According to the CDC, 15.7% of the U.S. population between the ages of 14 and 49 have an HSV-2 infection. The figure may be slightly higher due to the number of genital herpes cases that are a result of the HSV-1 virus. This means that the odds are, you or your partner have a herpes infection. Whether or not you show symptoms, there are ways to reduce herpes transmission risks.
Drug Therapy, Safe Sex, and Monogamy
The surest way to reduce herpes transmission risks is to abstain from sexual activity. Since that is not a consideration for most people, the following suggestions are three ways to reduce herpes transmission risks.
Having multiple sex partners increase the risk of transmitting a herpes infection. Therefore, reducing the number of your sexual partners to one monogamous relationship is one of the best ways of reducing transmission risks. Be certain that you are mutually exclusive. If you are the one that is infected, and your partner is not, make sure they receive regular check-ups and testing.
While in your monogamous relationship, another way to reduce herpes transmission risks is to use latex condoms constantly and correctly. Even if there are no obvious symptoms, using condoms helps reduces the risk of transmitting the infection.
The infected partner can also take part in daily suppressive therapy for their outbreaks. Your doctor may prescribe one of two antiviral medications: Acyclovir (Zovirax) or Valacyclovir (Valtrex). According to the CDC, daily use of Valacyclovir has decreased the rate of transmission of genital herpes heterosexual couples.
Monogamy and safe sex practices with suppressive drug therapy are three of the main ways to reduce herpes transmission risks.