclovir, inhibit viral DNA synthesis, and can be taken daily to keep the virus in check.

Practice abstinence during outbreaks: While herpes can be transmitted in the absence of symptomssymptoms are a sure that the virus is active.

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When blisters, itching, open or swollen sores, or pain is present in the infected area, abstain from sexual activity until a week after all sores have healed. Adopt a healthy lifestyle: To keep the immune system in tip-top condition, quit smokingeat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and avoid stress.

An anonymous writer shared these inspiring words: In a world full of infinite partner choices, herpes had narrowed mine to the understanding, the open minded, the risk takers. This is controlled and operated by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona.